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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Love your Enemy?

 Jonah's name means Dove. This is pretty ironic in that the inhabitants of Nineveh were a war like people, and Jonah himself was hoping they would be destroyed by God.  We can learn a lot  from this minor prophet in the following areas: Dealing with Hate and Fear: Jonah 1, Obedience: Jonah 2, Giving Glory: Jonah 3 
What was the difference between the 1st day in Nineveh and Israel’s response to God’s warnings? 

We see an example of not giving glory in Jonah 4. But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”  

Did Jonah’s national loyalties overpower his spiritual loyalties?

We must allow the knowledge of God’s nature (love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace) to shape our character. Never underestimate the lord’s grace and willingness to allow people to repent. Our response should always be to rejoice repentance – even if it is our enemy.

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. - Matthew 5:43-48