Monday, August 8, 2011

Something is Fishy

The story of Jonah is an interesting narrative and implies many things. The story basically goes like this. God calls Jonah to preach repentance to the wicked Ninevites. Jonah perceives that God is going to show them mercy. However, Jonah turns down the assignment from God and heads for Tarshish instead. But God begins to deal with Jonah's refusal to do what He had called him to do by having him tossed off the ship that he was traveling on and then swallowed by a great fish. In the fishes belly Jonah realizes that God is serious about His command so he prays and God has the fish vomit Jonah onto dry land where he goes to Nineveh and preaches the Word of the LORD.

One of the things that Jonah reveal about himself is a lack of revelation knowledge of God's love. It may have been acceptable for Jonah to go and preach repentance to his "own nation", but not to these wicked Ninevites. When Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus He said, "For God so loved the world..." not a specific peoples group, but every nation, kindred and tongue, all the people of the entire world. Most believers can agree with this (it's sad that many don't) however what has happened within the body of Christ? Why is there such great division and contraversy when we are called to love one another?

With a closer look at the scripture we see a command that Jesus gave that many believers tend to receive as did Jonah when God had first called him to go to Nineveh. John records...
A new COMMANDMENT I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." (John 13:34) Jesus is not making a good suggestion, He is not giving an option, there is no picking and or choosing, and this does not only apply to His disciples. The LORD is serious about this command. Jesus then continues with...
"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35) One of the smallest words in this verse becomes the main ingredient for the world to know who belongs to Christ. The word is "IF."

Unfortunately, many believers are trying to love through their flesh, that is, a natural or carnal love that every person has. The problem with natural love it can turn to anger in a moment because it is a part of the fallen nature. When believers operate in natural love it can cause them to break relationships, leave the congregation that they know LORD had called them to and like Jonah, abort the call of God in their life. Even though this is very sad, what sets Jonah apart from believers that operate this way is that Jonah put down his pride and returned to that which God had called him to. Today however, there are many Christians who sit in church buildings that they have not been called to or stay home altogether who will justify these kind of actions with a long list of reasons. But interestingly enough they would certainly have a quick change of heart like Jonah if a great fish swallow them also.

It takes faith to exercise the God kind of love, but according to Paul...
"...the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:5) Believers do not have to ask God for more love, His love was placed within them the day that they were born again. Instead of asking God for more love, begin to "Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh," (operate in the natural or carnal kind of love)

Believers must keep in mind every moment what the Holy Spirit said to Paul...
"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)

And with this in mind that only leaves one thing more, "JUST DO IT." Abide in the God kind of love!!!

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