Diverging responses to Gods calling. How do we respond?

Today’s (Sa 06/05/2017) FDRs are Jonah 4 and Acts 26.

It is easy to be a Jonah and act as he has.  Just find an easy or a lazy way to avoid God’s calling in whatever form it comes!

It is pretty tough, from a human perspective, to do as Paul did?  It takes faith, hope, love, . .

Ah, excuse me?  But aren’t these fruits of the Spirit? (see Galatians 5:22)

But why is Jonah included in the Bible. I can only speculate with some commentators, that it has both an original Hebrew purpose and its current Christian purpose is to teach and compare. For Israel; it is to provide a device to show what would happen to Israel if it did not respond to God’s call to obedience. For Christians; to remind us of our need for obedience and to demonstrate God’s ongoing grace in forgiving us our sinning.

Today’s Acts chapter is Paul’s own summary of how he became a Christian and what he has done, as God’s servant.   While trying to dissemble the Jewish Leaders arguments against Paul, he is working to make the gospel clear   But also his words and purpose aim to do exactly what Agrippa accuses him of (see v28).

Another comparison can be made between Jonah and Paul.  Jonah, disputes God’s grace that is extended to himself and Nineveh.  He gets into an inactive sulk still wanting to see Nineveh destroyed from his safe vantage point.  In fact this last chapter leaves the final discussion between God and Jonah unresolved.

So too the close of the hearing before Agrippa and Festus does not resolve Paul’s circumstances.  (We will read in the next few days about Paul’s next trip.)

While you could assume that in both circumstances God’s purposes have been completed, I’d rather you looked at the two human personalities and their responses to being called and the markedly different personal outcome.  Jonah finally does as God wants and more than 120,000 persons are saved from destruction with their animals.  But Jonah definitely went the long way around to saving Nineveh.

Paul is healed of his blindness and straight away he commences learning and preaching about His Lord even while he is in Damascus. We know from other accounts that Paul commenced a ministry that, through the Holy Spirit’s actions, saved many from eternal damnation.

Perhaps it would be more correct to add that Paul’s ministry goes on through passages like Acts 26 and the Bible that shows us today what is possible with faith.

A prayer – Heavenly Father and Loving God I thank you for who you are in my life and relationships.  I thank you that you bless me with knowledge and understanding of you and forgive me for my sins.   Lord I ask that as I live my life I might do so in faith in you and through your son, Jesus and Holy Spirit.  Lord guide me that I might faithfully and carefully seek to bring others to know you so that your name is glorified.   I ask this in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.

Glenn

 

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