There are very few words in the Christian’s vocabulary that cause so much heart-fluttering, anxious planning and guilty feeling as this one word MISSION.
Is it an activity you have to plan for, an event that needs a committee to organise, something only specially trained Christians can do … or what? The focus is always on what we can do, and how we can do it better.
This week read a little more about the Biblical idea.
And God’s idea for it – and what a simple thing it is.
V 1. Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.”
Last week we were reading about God being a Mission-orientated God. It is within His nature to reach out to people of all ages, backgrounds and conditions in order to bring them into a right relationship with Himself. Now, lest you think of this as some New Testament idea, reflect on the well-known story of Jonah.
Nineveh was a pretty corrupt metropolis; from King downwards, there was little sense of justice and truth. So Jonah was sent to call the city to repent and change its ways. Jonah’s initial response was to run away from his calling – and frankly, who would blame him. Rather than head off to Nineveh he found a ship going to Spain. A brief spell on Costa del Sol is a more pleasant option. You know the story of the big fish that brought him back to his senses, and so God gives him another chance to march into hostile territory and call people to repentance.
You see, God was true to His nature, and He wanted to reach out to this city and bring change. Jonah had never read Peter’s letter where he wrote ‘The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent ‘
This idea of the Missionary-minded God is a fundamental element of our understanding about Him and what He wants to see reflected in the lives of His people throughout the ages.