If you have ever been interested in sports, you’d know how strong the loyalties of fans of teams can be, and how great the contempt for the opposing side can be. When God told Jonah to go and preach to the people of Nineveh, he was telling him to cheer for the opposing team. The horror!
Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, an enemy of Israel. Why would God ask Jonah to do this? They were lawless and godless people. Why would God care about their salvation?
In Jonah 4:11, God responds to Jonah’s protests, saying,“Should I not be concerned about that great city?”
The answer is yes. God loves all people, no matter their backgrounds, and wants them to be ”saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4). What concerns God’s heart should also concern ours.
Today, there are many cities bigger than Nineveh that hold thousands of people who need Jesus. Of Moscow, Paris, Istanbul, God asks, “Should I not be concerned about that great city?” Of your town, city or country he asks the same.
When people seem less than worthy of your love, pause, and try and see them through God's point of view. Ask God to soften your heart and make you brave enough to stand up and lead them to Jesus. You, my friend, might be the one person who can reach them, just as Jonah eventually did in Nineveh.
Dear Lord, soften my heart to reach out in your Spirit's strength to those you place in my path who need to hear about your merciful grace. Let me see them though your point of view of love. Amen.
Go Deeper — Will you be bold enough to ask God to send you to people who need to hear about salvation, whether they are next door or elsewhere in the world? One way is to volunteer to be an online mentor in your spare time. We’ll train you and support you.
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