Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
REPENTANCE LEADING TO FORGIVENESS
But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?Have we the right to become frustrated with the Lord? Seems like an odd question, but often are we not frustrated with the results of the work we do with the ministry? When we teach Sunday School and, children
continue to misbehave, aren’t we frustrated? When we outreach to those less fortunate, and they seem more interested in “free stuff” then the gospel, aren’t we frustrated? When we pray at prayer meetings, and see the same people over and over again not participating, aren’t we frustrated?
No right to be frustrated: The answer as we all know is that we have no right to be frustrated with Lord as Jonah learned in today’s passage. In Jonah 4, we read about Jonah being unhappy that the Lord did not destroy Nineveh. Imagine that, Jonah sowed the seeds of repentance, the people of Nineveh actually listened and repented, the Lord did not destroy them, and Jonah became frustrated and asked the Lord to kill him. How blessed would the world be if all the cities in the world repented like Nineveh. The Lord, in seeing Jonah’s frustration, made a vine grow and give shade to Jonah and then took it away. When Jonah acknowledged that he was upset that the vine was gone and wanted to be put to death again, the Lord then asked Jonah "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?" (Jonah 4:10-11)
God wants workers with passion for the lost: The ministry isn’t easy - we will be frustrated; but the Lord in His perfect plan for the redemption of His people needs workers to never become frustrated or never to lose hope, but instead heed the call and allow God’s glory to shine forth. The Lord needs us all to realize that, like Jonah, we all have mission fields to sow. Unfortunately, unlike Jonah, our “city” will not repent right away, but as we learn in the various parables of Christ, if even one is saved, God’s name is glorified. So let us realize that there is forgiveness and salvation in repentance, but the Lord needs us to be the workers who selflessly toil in the fields to bring His children back to Him.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for Your grace, mercy, and love towards us Your people. Enable us to realize that all that You ask of us is to toil in our mission fields and bring more and more people to Your Kingdom. Enable us to humbly and persistently toil in our fields irrespective of the results and to focus on bringing Your children back to You. Amen.
John C Thomas, St. Thomas MTC, New York