Day 15 Intimacy with Jesus: Sharing the Good News
“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh (outside of modern Mosul- Iraq) and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”
I am obligated (I like how the KJV puts it: “I am Debtor” or “in Debt”) both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish (to tell them about Jesus Christ beyond just the name). That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes:
True intimacy with Jesus Christ- the Living God- who said, “Before Abraham was I AM” (how God revealed Himself to the ancients- I AM or I AM that I Am as Moses said to Pharaoh) means you and I will be and already are going into all the world to tell others about Him if we are not like Jonah spending our money, time, efforts, and centeredness in going just the opposite direction scared of the gospel-outcome.
Telling all your friends, relatives, your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and people you know well- and on and on ns never really an option- it’s a command to tell them that they are Sinners (people who missed God’s mark for their life and are out of Sync. with living and breathing Jesus) in need of a Saviour. Telling them that Jesus Christ died for them personally is a command. And believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead as you yourself turn away from your many sins is too part of the gospel message- Jesus is alive! Jonah- like myself and many I know got into some kind of mind-set where he really wasn’t into telling anybody about Jehovah-God- the I AM (the name God went by back in his time). When the storm came it wasn’t only the Nineveh-people he didn’t care about. He didn’t even explain the Merciful God he served to those men on the ship who were about to perish in that massive storm. That was how cold his heart was. Paul on the other hand saw himself as debtor to every soul on the planet to let them know all things Jesus as God’s sent Missionary-Apostle-Slave. So- Paul was intimate with Jesus enough to have the love of Christ in his heart constraining him to tell others.
Can you be intimate with God and have days, weeks, and even years where you are so grouchy towards His purposes that it scrubs away from God’s memory your “blood-purchased-glory-moments” when you were intimate? No. I don’t believe for a moment that the story of Jonah is anything new to being intimate with someone. On the one hand there are people in intimate relationships who are like Paul and have a few rough moments- but, all in all- they are amiable and intimate on the most part. Then, there are those more rocky relationships that are intimate- but, there are issues in them that need to get sorted-out- like the story or Snap-shot moment of Jonah.
If I am in error on Jonah’s behalf- let it be said of me, “he was in error on the side of Grace” because I believe it was a Snap-Shot moment in Jonah’s life and eventually that spark of intimacy did share with the people the message Jonah was so in a hurry to get away from. Friend- sharing Jesus Christ as Lord over all, above all, and through and through all along side of the fact that He is the Saviour of the world is part and parcel of being intimate with Jesus. If you haven’t shared and aren’t sharing- just like Jonah- it won’t go well with your soul. If you are just like Paul- chances increase that you are rejoicing in the Lord always.
Part of our recovery from the fall is taking others who came to know Jesus out of The Fall (The Fall: when our innocent nature became not so perfect on two levels- biologically and socially/spiritually) by the hand to Him. I listed today some emotions for people who are on the run from this- parents, children, grandchildren, friends, and relatives- that keep them/us from telling others about Jesus Christ: ashamed, cynical, embittered, cowardly, unforgiving, shy, once-burnt-twice-shy, towards that ‘other someone’ and on and on…these are the things that keep us from this aspect of being intimate with Jesus and sharing the good news of Christ.