God Gives Second Chances
Topic: Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet of a Relentless God Passage: Jonah 3:1–3:10
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Preaching Text: Jonah 3:1-10
It is a rare thing in life for us to master something on the first try. Most things take multiple attempts and this is true in the spiritual realm as well. Thankfully God is in the business of giving second chances. He does this, not just for our sake, but so that our lives can have the significance of participating in bringing all people to himself. Significance is found in sharing God’s mission. God tells us clearly what that mission is, but few get it right away. Thankfully,
God gives second chances for sharing his mission.
The clear message of the Bible is that God loves everyone. He wantsallpeople to be saved. (See 2 Peter 3:9). This includes those not like us. A major human problem is that we don’t just make distinctions between each other, but we make discriminations. We assign a subjective value to one person or people group over another. This was Jonah’s problem. He felt that his people were superior. In plain terms, he was a nationalistic racist. In chapter 3, God gives Jonah a second chance to have mercy on those he didn’t like (v.1).
The Ninevites also got a second chance. God gave them 40 days to repent. Jonah’s weak message (v. 4), is contrasted by staggering effectiveness and the Lord relenting instead of overturning Nineveh.
In the New Testament, the crowd killed the Son of God “by the hands of lawless men” (see Acts 2:23). Still, they were offered forgiveness and the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:39). This kind of mercy is meant to be shared with others, allothers. We must pay it forward without discrimination.
Taking It Home: Train yourself to notice your use of “us” and “them.” Be especially kind to “them.”