Digging Deeper – July 25, 2018
WEDNESDAY, JULY 25
“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;”
Jonah 3:3-5 NASB
A POWERFUL MESSAGE
During seminary one of my (Larry) professors was pretty tough on students in his preaching class. One day the professor was a little more generous and gracious in his feedback to a young preaching student. The student responded to the professor by saying, “Thank you. But it wasn’t me. It was the Lord.” To which the professor replied, “Oh, it wasn’t that good.” The reality is if God shows up and preaches a message it’s going to be powerful.
Jonah went to Nineveh and preached a message that was actually only five words in the original Hebrew language. In English it’s translated, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Today in Georgia we might say, “God’s done playing with y’all.” Nineveh was described as an “exceedingly great city.” And God used the simple and blunt message of Jonah to change the entire city. Someone said, “It was a one-line sermon that had a whale of an impact.”
The author of the book of Romans wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). The gospel is the good news that we can be forgiven, saved from our sins and adopted into the family of God. This gospel message is powerful.
The message of God’s coming judgment and His offer of grace may not be popular today but it is true and people need to know. None of us want to be the friend who comes across as judgmental. However, none of us want to be the one who failed to warn our friends and family of a pending danger either. We must choose if we will stand by and say nothing or lovingly warn our friends. Ask God who He wants you to share His simple and powerful message of love and grace with. Ask Him to help you tell them His truth in love and see His power work. God can still change great cities and ours is one!