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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Living for the Kingdom"

Date published: 03/27/2011

Jonah 4:10 “Then the Lord said, ‘You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work, and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight.’”  (NASB)

In the story of Jonah, God commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach against the peoples’ sin.  Instead of obeying God, Jonah ran from the Lord’s command, ended up in the belly of a whale, and finally obeyed God’s second request to go to Nineveh.  Jonah continued to challenge God while waiting to see the peoples’ response to his preaching.  While waiting, God provided Jonah shade in a vine that was dead by the next morning – giving Jonah an added opportunity to complain, question and challenge God.  God’s response should give every follower of Christ pause to rethink their love and compassion for others.  Just as Jonah was called to Nineveh, you are called to be a light to the world, salt to the lost, to bear fruit, and to love others as Christ loves you.  Today’s verse reveals two challenging truths: 1) How many things in your life take precedence over the members of the body of Christ and those who do not know Christ?  Jonah made his decision to not go to Nineveh not based on the souls that needed repentance, but on how it challenged and inconvenienced him.  2) How many Christians do you know who are dying from lack of encouragement, love, and knowledge of the truth?  The plant was provided to Jonah without his work, but died without care.  How many Christians lose their first love for Christ because no one has helped or encouraged them in drawing closer to Jesus?  Do not be like Jonah and have more compassion for the things in your life rather than God’s kingdom. Be sensitive to how God can use you in the lives of others so that they too can experience His abundance and work in their lives.

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. "  (NASB)