Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
From prison to ReTrain: Russell’s story
Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Learn from Jonah: Get a Bigger Vision
Jonah's experience illustrates the breadth of God's plan to bring salvation to every corner of the world, as we see in his prophetic word to his Son: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob … I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6)
Today God might say, “It is too small a thing for you to give yourself only to the restoration of the church in your small corner of the world. I call you to be a light to the nations, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth. Don’t be so preoccupied with the 10% when the 90% outside need to hear my word.”
Doubtless many aspects of New Testament church life still need to be recovered, but don’t grow stagnant and inward-looking, forgetting God’s great plan to reach all the families of the earth. It is too small a thing to concentrate exclusively on restoring your little patch when God wants to lift your head, show you the harvest field, and send you to dying sinners with his glorious message of salvation.
Jesus isn’t just head over the church, be it local or universal. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). He’s head over all things (Ephesians 1:10). He’s ruling as king over every nation at this very minute.
Don’t think, “That’s a Muslim nation; that’s a Hindu nation; that’s a Communist nation; and of course we’re a backslidden Christian nation.” God thinks differently. While looking down on Nineveh, he didn’t say, “I’d be concerned if such wickedness were apparent in Judea, but what more can you expect from heathen Nineveh?” Rather, when God saw how wicked the Ninevites were, he couldn’t stand it and sent someone to warn them.
Where the word ‘church' has stirred you, let the word ‘nations' burn in your heart—because it’s time to look at the harvest fields and it’s time to go.
When God looks down on any nation, he doesn’t simply view it as ‘heathen’ and quickly put it out of his mind. God says, “Go!” That’s what we have been called to do: to reach the nations—all of them! Jesus said, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Matthew 24:14). He said that we’d be hated by all nations (Matthew 24:9) and that one day all the nations would be gathered before him (Matthew 25:32).
You could spend hours trying to work out the intricacies of various doctrines or church practices in an attempt to get all the details absolutely right. There will always be something not quite perfect at home that will need your attention. But what about the world? The restoration of the church has consumed you, but now a new day is dawning. Where the word ‘church’ has stirred you, let the word ‘nations’ burn in your heart—because it’s time to look at the harvest fields and it’s time to go.
Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face—whose mercy you have professed to obey—and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world. –William Booth