Daily Devotion for June 28, 2017

'Forsaking the Mission'

Jonah 1:1-3 NLT

The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.”

But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.


Jonah was God's prophet. He was assigned—by God—to warn the Ninevites of God's judgment so they could repent and then receive His love and mercy. The problem was that Jonah didn't want to do it. Specifically, he hated the Assyrians and the wicked things they did...the wicked things they did to his own people. So he decided to forsake his mission. He decided to go the opposite direction instead...


My Study Bible titled this portion of scripture “Jonah Forsakes His Mission,” and that title caught my attention. When Jonah didn't do what God asked him to, he was forsaking his mission. Knowing what he was supposed to do—and then choosing not to do it—he was disobeying the Lord...


This is the same for us today, folks. Specifically, any time we Believers don't do what God has asked (as made known to us through His Word and the Spirit's leading), we are forsaking our mission. Every time we know what God wants us to do and we choose NOT to do it—we too are disobeying the Lord. When we don't live for Him at home/work/play, when we neglect to faithfully serve in the body, when we fail to share the Good News when opportunity arises, when we apply only parts of God's Word to our lives (the parts we like!), and when we refuse to live for Him and live for self instead...we too are forsaking God's instruction. Anytime we do this, we can expect to pay a costly price for our disobedience (remember Jonah!). Running from God's instructions gets us into trouble—trouble God never intended us to have. This trouble (due to our forsaking the mission!) is brought upon ourselves by ourselves. It is far better (and more satisfying!) to obey from the start...


Heavenly Father, I pray today that you make perfectly clear our mission—to live for You and glorify You in everything we think, plan, say and do! Moreover, I ask for Your Word and Spirit to keep changing us so we are 1) made increasingly sensitive to Your will, 2) so we are enabled to DO whatever You ask, and 3) so we desire to DO it—wherever we are, whomever we are with—because our mission as saved sinners is to live for, glorify, and abide in Your Son! Keep us from forsaking our mission, Lord! We ask this in Your Son's name...


AMEN!!!

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