Wednesday, March 22, 2023

No One Is Too Far Gone

 Wednesday, March 22, 2023 Some material taken from NAMB Who’s Your One 40 day devotional.

So the LORD said, “You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night. But may I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals?” JONAH 4:10–11 CSB

No One Is Too Far Gone

Jonah was one of the most successful evangelists in the Old Testament, and he was also the most upset about it. 

To Jonah’s frustration, God extended mercy to the Ninevites when they repented. God cares deeply for those who do not know Him, and He cares immensely for your one and others you are sharing the gospel with. He does not desire a single person to perish and spend eternity away from Himself, including the vilest of humans. Never believe a person is too far gone to be brought back into the loving arms of the Savior. 

This passage brings to light what could be a sticky situation. It is possible that your One that God has laid on your heart is someone who has hurt you in the past, or someone that you have seen their behavior and the way they treat people and you have a hard time tolerating them, let alone praying for them. The most healing thing you can do for yourself is to pray for the person that has hurt you. When we honestly pray for the good of someone who has hurt us, we turn them, and their actions over to God. It is a tricky thing for sure because it goes completely against our human nature to want good things for those that we see as undeserving, or who have hurt us or someone we love. But this is what God calls us to do. And if your One is someone who has hurt you, unresolved issues and forgiveness will be the first step in this whole process. 

Jonah was furious. He lost his temper. He yelled at God, “God! I knew it—when I was back home, I knew this was going to happen! That’s why I ran off to Tarshish! I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness! Jonah 4:1-2

I love this Message translation because it shows Jonah’s humanity. He was actually angry because God was all these good things, and he knew that God would forgive the Ninevites.  Jonah had not been hurt by the Ninevites, but he sure did not think they deserved the grace of God in their lives. This is a completely human feeling as well. But… not what God calls us to. He calls us to remember the grace that God gives us and how would we feel if God told us that we are too far gone to receive any compassion, grace, mercy, or forgiveness from Him. The amount of grace I have received, and still need on a daily basis from God, is always before me. I know where I would be if it were not for that grace - and that grace is for everyone in the whole wide world - no matter what they have done. No one is too far gone, and no one is ever completely out of the reach of God’s hand. 

Jonah states that he knew God would not punish the evil Ninevites when they changed their ways because Jonah knew that God is sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness! The God of the Ninevites that Jonah was talking about is our God too and when He looks on us, He is sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness! These words about God are a great picture of exactly who He is in the face of our sin. He loves us and is waiting for us to turn to Him, offering us all these things if we only repent and turn to Him. 

Who have you believed is too far gone from receiving Christ? Repent of this mindset and pray this person would come to know the Lord. 

Who’s Your One Prayer Guide Day 18

For when there are many words, they increase futility. What is the advantage for mankind? For who knows what is good for anyone in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell anyone what will happen after him under the sun? ECCLESIASTES 6:11-12, CSB

Lord, the wisdom of Ecclesiastes points out consistently that life in this world is futile apart from You. No wisdom, wealth or pleasure will satisfy. People like ______________ pursue these very things with their lives, only to find that they overpromise and under-deliver. Nothing on this earth provides lasting meaning. Only You can do that. In Your mercy, allow ___________________ to see the futility of life without You. When he/she does, don’t allow him/her to despair, but cause him/her to direct his/her desperation to You. Make the futility of this life cause him/her to see that the only hope is You. Your salvation and the hope that comes from Jesus is the only thing that will never let him/her down.


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