Messengers Who Make a Mess of Things

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Like Jonah, God has entrusted us with a message to bring, and like Jonah we are capable of messing up. Remember that salvation does not come from us nor does it depend on us. Salvation comes from the LORD!

Jonah prayed, “But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’” Jonah 2:9

If bringing the message were based on our perfection, Jonah would not have been given a second chance to go to Nineveh. God would have let Jonah keep running, and sought a new messenger (who would also eventually mess up) for Nineveh.

God showed us there was more at stake then the city. He loved the people in Nineveh who needed the message, and He loved His messenger Jonah! He cared for the lost and the one from His fold who was prone to wander. It was out of God’s gracious compassion that He sent Jonah to Nineveh, and that He pursued Jonah when he took off in the wrong direction.

When we are messengers who make a mess of things we can beat ourselves up, try to erase it from our memory, or like Jonah, go below deck and take a nap. Ironically, the captain woke Jonah up and said, “Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish” (Jonah 1:6). “Maybe” God will take notice? He’s the One who sent the storm in the first place! He is always on watch for those who need Him!

This storm was in God’s hands. So is salvation. Even in Jonah’s disobedience, God worked out His salvation in the hearts of the sailors and in time, Nineveh. Jonah had made a mess of things, but God still worked a miracle.

After the sailors threw Jonah overboard, the sea grew still and the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him (Jonah 1:16). It’s one thing to fear God in the storm; it’s quite another when the waters are calm. It’s evidence that true conversion took place!

Like Jonah, God has entrusted us with a message to bring, and like Jonah we are capable of messing up. Whether someone is receptive to the message or not, remember that salvation does not come from us nor does it depend on us. Salvation comes from the LORD! We plant gospel seeds, but only God can make them grow (1 Corinthians 3:6).

Send Me: Forgiveness is also from the Lord. When we make a mess of things, ask God for forgiveness, and ask Him to do what only He can do. Salvation comes from Him!

Many Christians fail to share their faith because they are trying to do it perfectly, and since they cannot do it perfectly, they remain silent. What really convinces others of the truth of the Christian message is not our perfection or our rational arguments, but our willingness to love them where they are and to introduce them to our community of faith. -C. John Miller

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