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Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Christian Focus
|Publication Date: 2012|
Choosing to Run: Jonah's Encounter With God's GraceJennifer DevlinRandall House Publications / 2011 / Trade Paperback$10.79 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
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Jonah, Joel & Amos--Revised LifeGuide Scripture StudiesDoug Haugen, Doris HaugenInterVarsity Press / 2003 / Trade Paperback$6.99 Retail:4 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
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Facing an assignment equivalent to being sent to warn notorious terrorists of God's anger with them, perhaps it was no wonder that Jonah ran away - certainly portrayed in Scripture as no "super saint", he avoided God and His call on his life. Yet God turned the situation around as pagan sailors encountered the living God who made the land and sea and the entire population of a city realised that although they deserved to be wiped off the face of the earth, there was a God of compassion and mercy who forgave them.
God's mercy is greater than our failures and through adverse circumstances and pain, a character of Christ-like compassion is chiselled out.
"Here is a pastor reading the book of Jonah and finding a preacher who wants settled ministry, not challenges; who wants to see his enemies crushed, not converted; who longs for God's grace in his own life, but not in the lives of others; who knows how to speak God's words with faithfulness, but who wants to see only the component of judgment worked out in reality; a preacher who is angry and who wants God to be angry too; a man who wallows in self-pity and hates it when God exposes that self-pity for the idolatrous arrogance it is. It is not difficult to see the relevance of such portraits in our own day. And what does it say of God, that he keeps working away at Jonah as he keeps working away at the Ninevites?"
"Expect to be humbled, convicted, challenged, comforted and changed. The heart-warming, inescapable conclusion is that salvation truly comes from the Lord."
The strength of the book is that it echoes the ministry of a prophet, speaking God's words into a culture which resists that word.
"This outstanding book not only presents the exciting story of Jonah interestingly, it also applies the story so that God can speak into our personal lives through it."
No matter how well you think you know the story of Jonah, you will be blessed and enlightened by this book from a gifted pastor who has both a good grasp of Scripture and human nature. In these pages we see ourselves, running from God but always brought back by God's intervention and grace. In this helpful exposition we will recognize the same providence and patience of God in our lives as Jonah experienced. Read this book and share it with a friend.
"A faithful guide in helping us come to terms with Jonah's message for the church today."
GRAMGNEW JERSEYAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5September 26, 2012GRAMGNEW JERSEYAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5WOW. GREAT READING, GREAT TEACHING, A LOT OF QUESTIONS ANSWERED,EVEN QUESTIONS I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD. I THOUGHT I KNEW THE BOOK OF JONAH, NOW I REALLY KNOW JONAH AND MYSELF. THANK YOU MR. SMITH FOR WRITING THIS BOOK .
Life Long ReaderHoward City, MIAge: 25-34Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Christians and the unsaved both need the GospelMay 31, 2012Life Long ReaderHoward City, MIAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Have you ever been in a position in your career when things were going just great and you wouldn't change a thing? Your job as CEO is going well or your church where you pastor is growing in all the right ways as a result of God working through your faithfulness to His Word. What would you do or say if God told you to quit your plush job at your fortune 500 company for an entry level management position at a no name company because He wanted you to turn it around and be a witness to the other employees there? What would you do or say to God is He told you to resign from your senior pastorate position at a large growing church to start a church in the Arizona desert in a small no name town?
This is the kind of situation we find Jonah in. In his most recent book, Jonah: Navigating a God-Centered Life, Colin S. Smith takes us through the book of Jonah as we see how Jonah responded to God's call in his life to leave his successful ministry among Israel in his hometown of Gath Hepher for a less than desirable ministry of evangelism in Ninevah among Israel's most feared enemies. As Smith observes, Jonah "was living his dream until, one day, God interrupted his life" (p. 16).
It is this divine interruption that reveals the heart of Jonah towards God and others. Jonah was not pleased with God's will for his life, and so much so, that he tried to run the other way from God. As the book of Jonah unfolds, we see a successful prophet of God acting like the very pagans God has sent him to minister to and call to repentance. As it turns out, Jonah had some repenting of his own that he needed to do. As God wanted to pursue the Ninevites through Jonah, God pursued Jonah as well.
Jonah, though a short commentary on a short book, is packed with exegetical, historical, practical and pastoral insight. Though it is easy to look at Jonah and say how could he act in such a way to God, careful and honest readers will quickly see that none of us are much different when put into the same situations in our own lives. The response of Jonah to God is a mirror into the depths of our own hearts and what it reveals is often not pretty
Jonah is an excellent book for personal or group devotions and will serve all Christians alike.
NOTE: I received this book from Christian Focus Publications and was under no obligation to provide a favorable review. The words expressed in this review are my own.