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Jonah 4
by Claire Maraillet
04/25/11
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The bible says :
"... And the Lord, "you are so concerned for that plant even though you did nothing to make it grow. It appeared one day, and the next day it died. Then shouldn't I show concern for the great city Nineveh, which has more than 120 000 people who do not know right from wrong, and many animals too?""
Jonah 4:10-11

Your watch has gone missing, your car has broken down, you've lost your credit card or got robbed. Do you feel equally concerned about Japan's troubles recently, hit by a powerful earthquake, then tsunami and now a nuclear threat? My point is: how self-centered have we become today?

Jonah was concerned about a temporary plant that was't his. He didn't create it, it just grew for his comfort, then vanished. God, on the other hand, was concerned about Nineveh (a city established in one of Israel's enemies, the Assyrian empire), part of his creation yet doing so much evil. Who has the right to be concerned? I would say God does, and that his concern is still on today: I believe our creator is as concerned about the unsaved today as he was about Nineveh then. We are reminded of other things, relating this passage to our life today: one, there is a battle raging between our sinful self inspiring us to be self-centered and God's spirit inspiring us to be altruistic. Two: what right do we have to choose who to speak to (people we like or don't like), about God's gift of grace and Jesus' coming? God reminds us that his message is for everybody, including those people we'd consider as our worst enemies. And three, God is concerned about Nineveh's future, going to hell for eternity. I believe this still applies to today: when we speak of God's message to encourage someone to accept Jesus, we don't speak only for this person to find God's joy and peace while living. We speak, more importantly, for him or her to accept Jesus and therefore spend eternity in heaven, and not in hell.

Our life on this earth is only temporary. But what happens next is eternal: to live forever with God in heaven (saved) or being thrown to the lake of fire with Satan, to suffer forever (unsaved). We should aim to think like God and be centered on others' needs; more importantly the unsaved's need to see and accept Jesus. He himself commanded to the disciples: "Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." (Matt 28:19). How many of us today (locally or away from home) are spreading God's Word with integrity, where it is yet to be known? How many of us are even taking his Word in, like bread and water, and applying it, thus revealing God's character to others who don't know him, showing that he and his teachings are real?

As "ambassadors of Christ", we are to do our best to spread his message, illustrate it for others who don't, to see and accept Jesus. He had compassion, we should too. We ought to be concerned about them the way God was about Nineveh in this verse.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
Member Date
Wole Oladapo 26 Apr 2011
America would risk the lives of its soldiers to see democracy planted in the boiling Lybia. May we Christians too do the same to see God's kingdom come on heathens' lands. Thanks.




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