Focus on Faith Devotional
By Dr. J.B. Morris
Jan. 29, 2018 at 12:33 p.m.
Jonah, in Jonah 3:1-5, 10, went to Nineveh and preached a short revival to the people.
Nineveh was a large pagan city that symbolized enmity with God. Jonah, a narrow-minded nationalistic prophet wanted nothing to do with such a sinful place as Nineveh. Nevertheless, he eventually obeyed the second call and preached among the people. "Forty days more and Nineveh will be overthrown! (v.4). The city repented, and the people of Nineveh believed God" (v.5). The revival that takes place in Nineveh clearly, demonstrates that God desires to forgive those who truly repent and turn to him. Johan knew that; in fact that's why he wanted to avoid this prophetic assignment. He wanted the people of Nineveh punished for their sins.
Johan didn't peach a revival sermon- there wasn't even an invitation Johan didn't want these foreign people to repent: he wanted God to destroy them. But what amazing power exists I the simple, authentic proclamation of God's word, accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit! Even a reluctant prophet like Jonah can't stop God's work in this place, and the entire city was transformed.
It doesn't matter if you are not a trained theologians. Jonah's message had just eight words! If you are willing to share what Jesus Christ has done in your life, then God can use you to bring revival. Revival comes when God's message is believed. To Jonah's horror, people not only heard God's message but they also believed it! They took it to hear. They put on their mourning garments, demonstrating their grief over their sin. They accept God's gift of salvation.
It is not enough simply to hear God's message; we must also accept God's truth and respond to it in faith. That's what the people of Nineveh did, and it transformed their lives and their city. Is God speaking to you now? Is there a word form the God for you? It won't make any difference inn your life until you open your heart and mind to the Lord, until you are willing to receive god's truth into your heart.
Revival comes when God's truth is applied. Notice the king's proclamation, in vv. 7-9; the people are to give up their evil ways and their violence. Already the people had put on their outer garments to reflect an inner transformation. Hearing the word is not enough; even professing faith is not enough in itself. Authentic faith results in positive action. Revival is not a matter of hearing only. When we truly believe, when we are willing to make Christ Lord and Savior of our, lives there will be a transforming difference in our lives.