Never Too Far

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Jonah 3:1-10

So Jonah goes to Nineveh--as directed by God--and calls out the message the Lord gives him against this evil city. Now as soon as Jonah delivers the message, the people of Nineveh, including the king, believed and repented. Pretty amazing, not to mention, awesome, when you consider this was a "great city" that was doing enough evil that it "came up before" the Lord.

So what does the response of the people of Nineveh reveal to us about the importance of sharing God's Word with all people, and especially those who we might perceive as being too far gone or unreachable? Tami W.

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17 Comments

This is one of the hardest tasks about being a Christian, and that is spreading the word. Oftentimes, people take a very defensive, abrasive attitude towards you. I know from personal experience, just last week a former co-worker called me up and was telling me how bad his life was going, and expecting me to be wallowing in negativity as well, but I told him how I had come to know Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, and that my outlook on life was so much more fulfilling. He made a quick excuse to get off the phone with me. That has happened more than once. The trick is not to be discouraged, but continue to tell people the good that the Lord has done and is doing for you.

I would like to thank all the bloggers who have posted on this site! I glean more about the days lesson with your replies. I had to read 4:1 to be sure of this: Jonah was not happy that the Ninevites repented. I must confess my brothers and sisters that "I" am guilty of the same thing, i.e. wishing that some would never repent and thereby perish. I hate myself for it; no love, no forgiveness, no compassion. Please heavenly Father, I "beg" for YOUR forgiveness, but mostly for YOUR help in this matter. Because it keeps on recurring. I "want" to love everyone, but if you do something to offend me--forget you. At least until GOD shows me who Paul (Apostle) was and who I was and then tears well up. I try to hold them back, but they just start flowing down my cheeks, then I hear Amazing Grace who saved an "outcast" like me. Pray for me please. God bless you and I love you!

God truly has a plan for each of us. A willing heart and spirit is the canvas the Lord can use to move mountains. We should not impose our expected results on God's plans because we truly don't know what great things He has instore for us and the people we speak to.

I think the message is: it's never too late and never give up my friends!

The people of Nineveh were responsive to Gods message brought by Jonah. We can not know how it is with a persons heart but God does and if we are faithful and willing to share with others, God's Holy word, we can be sure that God will bless them in the hearing of it and that blessing will not be without some fruit.

Just yesterday my study group were reflecting on the preaching of Noah for 120 days, while building the ark and only 8 people entered the ark. Here is Jonah reluctantly preaching in Nineveh and the whole
city repents!! Any thoughts?

I do believe that often times we forget it is only by the power of God that the people of Nineveh repented. All we have to be is obedient and God does the rest. Once we are obedient in sharing Jesus, God shows up to get the glory. This glory is obviously not because of Jonah as these people were certainly not of the norm to honor God. So by the obedience of Jonah, God showed all people that He can do all things. How amazing if we would be obedient and not look at the situation but keep our eyes on God. I am guilty and this message has reminded me of this.

This is what the New testament church is all about. We have not been told to go out and save people or make them repent, we have been commanded to "make disciples". To warn them of the consequences of denying or ignoring God and help them to see in God's word what we should be and realize the blessedness of knowing and loving God. Look what he has done for us!
The Holy Spirt of our God will do his work and God will save the people but we must share the word and then not figure, oh good for me I led someone to the Lord. Our job has then just begun, we are to teach them, "MAKE DISCIPLES".
For so many of us this is not an easy thing to do, but then I don't think it was easy for Jonah, even when he had finally decided to be obedient to the Lord.
We must do the same, share the Word of truth and when God gives the increase, teach them, walk with them as they begin to grow. If we will do our part we will see a stronger church, and a changed life will infect another and the Gospel will be spread throughout our sphere of influence.

The people's response reveals to us that we are HIS vessels; He chooses them and if they choose Him back, He gladly accepts them! I'll never forget a time in Guatemala where I was serving as a translator for some English speaking preachers. I wasn't doing a very good job. Words were just not coming to me quick enough. Needless to say, I was very dissapointed. That night we saw the largest number of people coming to Him than any other night. I was reminded that He is in control and I was just a vessel doing my very best. May all the glory be to Him!

At this time in my life it is good to hear that God will take me back if I repent. Not just say I am sorry but have a heart that desires change. thank you Lord.

I think in this story of Jonah, that God not only wanted to reach the sinful hearts of Nineveh, but to reach the place that wasn't good in Jonah's heart too. We all are human and have sinned and fallen short. Having been forgiven and recieving the Redemention from Jesus Christ, our lives are made new. Many times our human side causes us to be less then Christ like. Then we are brought under conviction and we find our selves again @ the mercy seat. Our Lord and Saviour is loving and kind and just towards us as he has always been even before we knew him. His lessons come to us even when we are wittnessing to others he may be showing us something we need to learn about ourself. Isn't it so wonderful to have a Heavenly Father that loves us this much that he never lets us go unattended.

I am amazed at God's compassion for his people time and time again. I know that I have not deserved his forgiveness, yet he always waits to redeem me. My heart is glad over the repentance of the king in Ninnevah and his willingness to lead his people to repentance. I love how the king believed that God may relent from his disaster plans if they humble themselves.

well if anybody could be unreachable it would have been me three years ago. as i look back on the events of my conversion its just amazing all the things god did to get through to me. a few weeks ago i wrote my friend a rather lengthy letter about those events. this is the first time i've ever told a non-believer that god really does exist and i was quite nervous about it to say the least haha. but to my surprise she told me that she really enjoyed the letter. if you knew her you would understand why i was surprised, and know that the lord must be at work in her life. also i've found out that sharing the word of god is really the most exciting part of following jesus, at least for me. so in case you are hesitant to tell somebody about christ, don't worry because god is the expert in this area and even if you use all the wrong words he can use it to accomplish anything he wants.

We are not called to judge; but to do. We are commanded to go into all the world and preach the gospel. We are to obey and trust Jesus Christ.

I really keyed in on v.1-2 today: 1) Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2) "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you." Key phrase; "...the message that I tell you." It's critical that we be in tune with the Spirit, can recognize God's directives for us, and are willing and ready to be obedient. We should be praying for and seeking opportunities to witness, but cautious about forging ahead without the leading of the Spirit. Good intentions set aside, we can do more damage than good when we act on our own. Let your actions speak louder than your (own) words, and when the Spirit leads, be ready and let Him speak through your mouth.

Jonah 3 is a good reminder that no one is beyond saving in the sight of God. We as human will make that assumption, however God is not human. He looks at people with HIS eyes. His eyes are always better with people than I am. I am just happy that he has never forsaken me. No one is ever beyond HIM.

I would like to thank you Tami & Wood for your excellent discussions. I enjoy listening to your radio broadcast and I appriciate your sharing the Word and giving me and others who listen the confidence to eventually becoming like Jonah, before entering the whale and after God saved the Ninevites. But all to often we like to pick and choose what is right and what is wrong, and if we read and pray on God's Word we all know what God wants and that is He desires "that no one should perish."

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on November 2, 2011 5:00 AM.

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