The sermon for May 13th is now available on the New Life web-site.
In this sermon, which is based on the book of Jonah, Margaret Bates talks about being obedient to God.
When God saw that the people had stopped doing evil things, he had pity and did not destroy them as he had planned.
After Jonah’s sojourn in the fish, the Lord again tells him to go to Nineveh to warn the people of imminent judgement.
This time Jonah obeys the Lord and goes to Nineveh. In the heart of the city, Jonah warns the people “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed.”
The people believe the message and repent of their sins with fasting and by wearing sackcloth. The king hears what is happening and decrees that everyone, even the animals, must fast and pray.
The Lord sees that the people of Nineveh have repented so He does not destroy the city.
A whole city repents, from the lowest of slaves right up to the king. This is a supernatural act by the Lord.
A whole city turns from its evil ways and seeks the Lord. As a result, judgement is averted.
What does it take for a city or a nation to turn to God? In this case it was a reluctant prophet sent to the city with a message of judgement. One man obeying God changed a city.
We never know how God will use our obedience. We so thing because we believe God is telling us to do them with no sense of anything great. Often we lay foundation which God uses to build something on.
The important message of Jonah is this: We must obey God even when we don’t want to, or it is inconvenient or difficult. When we do that, God can amplify our feeble efforts and transform a nation.
Help me Lord to be faithful to you each day. Even when serving you is hard or unpleasant, please help me to follow your way. Amen.