Lessons from Jonah

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The story of Jonah is one I heard many times throughout my childhood. But it's not just a child's story. There is much that we can learn from the book of Jonah.

*God doesn't change His commands to suit us.
Jonah was told to go to Ninevah. But Joseph didn't want to. Ninevah was a big city full of wicked people.(4:11, 1:2) Instead Joseph decided to go "from the presence of the Lord". (1:2) Jonah would have done anything as long as he didn't have to go to Ninevah. But did God change his command? No, God still commanded Jonah to go(3:10) and punished him for his disobedience. 
For I am the LORD, I change not; (Mal 3:6) 
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Heb 13:8)  

God doesn't change. Just because we don't like his command or it's inconvenient for us doesn't mean we don't have to do it. We must fully obey all his commands!

*Never underestimate the power of God's word
Jonah's message was a simple one "yet forty days and Ninevah shall be overthrown." Ninevah was a wicked city. (1:2) But despite their great wickedness, God's word pierced their hearts. That simple message was all it took for everyone to repent. (3:5).

Are we doing our part in spreading the word of God? 

*Our decisions and actions effect others
Jonah's decision to run from God put the sailors lives in danger. His decision to obey God gave those in Ninevah a chance to turn to God. 

What we decide to do will effect others in some way. We must be careful that we are bringing others encouragement and not harm

*God is always willing to forgive
God forgave the people of Ninevah when they repented and turned to Him. It was because of their decision that He didn't destroy the city.

God will forgive us if we fully obey the plan He's given us. There is no sin too big for God's mercy!

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