Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Chapter 6: Jonah: The World's Greatest Fish Story

Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 6 of Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur.  We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well.  Please share with us in the comment section below this post.  

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you."  So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.  -Jonah 3:1-3A

In Chapter 6 of Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur, we learn about our next "unlikely hero", Jonah.  Why is he an unlikely hero?  He was punished for not listening to God.  So, how is he a hero?

Below are the points that John MacArthur made that stood out to me the most.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, if you have not read the chapter, it is important for you to read the entire chapter to get a true meaning out of it.  It is beautifully written and Jonah's story is explained in great detail in ways that I've never heard before.  I encourage you to take the time to read the entire chapter.  Below are just a few of the points that meant the most to me.

*  Yet God worked through him to conduct a campaign of preaching that brought hundreds of thousands to salvation.  p. 115

*  The book of Jonah teaches us that even when the preacher is reluctant to see sinners saved, God is not reluctant to save them.  The Lord's compassion for the heathen was set on clear display as a striking contrast to Jonah's callous diffidence.  p. 115

*  Spiritual rebellion reaps what it sows, as God reproves and corrects those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6).  p. 115

*  In the midst of his misery, the humbled prophet cried out for deliverance.  p. 117

*  Drowning under the weight of God's hand of judgment, Jonah prayed for deliverance and compassion from the Judge Himself.  p. 119

*  When the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, he would be sure to obey.  p. 119

*  Like Jonah, we might be tempted to allow our own fears, prejudices, or selfish interests to inhibit our gospel witness.  But when we prioritize the gospel message over our own personal agendas, we bring glory to God as we advance His kingdom purposes throughout the world.  p. 124

I ask you, what is the Lord asking you to do that you may be running from?  Is He placing something on your heart, a way to share His word to others, that you find excuses as to why you can't?  Will you learn from Jonah and obey the Lord's word right away instead of hiding?

We all have busy lives.  If you're reading this, you most likely have a child who has autism.  You have therapies, recipes, supplements, playing, doctor's appointments, lack of sleep, etc.  You have a very busy life.  However, God still needs you to spread His message to all of the hurting people in our world today.  Maybe it's your child's therapist, a doctor, the lady you buy the supplements from at the store.  Perhaps it's another parent who has a child on the spectrum who doesn't know God.  There are a ton of people out there who don't know God.  They don't realize the peace they can have in their lives if they would take the time to get to know Jesus.  They don't know God.  God needs us to open these doors to them and introduce them to Him and all of his amazing powers.  He will still help us with our storms that come in and out of our lives.  We just have to trust in Him.

I love how John MacArthur closes up Chapter 6...

Although we are not Old Testament prophets like Jonah was, we have been given a mission similar to his.  As New Testament believers, our charges is to take the gospel to those who are lost, proclaiming to them the reality of coming judgment and the hope of salvation. (cf. Matthew 28:18-20).  When we resist this responsibility, whether out of fear, pride or a preoccupation with trivial things, we fall into the same trap that Jonah did.  But when we are faithful to obey the Lord in this way, we experience the wonderful blessing of being used by Him to further His kingdom.  There is no greater joy than seeing sinners embrace the good news of salvation.  As the apostle Paul told the Romans, quoting from Isaiah, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"  (Romans 10:15)   - p. 126

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