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Repentance Lessons from Jonah June 28, 2005

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
  1. Repentence precedes revival. Jonah had to repent of his disobedience to God before Nineveh’s revival could happen. The people of Nineveh had to turn to God and change their ways before they could experience the benefits of God’s presence. And today, we’ll never know real revival — real and renewed closeness to our Almighty God — unless we repent first.
  2. Repentance is a serious undertaking. I’ve almost sterilized the emotion, passion and forcefullness that real repentance intails by simply saying you must “cry out to God.” But that little phrase is pregnant with meaning, which is best described by the words of Dr. A.W. Tozer.
  3. Repentance and revival is God’s work. Jonah didn’t come in with an elegant, insightful message. But it’s redeeming quality was it’s source — God Himself. When we do God’s bidding and for God’s glory, we will see God work. Sensationalism, intellect and methodologies are useless — indeed, maybe even an afront — without God.
  4. Individual revival precedes corporate revival. Notice in Jonah 3:6-7: the king declared national revival once word of the people’s repentance found it’s way to him. He certainly could have declared the fasting and prayer beforehand, but forced repentance isn’t genuine and would not have stayed God’s wrath.

    If we want to see revival in our church, we must repent. We can have the best pastor, most godly deacons, spend the most on missions, feed all of the poor, have the most active and involved youth group, have programs for every need and interest. But it will all be a tremendous and spriritual waste of time if you and I aren’t committed to our relationship with God.

    If we want to see revival in America, our churches must repent. A Christian president, the most Bible-centered Supreme Court, wonderfully religious politicians and even permission to recognize and honor God in our schools will make no difference if you and I aren’t committed to our relationship with God.

  5. Repentance stays God’s judgement. Anything less invites it. The length of the stay will be measured by our willingness to repeat the process over and over. It didn’t last long for Nineveh — a few years later and the city was destroyed. But the fact remains that they repented and for that reason, God held back His hand.


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