September 2: The Living God is a Missionary God, Jonah 4:1-11
Ways to use this worship preparation:
a. Print it out Friday and place it in your bible for the weekend
b. Use it as a family devotion and time of prayer on Saturday evening.
The short book of Jonah gives us a magnificent glimpse into the missionary heart of God. Far from being a tribal deity reserved for the blessing of the Jewish nation only, God proves himself to be God over all the earth. His concern and compassion extend beyond his chosen people, reaching all of his creation. Jonah himself understood this about God, and in the most important verse in this book, he acknowledges what he knew to be true of God, "I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster" (4:2). The message of Jonah is that the Sovereign Lord's compassion extends beyond Israel. The implication for us is that we must join God's mission of extending his grace to every tribe, language, people and nation. God's heart for the nations must be reflected in our obedience of the commission of Jesus, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations."
What does it look like in our lives when we grow accustomed to the privileges of grace, like Jonah became accustomed to "having God for himself"?
When was the last time you attempted to have a gospel conversation with someone? What types of attitudes do you have that hold you back from doing this?
What does your life say about God’s compassion? Do you put limits on the exercise of compassion?
What should God’s compassion look like in your circumstances? Like Jonah, do you, at times, run away from your responsibility to communicate divine compassion?
Do you push yourself to extend to those who are different from you (perhaps even hostile to you) the good news of the compassion of God in Jesus Christ? To whom do you have the most difficulty showing compassion? Why might this be so?
God isn’t giving you a specific voice to go to a specific person – he won’t call out a person’s name or house address for you to go to? So how are you going to take his call to "go and make disciples of all nations" and appropriate it in your life?