(This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s message: Grace for All…Grace Pursues – LISTEN HERE)
“Hey, honey, can you go to the store and get…?”
“Girls, can you clean up your school stuff?”
“We have a new prospect, can you be prepared to share our company with them?”
When people make a request, it’s because there is something that is important that needs to be addressed. To be honest in the moment that the request is given, I, as a recipient of that request, evaluate if I, too, see it as valuable and carry it out, or carry it out because I care about and respect the person that gives it and therefore carry out the request because it is important to them.
Jonah 1:1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
The Lord came with a specific request to Jonah because something was important to him: the people of Nineveh.
The issue was the wickedness of the city and he wanted Jonah, a God-fearing believer and prophet, to go confront it and call them to repentance.
If I were Jonah, I would be evaluating this “call” on it’s merit. Yes, it was from God, but it was to Nineveh of all places. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, an enemy of God’s people. The wickedness was a result of ungodliness and violence that occurs when the fear of the Lord is no longer a guidance for people.
But it wouldn’t matter what I thought.
The important component is that the Lord wanted these people to be confronted about their sin and hear about the grace of the Lord.
I am convinced, although not always good, that God puts us or directs us to where he wants us to be. Sometimes we see that for a job, or our education, or the best of our family…but perhaps God is sending us there because there is someone or a group of people that he cares about and he wants us to confront, in a loving way, about their sin and make sure they hear about their Savior.
These opening words cause us to pause and ask, “Why has God placed me where I am today? Or why is God sending me to another place or another situation?
The answer very well may be this: There is someone there who matters to God and wants to connect with a God-fearing believer who can confront sin and share grace.
The Apostle Paul understood the heart of God.
1 Timothy 2:1-6 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.
God wants all to spend eternity with him and enjoy the blessing of walking with him. And so he sends Jonah to Nineveh and he sends us to our community, our workplaces, our schools, our homes, our neighbors, our family. Why? Because there are people who need him, matter to him and whose grace is for them.
Apply: Consider…if the word of the Lord came to you this morning, where would God be sending you to be a light and witness for him.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for a heart that desires salvation for all and cares enough to send messengers of your grace to that person or group of people. AMEN.