When I was in third grade, I had an incredibly significant teacher who made a big difference not only in my life but in all the lives of the class. Her actions had positive effects in my life that set me on a new path. She probably had no idea at the time how much her actions changed so many lives for the better. Who has done something similar in your life? Take time to thank God for those whose positive actions helped you on your life’s journey.
Unfortunately, not all actions by others are positive. In our story, Jonah is running away from God. He did not want to preach a message of repentance to the city of Nineveh who were his enemies. He wanted God to get rid of them, not save them. Jonah had boarded a ship and was heading as far away as he could. Somehow, he thought that God wouldn’t find him, and this would solve his problem. Jonah did not count on God pursuing Him with a great storm. This storm would not only affect him, but the sailors and the people that were shipping goods on the ship.
Jonah 1:4 But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.5 Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep.
6 So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.”
The mistake of Jonah is obvious, he should have followed the Lord’s directions the first time. But what about us? How can we spread the love of Jesus to those around us?
Let’s take to focus on what can we do to have a positive effect on those around us.
- A smile and words of encouragement lift up those around us. The Lord calls us to encourage one another.
- Ask the Lord to help you to grow in fruits of the Spirit. Kind people are fun to be around. Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.
- Look for the good, even in a bad situation. Sometimes I have learned more when I have had to struggle than when things went smoothly.
- Share the message of Jesus’ love by word and action. You never know how the Lord may use you to change another person’s eternal destiny.
To hear more of the story of Jonah, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/the-call/the-call-jonah
[1,2] The New King James Version. (1982) Nashville: Thomas Nelson.