HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Praise the Lord for another day and we are nearing the end of this great journey. I am sure that you have no regret in taking this challenge and your reward is awaiting you. So let’s give God some praise and thanks.
It is absolutely stunning to think about all that God has done for us! His goodness, patience, sacrifice, forgiveness, generosity, and promise of heaven are just a few of the things that are a part of His kindness to His children. Yet behind all, He has given, there is an underlying reality we must understand first and foremost. We find this truth in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…” Everything God does is motivated by His love for people.
One of the most shocking stories of God’s extraordinary love is found in the book of Jonah. God instructs Jonah to go and preach to the large city of Nineveh. The people of this city were far from God and were involved in all kinds of evil practices. The evil had increased greatly, and now God’s judgment was coming. But we soon find out from this story that God’s loving grace always provides a way out, a second chance. After disobeying God’s original direction and heading in the opposite direction of Nineveh, Jonah is thrown overboard into the sea, swallowed and in the belly of a fish for three days, and then spat onto dry ground. It is then that Jonah chooses to obey and travels to Nineveh to proclaim God’s Word to the city.
The response of the people is astounding. Jonah 3:5-9 tells us:
The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow. When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city: “No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.”
This is truly a shocking response – the people of Nineveh, all the way up to the king, listened to Jonah and began praying and fasting for forgiveness. This is true repentance that launched a city into a full revival! And as a result, the Lord honoured their response and spared the city.
Never discount how one person’s obedience can lead to God’s power sweeping over an entire city to lead the people to repentance and into revival! It is God’s extraordinary love that drives His desire for all people to be saved. Regardless of how far gone a person, a city, a nation, or the world can seem from God – a revival can spark in a moment when the Lord is in it. He uses our obedience and love for people to proclaim His truth that invades the darkness, so that we might see our cities turn to Jesus!
What is God asking you to do today? How does God want to increase your love for the lost around you? Your obedience today will lead to seeing God do more than you can begin to imagine in the days to come.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
1 John 4:7-9
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?