When we look at the story of Jonah & the city of Nineveh we can learn a few things. Take a quick minute to read the story.
Jonah gives us an example of God working to restore a city that is not worshiping him & an individual who doesn’t want to be involved.
Jonah 4:11 “Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”
What do we then learn from Jonah, Nineveh, and other examples?
- God cares about people & cities.
- God cares about our heart for cities.
- God wants to redeem.
Here’s a few examples:
Lk 19:41-44 Jesus lament over Jerusalem.
Jer 33:3 “call to me and I will answer you.” v 6… “I will rebuild the city.”
Joel 2:12 “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” …thru verse 14 …v15 call the people together for a solemn meeting.”
Most of the occasions of fasting & prayer in the Bible were either a turning to God, or praying that someone (or a group) would turn to God.
Moses Ex. 34:27-28 40 day fast between “God’s DNA” and writing 10 Commandments.
Esther, Hannah 1 Sam 1:7, Joshua, Judah, Ezra, David, Nehemiah, people of Ninevah.
When you find clarity in God, you discover that you exist for others…not in a way that obscures/obliterates your personal indentity, but in a way that fulfills who you are designed to be.
We should ask ourselves:
- Do you love your city?
- Have you considered praying for neighborhoods or straight through the headlines?
- Will you commit to a set time each month to pray for the city?
When I hear the descriptions of the circumstances surrounding a person’s choice to avoid Christianity or leave Christianity, most often there are individuals making selfish decisions involved in the process.
What can we do as individuals?
- Ask God for faith for our families, neighborhoods, & city.
- Pray for our families, neighborhoods, & city.
- Ask God what we can do to serve our families, neighborhoods, & city.
- Make room for new people in our lives.
If one of your four family members pulled out of a downward spiral and took a positive direction would it effect the rest of your family?
How would 650,000 Jesus followers change Baltimore City?
Is it worth your time to pray for our city?
What can we do as a “City” Bible Church?
We repent of sin and increase our prayer for the city. Ezek. 22:30
We ask God for more Jesus followers to serve the city & its citizens. Mt 9:37-38
We seek restoration and rebuilding in the city. Isaiah 58:12
We commit to raise up young leaders, to serve the city. Gen 14:14
We work toward active unified relationships with churches that we may affect the city together. 1 Cor 1:10
We pray for new believers to find strength in Bible-believing Jesus-centered churches across the city. Is 58:1