Dr. William DeShone Rosser, Pastor
Katie Beard, Director
Christian Education Ministry
The Christian Education Ministry will develop, foster and promote Christian educational programs that will equip the Mind, Body and Spirit of children, youth and adults for discipleship.
(When We Want To Say NO)
Prepared by: Katie Beard, Director
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.
“Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,``Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you." So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days' walk. Then Jonah began to go through the city one day's walk; and he cried out and said, ``Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown." Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said, ``In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. ``But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. ``Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish." When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.” Jonah 3:1-10 NASB 1995
“But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD and said, ``Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. ``Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life." The LORD said, ``Do you have good reason to be angry?" Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city. So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant. But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered. When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah's head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, ``Death is better to me than life." Then God said to Jonah, ``Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?" And he said, ``I have good reason to be angry, even to death." Then the LORD said, ``You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. `Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?" Jonah 4:1-11 NASB
The book of Jonah doesn’t end the way we might expect. From the belly of a fish, Jonah recommitted himself to the Lord’s purpose. But later, he admitted he didn’t want the job—and the Lord chastised his selfishness. You see, Jonah was sent to the Ninevites, who were a threat to the Jewish people. The reluctant prophet was afraid that if these enemies repented, his merciful God would not destroy them. Jonah confessed he wanted to see the Ninevites wiped out: “Therefore in order to forestall [their salvation] I fled to Tarshish” Jonah 4:2 NASB 1995.
Sometimes we resist God’s will because we dislike the probable outcome of obedience. Or like Jonah, we focus on our own desires and comfort and lose sight of what’s really important. But our feelings about what might happen are not a reason to resist God’s plan. If the Lord calls us to act, He will take care of the results. Our job is to obey.
What selfish desire is keeping you from obeying the Lord? Maybe you are too angry with your spouse to work on your marriage or to hurt to welcome back a repentant friend or too stubborn to let go of past wrongs to treat fellow church members with love. But Christians are not to be ruled by feelings. Obedience is what’s required, and its blessings may surprise you.
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17 NIV
Your humble servant, Katie
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