Short and Effective
Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.—Jonah 3:1-5
What was God’s plan for Jonah? Look at the text. He was supposed to go and “call out against it the message that I tell you (v.2). Verse 4, “Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, (see, God gave him the words, here was his message), ‘Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’”
That was his message: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” Boy, I bet that message sold a lot of CDs and downloads! That was it.
Now it’s interesting to me that Jonah just did the thing that God wanted him to do. No questions, no actions, and no extras. Jonah didn’t try to win Nineveh through his personal networking. Jonah didn’t try to show people how cool God was. He didn’t have a little music concert and then slip the gospel in at the end. Jonah just went in and spoke for God—straight delivery from the source.
Isn’t that what God needs in our day? Doesn’t God just need people who will open their mouth and speak God’s Word? And whether they accept you or reject you, you don’t matter anyway. After you’re long gone, God’s Spirit will have something to work with because you’ve spoken the Word of God and not your own silly thoughts.
And Paul didn’t say, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because I’m a subtle, strategic messenger and have a great way of influencing people.” Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . .” (Romans 1:16). That’s the gospel that we embrace. Paul also says, “And my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God”(1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
How desperately we need Jonahs in our day, who will just speak for God, let the chips fall where they may. Just open your mouth and speak for God.
You say, “But what will happen?” Listen. God will work. You just believe the Word of the Lord and God will take care of everything else. —James MacDonald
· When and where was the last place I spoke up for God and simply delivered His Word?
· What happened? What did I learn? How was God faithful to His Word?
Prayer - Increase my practical confidence in Your Word, Father. Help me to speak it without feeling that I need to explain or apologize for it. Let me not get between its sharpness and Your work. Thank You that I can know, share, and watch Your Word do amazing things in other people’s lives as it has done in my life. Thank You, Jesus, for You are the ultimate Word! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.