"God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast and when I run, I feel his pleasure."
Jonah“The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish”. Jonah 1:1-3
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and he went in the opposite direction! We may never have done it as dramatically as that but we all run in the opposite direction from where God wants us to be.
What stopped Jonah from going to preach in Nineveh? We cannot be sure but the clue seems to be in the following passage:
“When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity”. Jonah 3:10-4:2 Jonah felt that God would not act in judgement. In this circumstance, he was right but not generally. Was there too an element of thinking that the people of Nineveh did not deserve grace?
As we seek to share the gospel with our sports friends, what hinders us?
We might lack courage;
We might lack faith to believe they will respond;
We might be tempted to think that God will judge people;
We might even think that they don’t deserve God’s grace.
We need to resist these pressures and tell them of God’s love and their need of reconciliation with God.