At the speaking of God’s almighty Word, the heavens, the earth and everything in them – visible and invisible – came into being. That’s amazing! In today’s text, we hear something, perhaps, equally amazing – at the speaking of God’s almighty Word, the hearts and lives of a wicked people were changed. They listened, believed, repented and were saved, all because of the Miraculous Power of God’s Word. That’s amazing!!
Most people know the story of the reluctant prophet, Jonah. He had been called by God to travel to the city of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, to speak God’s judgment because of the wickedness of its inhabitances. He refused – instead fleeing by ship in the opposite direction. But God loved the people of Nineveh and wanted them to hear both His judgment and forgiveness. So, He caused a terrible, violent storm to arise on the water. Reluctantly, but at Jonah’s advice, the sailors threw Jonah overboard, and a great sea creature swallowed him. Three days later he was “deposited” back on the shore. “The Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.’” (Jonah 3: 1-2) This time Jonah was willing. He went to Nineveh to proclaim the will and Word of God.
This city was one of great wickedness (Jonah 1: 2) With over 120,00 inhabitants, Nineveh was a huge city, especially for its day and time, but even in comparison with many of the towns of present-day Kansas. (Jonah 3:3 and 4: 11) When Jonah traveled into the heart of the city and began to proclaim its impending doom because of its wickedness (sin), the most remarkable thing happened. God performed a miracle in the hearts and lives of the Ninevites. They heard His Word, believed, repented, were forgiven by God and were spared from His divine destruction!
In the gospel reading, we hear Jesus’ invitation to four humble fishermen, “Come follow Me” and “at once they left their nets and followed Him.” (Mark 1:17-18) They were willing disciples who became “fishers of men.”
God has, likewise, called us to speak to a wicked, sinful city, state, nation and world. They, and we too, are in danger of being destroyed by God because of sin. But by the power of the gospel, through Jesus’ death in our place, we are forgiven and given His divine call to proclaim His Word to those who desperately need to hear it. We speak His Word regarding Life Issues (Abortion, Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide); Issues of Morality (Living together before marriage, Sex before marriage, Purity of Marriage, Same Sex Unions); and Addictions (Pornography, Drugs, Alcohol).
As He called Jonah, so He calls us to take up His Word of Truth (a Word of Command and Promise) in order to confront the wickedness of our city, state, nation and world. Through the Miraculous power of God’s Word, there is forgiveness for ALL repentant sinners!
God is calling us – you and me – to stand firm in His Word and against sin! We pray that God would perform a miracle today – as He did in Nineveh – that He would perform a miracle in the hearts and lives of all people so that we would hear His Word, believe, repent and be forgiven! Thank God for the Miraculous Power of His Word!
See you in church this weekend!
Blessings in Christ,
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