I love our little Christmas tree, because it has a story. Instead of buying a new tree each Christmas, I annually replant ours, so that I can dig it up again, early December, to adorn our living room for those few weeks over the Christmas season. My wife says being Dutch is being cheap, but I think it means being responsible and smart! It is now on its fifth Christmas, and I have grown oddly fond of this small and somewhat irregularly shaped tree.
God used (apparently miraculously grown) vegetation to teach the prophet Jonah a lesson about His compassion for the people of Nineveh. Jonah would have been quite happy had God destroyed this pagan, sinful city, but the Lord had other thoughts towards them.
‘And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”’ (Jonah 4:10-11).
Looking at our world today, we see a world which, by and large, has turned its back on God. Inevitably this brings the Lord’s judgement. But what should our attitude, as believers be? Should we be like Jonah, looking forward to God’s judgements? Not at all! It should spur us on to share the love of Jesus to a lost and broken world. Like our Father in heaven, we should be filled with compassion for those that don’t know Him.
God sent Jesus, not to condemn the world but to save it. God loves the world, its people and everything else that’s in it. May this Christmas be a time where we can rejoice in God’s passion for mercy, and may He rekindle the fire in our hearts to bring Jesus to a world that so desperately needs Him.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.