It is one of the best-known stories in the Bible. A man named Jonah was swallowed by a giant fish. It is so dramatic and vivid that it is easy to miss the main point of the story. The primary lesson that stands out to me from Jonah ‘s story is this:
Stop running from God!!
That was how Jonah ended up in the belly of a whale. God had something for Jonah to do and he ran from his responsibility. God pursued Jonah until He got his attention. You may be running from God ‘s call in your life. You may be one who has never made the decision to follow Jesus. You may know He died for your sins, and you may believe that God raised Him from the dead; but perhaps you have never acted on that reality. Stop running from God!!! Surrender your life and your will to Him today …..
God wants everyone to know Him. He is ever so patient as it is written, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).
God asked Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh. This city was populated by a different race of people than Jonah and was a city that did not follow God. But God desired for the people of that city to come to Him. God still wants all men everywhere to know Him and to be in relationship with Him. If you have wondered if God loves you and seeks you … then I can assure you that He does. Just as He sought the people of Nineveh. God is a God of second chances; and often third and fourth too. I am living proof of that …..
Jonah did repent and go preach the truth about God in Nineveh. The people of Nineveh believed that message and turned to God. God acts in love to bring people to Himself ….
If you have been running from God, if you want a relationship with Him, but worry that it is too late, or if you wonder whether or not you have run out of chances, then I have good news for you. Remember the story of Jonah ….
God spared him because he humbled himself before Him; “I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and He heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” (Jonah 2:2)
God hears you when you cry out. He is ever listening and His ears are open to your cry: “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17).
“I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.” (vs. 4-7)
“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles”….. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:6,19)
Turn to God today. It’s not to late. He says to you right now: “I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
“Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.” (Hebrews 3:7-8).
What the Lord is saying to you today is ‘take heed’….in other words, listen up!!
All who would get safe to heaven must look at themselves daily. If even once we allow ourselves to distrust God, or not believe that His Word is truth; we may soon desert Him. Let those that think they stand, take heed lest they fall. Since tomorrow is not ours, we must make the best improvement of this day that we can, and turn our hearts and minds to Him …
“And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not.”
In closing, I challenge you to read (Hebrews 3 & 4) and understand there is a rest awaiting you. Ask yourselves why you would not want to enter into this rest and be refreshed? As long as there is breath in your body, there is hope. God is waiting ….
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Let us pray ~
Loving heavenly Father, You created all things and by Your power all things hold together. According to Your riches in mercy, I pray that You would help me through these difficult times of my life …. Father, I praise and thank You for a brand new day and for the fresh opportunities and challenges that this day will bring. Thank You that Your mercies are new every morning and I pray that I will walk worthy of You today and be a faithful witness in thought, word and deed … demonstrating a Christ-like attitude to all with whom I come in contact. Keep me ever-focused on You Lord, and keep my heart steadfastly trusting You for all my needs and necessities. Help me not to function in my own strength, but in the power of the Holy Ghost. May I stand firm in the truth of the gospel of grace and remain steadfastly looking to Jesus alone, trusting in Him to supply His sufficient strength for all occasions. Teach me all that You would have me to learn today, and give me the understanding, wisdom, and discernment to boldly proclaim Your message unto those willing to receive. Allow me courage and strength to press on toward the goal for the upward call in Christ Jesus that I may win the heavenly prize which God, in Christ, is calling me to do, and it is in Jesus name I pray, Amen