You are being called to go! You are being called to show! You are being called to speak!
Will you obey the calling? Will you go where you are supposed to go? Will you show them what you are supposed to show them? Will you tell them what you are supposed to speak to them?
What will it take for you to do what you are supposed to do? Will you try to run away? Will you try to hide? Will you put others at risk because of your stubbornness? Will you put yourself ahead of others rather than being obedient and doing what you are supposed to do?
Will you provide the news of hope? Will you provide the news of love? Will you provide the news of correction? Will you provide the news of direction? What will you do?
Let’s look at an example of being called… Let’s look at an example of wanting to resist the call…Let’s look and see how that plays out…
Jonah Runs From His Mission
1Now the word of Adonai came to Jonah, son of Amittai, saying: 2“Rise, go to the great city Nineveh and call out to her, for their evil has risen before me.” 3But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish, from the presence of Adonai. He went down to Jaffa and found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fee and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish—away from the presence of Adonai. 4Then Adonai hurled a forceful wind into the sea and there was such a mighty storm on the sea that the ship was about to shatter. 5So the sailors were afraid and cried out, each man to his own god. Then they cast the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest part of the ship, to lay down and fell fast asleep. 6So the chief sailor came near to him and said to him, “What, are you sleeping? Get up! Call out to your god. Perhaps the gods will consider us, so we will not perish!” 7Then each man said to his companion, “Come, let’s cast lots—so we may know because of whom this evil is happening to us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8Then they said to him, “Tell us, now! On whose account is this evil happening to us? What is your profession and where did you come from? What is your land and from what nation are you?” 9He said to them, “I am a Hebrew and I fear Adonai God of the heavens, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10Then the men became afraid with an overwhelming fear and they said to him, “What have you done?” For the men knew that he had fled from the presence of Adonai, because he had told them. 11So they said to him, “What should we do to you so the sea will become calm for us?”—for the storm was raging on. 12“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he said to them, “then the sea will become calm for you. For I know it is because of me that this great storm is upon you.” 13Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to the land, but they could not, because the sea kept raging against them. 14So they cried to Adonai and said, “Please, Adonai, don’t let us perish on account of the soul of this man and don’t put innocent blood on us. For you, Adonai, have done as you pleased.” 15So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea—and the sea stilled from its raging. 16Then the men became afraid with an overwhelming fear of Adonai, and they offered a sacrifice to Adonai and made vows.
–from Jonah 1
Do you believe? If you believe then why would you go away from where you have been called? If you believe then why would you turn away from what you are supposed to do? Do you really want to put others at risk? What would it take for you to reconsider your ways? What would it take for you to turn back to do what God has called you to do? How big would it need to be? How long before you will agree to do what you have been called to do?
1Now Adonai prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah’s Prayer of Distress
2Then Jonah prayed to Adonai his God from the belly of the fish, 3saying: “From my distress I cried to Adonai and He answered me. From the belly of Sheol I cried for help and you heard my voice. 4For you hurled me from the deep into the heart of the seas, and currents swirled around me. All your waves and your breakers swept over me.” 5And I said, “I have been banished from before your eyes. Yet I will continue to look toward your holy Temple.” 6Waters surrounded me up to my soul. The deep sea engulfed me— reeds clung to my head. 7To the bottoms of the mountains I went down. The earth with her bars was around me, forever! Yet You brought my life up from the Pit, Adonai my God. 8As my soul was fading from me, I remembered Adonai and my prayer came to You, toward Your holy Temple. 9Those who watch worthless empty things forsake their mercy. 10But I, with a voice of thanks will sacrifice to you. What I vowed, I will pay. Salvation is from Adonai.” 11Then Adonai spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah onto the dry land.
–from Jonah 2
God is the god of second chances. This is true for you and for those God wants you to speak truth, hope, live to in and through love! So will you share that with others? Will you give that gift to others? Will you be a catalyst for forgiveness? Will you be a catalyst for salvation? Will you help others to realize where they are at and help them to come to the reality of the love of God? The Love of Jesus? Jesus was in the grave for 3 days before He rose … paralleling what happened to Jonah. Jesus came to speak the message of hope and truth to the world … paralleling the message Jonah has to share with the people of Nineveh. There are many things from the old testament that foreshadows what was to happen in the new testament. So don’t be an impediment to what God wants to do in and through you and your life! Here the call and be the catalyst He wants you to be to help the lives of others.
1Now the word of Adonai came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Rise and go to Nineveh, the great city, and cry out to it the proclamation that I am telling you.” 3So Jonah rose and went to Nineveh according to the word of Adonai. Now Nineveh was a great city to God—the length of a three day journey. 4So Jonah began to come into the city for one day’s journey, and he cried out saying: “Another forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown!” 5Then the people of Nineveh believed God and called for a fast and wore sackcloth—from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his robe, covered himself in sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. 7He made a proclamation saying: “In Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles, no man or beast, herd or flock, may taste anything. They must not graze nor drink water. 8But cover man and beast with sackcloth. Let them cry out to God with urgency. Let each one turn from his evil way and from the violence in his hands. 9Who knows? God may turn and relent, and turn back from his burning anger, so that we may not perish.” 10When God saw their deeds—that they turned from their wicked ways—God relented from the calamity that He said He would do to them, and did not do it.
–from Jonah 3
Don’t be sad when you are successful! Success can be one of the biggest challenges you will or could ever face. God’s plan in the story of Jonah isn’t any different from what we read in the new testament. God’s plan is one of salvation. In 2 Peter, we read…
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. –from 2 Peter 3:9
That is because…
16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. –from John 3
God sent Jonah to Nineveh with the same hope that they would turn from their evil ways and turn back to Him and be saved! So if you are successful in sharing the good news and people’s lives are turned around, how will you respond? Don’t try to be the judge…leave that in God’s hands. You know God’s heart so don’t be surprised when He is as great as you believe! We all need God’s grace! We all need God’s love! We all need God’s salvation!
Jonah’s Displeasure at God’s Mercy
1But it greatly displeased Jonah and he resented it. 2So he prayed to Adonai and said, “Please, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my own country? That’s what I anticipated, fleeing to Tarshish—for I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and full of kindness, and relenting over calamity. 3So please, Adonai, take my soul from me—because better is my death than my life.” 4Yet Adonai said, “Is it good for you to be so angry?” 5So Jonah went out from the city and sat east of the city. There He made a sukkah and he sat under it, in the shade, until he saw what would happen in the city. 6Then Adonai God prepared a plant and it grew up over Jonah, to give shade over his head to spare him from his discomfort. So Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7But God at dawn the next day prepared a worm that crippled the plant and it withered away. 8When the sun rose, God prepared a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint. So he implored that his soul would die, saying, “My death would be better than my life!” 9Then God said to Jonah, “Is it good for you to be so angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said, “I am angry enough to die!” 10But Adonai said, “You have pity on the plant for which you did no labor or make it grow, that appeared overnight and perished overnight. So shouldn’t I have pity on Nineveh— the great city that has in it more than 120,000 people who don’t know their right hand from their left—as well as many animals?”
–from Jonah 4
So where will you stand today? So what will you do today? Will you make a difference? Will you be the difference? How will you choose to live?
We need to let them know before it is too late! We need to share God’s good news before it’s too late! We need to speak to them before the day of judgment! Let’s be as Jonah who did what God called him to do (hopefully without needing to be swallowed by a giant fish) so that everyone gets to hear the good news and can turn back to God before it is too late! Let’s speak the good news to both those we consider friends and those who tend to be against us most of the time (or you may even call your enemies) for Jesus tells us that we are to love our enemies! Time is coming! Jesus is coming back! So let’s share His love with the world around us that they may turn to God as the people of Nineveh did and be saved!
Let’s speak life over them! Let’s speak power of them! Let’s speak truth over them! Let’s do it all in LOVE!
The Kingdom Is Coming Now
1The beginning of the Good News of Yeshua ha-Mashiach, Ben-Elohim. 2As Isaiah the prophet has written, “Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way. 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4John appeared, immersing in the wilderness, proclaiming an immersion involving repentance for the removal of sins. 5All the Judean countryside was going out to him, and all the Jerusalemites. As they confessed their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothes made from camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7“After me comes One who is mightier than I am,” he proclaimed. “I’m not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of His sandals! 8I immersed you with water, but He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.”
The Spirit Rests on Yeshua
9In those days, Yeshua came from Natzeret in the Galilee and was immersed by John in the Jordan. 10Just as He was coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens ripping open and the Ruach as a dove coming down upon Him. 11And there came a voice from the heavens: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased!” 12That instant, the Ruach drives Him into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by satan. And He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were taking care of Him.
Fishermen Follow Him
14Now after John was put in jail, Yeshua came into the Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God. 15“Now is the fullness of time,” He said, “and the kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins, and believe in the Good News!” 16Passing along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Simon’s brother Andrew casting a net in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17And Yeshua said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19Going a little farther, He saw Jacob the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands and followed Him.
Demons Flee at His Command
21And they went into Capernaum. Right away, on Shabbat, He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22And they were astounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one having authority and not as the Torah scholars. 23Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24“What have we to do with You, Yeshua of Natzeret? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are! You’re the Holy One of God!” 25Yeshua rebuked him, saying, “Quiet! Come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, after throwing the man into convulsions and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all so amazed that they asked among themselves, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!” 28And immediately news about Him spread throughout the region surrounding Galilee.
The Hurting Become Whole
29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with Jacob and John to the house of Simon and Andrew. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever. Right away, they told Yeshua about her. 31He came and raised her up by taking her hand. The fever left her, and she began to take care of them. 32When evening came, at sunset, the people brought to Him all the sick and those who were afflicted by demons. 33The whole town gathered together at the door. 34He healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. And He would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left, and went away to a place in the wilderness; and there He was praying. 36Then Simon and those with him hunted for Yeshua. 37And when they found Him, they said to Him, “Everybody’s looking for You.” 38He said to them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also—this is what I came for.” 39And He went throughout all the Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40A man with tza’arat comes to Him, begging Him and falling on his knees, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41Moved with compassion, Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him. He said, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” 42Immediately, the tza’arat left him, and he was cleansed. 43Yeshua sent him away at once, sternly warning him. 44He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go show yourself to the kohen. Then, for your cleansing, offer what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45But he went out and began to proclaim and spread the word, so much that Yeshua could no longer enter a town openly but had to stay out in wilderness areas. Still, they kept on coming to Him from everywhere.
–from Mark 1