“And the Word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go up unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid you.’  So Jonah arose and went unto Nineveh, according to the Word of the Lord. . .”

Jonah 3:1-3a

What really matters to our Master is not our doubts or detours along the way, it’s whether or not we’ll continue “fighting the good fight, finish our course and keep the faith” (II Tim. 4:7-8).

Let’s face it:

There are none of us who always tow-the-mark or always stay in “the strait-and-narrow road” (Mt. 7:13-14).  Our natures are crooked and our minds are angry at God from birth (Rom. 8:7).  Our hands are too prone to hang down and our feet too apt to wobble in our walking (Heb. 12:12-13).  And, even on our best days we still “fall short of the Glory of God” as we “do those things we don’t want to do and don’t do what we know we ought to do” (Rom. 3:23; 7:15, 19).

Truly, “O wretched man/woman/boy/girl that I am!!” (Rom. 7:24).

But, “thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift” (II Cor. 9:15) and “His Mercies by which we’re not consumed” (Lam. 3:21-23).

Like the prodigal son, He allows us to “journey to the far country. . .waste our substance with riotous living. . .begin to be in want. . .and sink down to the stinking depths of degradation and shame”. . .in hopes that we will “come to ourselves and arise and come to Him” (Lk. 15:13-19).

And, like the prodigal son’s rejoicing father, He “sees us a far off, has compassion on us, runs to meet us, hugs and kisses us and says ‘Welcome Home’!” (Lk. 15:20).

Is not this the Gospel?

Assuredly it is!  Hallelujah!!

Yes, He knows we’re just like Moses—always offering excuses (Ex. 3:11; 4:1, 10-17).  Or, Elijah—feeling like we’re the only one left (I Kings 19:4, 14).  Or, like Samson—having mistaken our own strength for His and blinded and bound by our sins (Judg. 16:17-21).  Or, like David—acutely aware of our transgressions and desperately in need of His cleansing and renewal (Ps. 51).

It’s not how we start the Race that’s key; it’s how we finish and IF we finish.

The Scriptures are clear that “He Who has begun a good work in us has promised to bring it to completion” (Phil. 4:6); yet, we must not “grow weary in well-doing and faint in our minds” when the pressure’s on or the road is steep (Gal. 6:9).

Instead, like Jonah, we must “arise and do what God has said.”  He specializes in “new beginnings” (Ez. 37:1-14; Joel 2:25-26; II Cor. 5:17) and has promised to even use our doubts and detours for our good and His Glory if “we love Him and live according to His Plan for our lives” (Rom. 8:28).  Aren’t you glad?  Why not stop right now and tell Him??

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated October 12, 2010

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