Tuesday: Our Excuses: Inconvenience

Daily Lesson for Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Jonah’s experience in the belly of the fish (see Jonah 2:1-10) was a dramatic show of God’s love and mercy, and Jonah’s prayer reveals that he didn’t miss God’s message of love. But just because he had had an incredible encounter with God didn’t mean that his old thought habits or attitudes would easily change, even though he went to Nineveh anyway.

Read Jonah 3:1-10. How did the people respond to what Jonah had preached? What lessons are here for us about witnessing?

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Whatever Jonah’s personal feelings about the Ninevites, he preached what God told him to, and the results were astonishing. The Ninevites were moved to repentance! Yes, Jonah had to go through a lot, to do what he didn’t want to do, but when he did it, God was glorified.

Thus, God’s mission is carried forward on the shoulders of those who are willing to sacrifice, even if reluctantly. Our values must give way to God’s priority for the lost. Like Jonah, we sometimes harbor prejudices that keep us from reaching out to a person or group.

Having to face our prejudices requires humility. Mission also requires time and emotional energy. Investing in others’ lives and truly caring for them can be taxing. In an age when we are stressed keeping up with our own lives and problems, providing emotional support can seem just too exhausting.

And finally, being involved in mission often requires that we change how we feel about and use our money. Whether related to providing care for people, purchasing literature and outreach materials, or paying for services or conveniences to free up time for mission work, there are expenses related to mission. Whatever form it may take, mission work requires sacrifice.

The good news is that in spite of Jonah’s inadequacies, God worked powerfully in bringing the Ninevites to repentance. Sadly, Jonah did not share in the blessing of heaven’s joy.

What sacrifice is God asking you to make—or be ready to make—for the sake of sharing His love with someone else? How completely do you trust that He will fulfill His promise to enrich your life through sacrifice?


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