The Word works
Pastor Mark Jeske
Of all the reasons for world missionary reluctance, the last thing you’d guess is fear of success. But that’s exactly what drove the prophet Jonah to a ship headed in a direction opposite from God’s. He was called by God from the nation of Israel to bring the Word to Nineveh, capital city of the massive Assyrian Empire, towering to the north over little Israel. Jonah didn’t want to go.
Some of his reasoning was poisonous. He had no love for Assyrians and could imagine no possible use for them in God’s kingdom agenda. He hoped God would destroy them, not save them. But after a three-day weekend in a watery hotel, he agreed to go to Nineveh. Jonah had admirable qualities too: he passionately believed that the Word works: “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity” (Jonah 4:2).
Jonah was so confident in the power of the Word that he went all alone to bring a message of warning and repentance to strangers. He was right—his humble presence brought about a national spiritual renewal, reaching up all the way to the king. A critical mass of people did indeed repent and God indeed spared them the threatened destruction.
Our world today, more than ever, needs to hear both of God’s coming judgment and of God’s mercy in Christ. When you speak the Word clearly, it’s as though God himself were speaking.
The Word works.
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