January 31. 2023

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. – Jonah 1:1-3 NIV

We must remember just because we are GIFTED, does not mean we are living GODLY! The question we must ask ourselves is, “Can I still be a Christian witness and thumb my nose at the things of God?” We live in a time of LUKEWARM believism. We claim to believe in God, to follow God and to even don the name of God- when we call ourselves CHRISTIANS- but will we do the WILL OF GOD? If we can’t clearly answer yes to the last part, then the first parts are nothing but LIES! If we won’t do the WILL OF GOD, and let His WORD be our WORD then it is a bunch of MEATLOAF: “I’ll do anything for love…BUT I WON’T DO THAT!” The church is little different then the world, because we want the world to like us! Some are part of the RESISTANCE to God’s will and His ordained calling! We think we know better than God and we justify our OWN HATE, while condemning others!

Leader, many of us are like Jonah, we think we can be a prophet of God- represent God but choose when and how to follow God. Jonah hated the Ninevites, similarly to how New America now hates followers of Christ, and the ‘deplorables’ who vote for traditional Christian values. Jonah knew better than God- he did not want God to forgive the Ninevites and bless them. Jonah let his hatred, for HATEFUL people- he let his will and his personal feelings, rise above God’s sovereign will—so Jonah, like America- went down. Down to Joppa, down into the boat, and then DOWN into the depths of the ocean. Jonah learned what John the Baptist realized, “I must decrease, so HE can increase!”. (John 3:30) Who cares what you or I want? Of the 66 books in the Bible, not one is titled ‘Feelings’ or ‘Opinions’. What matters is what God ordains! Quit being like the world and hating and loving what the world hates and loves!

Conduit, we can say we LOVE GOD- but what we are DOING, or NOT doing, speaks so loudly- that nobody is listening to the sermon we are preaching! If you are truly a child of God, God will humble you, He will take you down, so He can grow you up! God is Jehovah Sabaoth: the Master Builder, the Master Manipulator, the Master Orchestrator- our MASTER! Jonah was gifted, He was called, like some of us. But when we make our WILL and our DESIRES, our focus- He will bring us DOWN! OUR feelings, and our desires, are not what matters- it is HIS will and HIS WORD and HIS WAY! Martin Luther said: ““God made man out of nothing, and as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us.” God is growing us into the image of Christ. Crisis doesn’t build character, as much as it reveals character! Don’t be a “meatloaf’, do everything FOR LOVE- including THAT, which scares you and puts you at odds with the world! “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (Jonah 2:8-10) God is in control of all things, He is Jehovah Sabaoth, the LORD ALMIGHTY!


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