Destiny vs. Destination - Part 3
God has a plan. His plan is that every person on Earth should know the love of God and accept the gift of salvation. He believes so highly in this plan that He bought it for us with the blood of His son.This is so eloquently summarized in John 3:16, a verse many of us have quoted from our youth. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” There is no Plan B.
Our life, our destiny, include 3 important aspects. First, accepting God as our savior by believing in what Jesus did for us while he was here. Second, sharing this belief with others.Third, eternity in heaven. God reaches out to us while we are still in our sins (Romans 5:8). He calls to us and works on our character in order for us to even understand that there is a savior. Once we have obtained the greatest gift of God, salvation (Ephesians 2:8), God perfects our character so we can reach others.
In perfecting our character, God will either use problems to develop us or deliver us. This is most clearly seen in the book of Jonah. God presents Jonah with the opportunity to grow his character by making a simple request: “…go to the great city of Ninevah. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” (Jonah 1:2). Our destiny includes God's design and my decision. God had a plan. Jonah needed to trust that God would help him complete the plan. Jonah...ran in the other direction! (Jonah 1:3). Jonah’s running didn’t stop God’s plan. Jonah planned to get on a ship and sail in the opposite direction, so God sent a storm.
Many times we go through rough patches in our lives—our parents and grandparents use to call them “the storms of life.” In this storm, Jonah had to make a LIFE decision. Realizing the storm was bad, Jonah decided to end his own life! “Throw me into the sea, and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault” (Jonah 1:12). But, God had a plan. A giant fish swallowed Jonah for three days and carried him to the coast of Nineveh (Jonah 2:10).
How many times in our lives have we wanted to quit? After the “storms of life” and uncomfortable living conditions, God spoke to Jonah again and said “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you” (Jonah 3:1). It’s important for us to understand that when God is trying to perfect our character, it’s because He has a plan. Although we may not want to learn the lesson, God is not going to stop trying to reach us and teach us. Jonah did what God asked him to do, and the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying and he stepped down from his throne, took off his robes and called a fast for the entire kingdom! (Jonah 3:6)
Read Jonah 4:1-11. Look and see if Jonah really understood the plan of God. See if you can tell what the plan of God really is!
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