Series GOD’S MISSION, MY MISSION with Pastor Mark Finley |
Lesson 5: Excuses to Avoid Mission |
Memory Text: 1: Isaiah 6:8Isaiah 6:8
English: World English Bible - WEB
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WP-Bible plugin – Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me’. |
5.1 Our Excuses: Fear
Jonah’s decision not to go to Nineveh was likely influenced by his fear of the cruel Assyrians and their city, Nineveh. The city was wealthy but also known for its wickedness and violence. The fear of this dangerous environment could have influenced Jonah’s decision to avoid following God’s instructions. This reminds us how often we are hindered by fears instead of trusting in God.
5.2 Our Excuses: False Views
Jonah’s flight and self-blame during the storm indicate that he was likely influenced by false beliefs. Back then, it was believed that the sea was the realm of demons and that sacrifices were necessary to appease them. However, through his adventures, Jonah learned that God is sovereign everywhere, and his perspective changed when he confessed his guilt and was saved. Similar to Jonah, we can also have misunderstandings about God’s expectations, such as the belief that success depends on us. However, our task is to collaborate with God and support His work, not to accomplish it alone.
5.3 Our Excuses: Inconvenience
Jonah’s experience in the belly of the fish demonstrated God’s love and mercy, but his old ways of thinking didn’t change immediately. Despite his reluctance, he preached in Nineveh, and the people repented. This reminds us that God’s mission is continued by those willing to make sacrifices and overcome prejudices. Mission requires humility, emotional energy, and financial sacrifices, but God’s work is powerful, even through imperfect messengers like Jonah.
5.4 Our Excuses: Uncomfortable Confrontations
Jonah had such deep hatred for Nineveh that he preferred death over allowing his worldview to be shaken by God’s grace. He wanted Nineveh to be destroyed, and when it didn’t happen, his worldview was shattered. God confronted Jonah with an experience that helped him recognize his distorted perspective and realign his priorities. This reminds us how easily we avoid unpleasant confrontations and question our preconceived notions about the significance of grace and mercy.
5.5 Here I Am, Send Me
Jonah’s story shows that our role is to be willing messengers of God, and ultimately, it is God who convicts and converts people’s hearts. It is a call to respond to God’s call, obey Him, and deliver His message of hope to those who desperately need it. Isaiah’s response to God’s call should inspire us to do the same and reach out to our fellow human beings with love and hope.
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