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Thursday: Here Am I, Send Me — 12 Comments

  1. The book of Jonah is interesting in that even Jewish scholars were aware that it was a not-so-subtle criticism of Jewish separatism. Its inclusion in the Hebrew canon was not without debate because some rabbis were uncomfortable with its message.

    One interesting fact is that Jonah is derived from the Hebrew "Yoneh" or dove and even in Hebrew times the dove was associated with peace. It is paradoxical that Jonah considered his mission as a message of God's wrath.

    The big picture message of the book of Jonak is God's compassion. Jonah's perception of the message was that if the people did not reform and behave themselves God was going to destroy them. Jonah had to learn the message of compassion.

    The story is a criticism of self-interest. Jonah was more concerned over the fate of his own comfort than the destruction of a city and its inhabitants. A prophet, man of God, who is named Peace, is unhappy when he sees God withholding his wrath. It highlights the difficulty we have when we have a selfish perception of God.

    As Seventh-day Adventists, we have made a name for ourselves by predicting a cataclysmic end of the world, destroyed by fire. Has that message somehow warped our portrayal of a compassionate long-suffering God? If we feel the call to mission, what is the message that God would have us give - condemnation or compassion?

    The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

    • "If we feel the call to mission, what is the message that God would have us give - condemnation or compassion?"

      We seek to assist people in their reconciliation with God through a repentance process. However, failing which, the person condemns themself to separation from God. Only a few go the former way (King Jesus' words in Matthew 7:14 KJV), while most go the latter way (King Jesus' words in Matthew 7:13 KJV).

  2. 1. "Our role is merely to be a conduit for God, Who alone can convict and convert hearts." 👍

    2. "It is a reminder that God seeks only willing and humble messengers who will follow His direction." 👍

    Trust & Obey Him.

    Amen 🙏

  3. I’ve been asked to tell my testimony at church in December. I’m grateful for the opportunity, but also putting it off because it seems overwhelming. How ever can I follow the Golden Thread of God’s grace in my life through 53 years , and condense it into 30-45 minutes? Also, maybe my story is not dramatic enough. There’s no jail time served and blinding light of sudden conversion. But on the other hand, maybe there’s too much drama in my prodigal story. I don’t want to glorify the sinful paths I took and the painful consequences I paid for those choices. But come on, Paul’s story of murderer to evangelist is more riveting than sensitive Temple boy Samuel predictably growing up to be a mighty prophet, right? A bigger turnaround?

    Yes and no, am I looking at God or at myself ?

    Because my hunch is that Saul/Paul and Samuel, their stories overlap. If we look at what God was doing in their lives, not the style of their response, I see that God was drawing both of them from the beginning. Young Saul was in the temple, too, and he was very zealous for God. Before birth, he had a calling on his life, too, just like Samuel. Unlike Samuel who had some guidance from Eli, for Saul, God’s voice may have been muddied by the false teachings and religious fanaticism of his religious elders. Regardless of their pathway, we see God calling them both early on. I see God calling me early on. Maybe each of you can see God’s presence early in your lives too? Even if you weren’t born into a Christian home, maybe the world’s ugliness was more present in your past (as the lesson mentions), can you see signs that God was right there, pulling you towards Himself from the start?

    We all have a story, and people who will resonate with our particular story. There’s no bad story or boring story or better story. All of our stories uniquely show God’s character of love. Each of our testimonies are a ray of bright hope. The big gripping story is not focused on us and how big our turn around is, but pointing to how steady and faithful our God is (Heb. 13:8; Isaiah 40:8). And I think God is calling each of us to tell it.

    • Esther, thank you for this post. I often think of my own conversion experience and also think that it doesn’t sound dramatic enough. This was a great and appropriate reminder that everyone has a story and everyone’s story is important and unique. 🙏

    • Telling the story of how God has been faithful and true to us is much like hearing how a married couple met. It is great to hear their story as it stirs up in us either the memories of beautiful way that we met our spouses or if we are single it gives us hope and a longing to experience love for ourselves. I know that two stories I never tire of hearing are: how married friends met and fell in love, and about the grace, mercy, patience, love, and abilities of God to save His people against all odds.

  4. Yes, as Christians it should always be our focal point that we are indeed conduits for Christ's message, and not saviors. God does the saving, our part is to impart.

  5. Awesome comments Ester. Love your comments. I can relate to what you are saying and as I look back on my life I can see the times that I was running away from God. I brought on my own heartache and pain. We are the ones that usually do this to ourselves by poor choices. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Sometimes we don't understand where God has us in His plan
    Always know He'll never part and lovingly has us in His heart
    His plan for us till jesus's return
    is to show the lost what we have learned
    Go in His strength in what must be done
    Teaching and reaching till they are won
    By Charlotte Primrose 11-2-23🙏🤗

  7. Is ‘mission’ really that simple that one can just: ‘answer that call by submitting to His leadership, listening to hear His voice, and then choosing to obey whatever He tells us?’ Isaiah experienced a deep sense of personal unpreparedness/inadequacy when hearing the call to present the Word of God to his people. Only after the cleansing of his guilt and sin by the angel did he feel strengthened; he had become a new person – he had been born-again.

    Mankind's confusion about what is right and wrong reigns today as it did then. The lost cannot know what is considered 'right and wrong' because true judgement is rooted in the Rightousness of God; it is spiritual at its core.
    Man without God attempts to ‘clarify/reason’ when establishing value, making it ‘conditional and depending on circumstances to achieve the desired outcome'. Applying this ‘situational-ethics-approach’, the whole list of does and don’ts of the 10 Commandments can be turned upside down; even murder can find justification.

    As my eyes opened to the Truth contained in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my first awareness became that there are no more ‘gray’ areas to hid behind when determining the value of one's actions. There are no more ‘ifs’, ‘buts’, and 'maybes' - just the plain Truth of God’s Will applicable for the Salvation of mankind – His Love and Righteousness will find its expression in all its various forms; when shared, all are applicable to the salvation of mankind.


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