God Always Honors Repentance & Faithfulness – The Book of Jonah

by Jim on May 1, 2013


The Ministry Encouragement Podcast by Rev. Jim W. Hollis, Executive Director of Proactive Ministries

Episode #044 – Published on 5-1-13  / The Book of Jonah 

Greetings to all of you who are faithful listeners to this podcast.  And a warm welcome to those of you who are listening today for the first time.  Your sharing in this Ministry Encouragement Podcast is both an inspiration and blessing.  We are working across time to build a close and vital Christian Community around this podcast.  Your sharing in it today is a great encouragement for me.

Today we will be discussing in detail:

The Book of Jonah and How it relates to Our Lives Today

None of us have to qualify as the smartest person present to recognize we live in a culture and time in North America where “anything goes” and everyone is encouraged by the media and other sources of influence to “roll your own beliefs and theology.”  In many movies and television shows Christians are portrayed as idiots who are judgmental and condemning, without much clue on the realities of life.  This has impacted several generations of individuals and families who have never been part of Christian Community or any church.

As we take a close look today at the Book of Jonah in the Bible, we see a number of parallels in the text to our own reality in the North America today.  Jonah was not only a follower of God, he was a Prophet of God.  God was his salvation and his boss.  God gave Jonah directions and sent him on various missions to share the good news of God and have people turn from sin.  The Book of Jonah is one of those in the Old Testament that we don’t find very popular or widely known today.  For it is not a book of the Bible that really paints the Prophet of God as an older version of The Lone Ranger, Marshal Matt Dillon of Dodge City, Ironman, Superman or any other number of super heroes who saved the day.

Quite the contrary is true.  Jonah as a Prophet of God is heavily human with a very bad attitude and rebellious spirit toward God Almighty.  While having a close relationship and clear communication with God, he chose to flee from God’s Directions in carrying out a mission of mercy to the people of the great and evil city of Ninevah.

This city was dark, full of evil and persons in the city were brazen and bold in committing acts that struck fear and terror in any decent person.  It was so full of sin that the wickedness of the city had “come before God” gaining God’s full attention and response.  God’s plan was to send the prophet Jonah to proclaim the need for everyone, including the King, to repent and turn to the goodness of God.  It was a fairly straight-forward mission which was not misunderstood by the Prophet Jonah, but Jonah choose disobedience and running away from God rather than honoring God and the mission by obeying.

Here are some questions to consider for reflection and discussion after listening to this Episode on the Prophet Jonah:

  1. Is our relationship with God today intimate enough that we could hear clearly what mission God is calling us to carry out for God’s purposes?  How do we know? 
  2. If we hear clear directions from God on what God is calling us to accomplish, do we have the real option of ignoring the Divine Directions and going in the opposite direction, away from God?  What cost does this incur? 
  3. What did “spiritual accountability” look like in Jonah’s choosing disobedience over faithfulness to God’s leading? 
  4. When things got as low as they could go, what did Jonah do at that point, and why? 
  5. Does prayer really change things in life and what impact do our prayers have on God’s actions? 
  6. In what ways was the mission that God called Jonah to carry out successful or a failure?  How do you know? 
  7. After the outcome with Ninevah and it’s King took place, what do we learn about the Prophet Jonah? 
  8. What in our own lives is painfully similar to the experience and attitudes that Jonah portrayed?  Why? 

Again I want to thank you for sharing in this podcast today!  Several of you are taking this podcast and sharing it via audio with your Small Group or Sunday School class.  Wonderful!  Some of you have reported that after doing so, many in your group had much to share and good questions about their own lives and families.  I trust it can be used as a wonderful ministry tool in your own life and sphere of influence.

Until our next Episode, please know that your being part of this is a blessing and joy to me.  Please feel free to call me or email me with your prayer concerns, questions about your ministry in life or issues in your church setting, or just to say hello and let me know you are praying for me and our ministry at Proactive Ministries.  Blessings on your day!

Rev. Hollis’ Office phone: (770) 803-9988

Rev. Hollis’ Email: jim@ministryencouragementpodcast.com

OR you may leave a Voicemail message on this Blog for the Podcast.  There is a button on the right side that you click on with your mouse and use your computer microphone to leave a Voicemail for me.  All of these come directly to me.

May the Lord bless you, keep you and use you in the Great Adventure of ministry in the world!


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