"If we are excited about life’s little things, then we should celebrate Jesus’ victory" by: Caleb Gibson

   This past weekend, our church teamed up with Discover Life Church and churches around us to help put on an event called LIT Fest. 
   The word LIT is an acronym which means Leaders In Training and it is a free three-day event for junior high and high school students. 
   During this event, we get to be a part of a team where we play volleyball, basketball, obstacle courses, water balloon fights, and stuff like that. 
   When my team went to play volleyball, we lost the first match.  
   I really wanted to win the second match. 
   We were neck and neck and finally won the match, I was so excited and happy to win just one game. 
   I was celebrating, jumping, and high fiving!  
   Yet that was really a small victory compared to most things. 
   How important is a volleyball match in the grand scheme of life? 
   Not too much, but if we can get excited about the small victories, how much more should we celebrate what Jesus accomplished on the cross? 
   In the Bible, Jonah preached one of the shortest sermons ever recorded in the Bible.  
   In the Hebrew language it is five words. 
   He told them that if they did not repent, they would be destroyed for their horrific sins. 
   The city had a change of heart.  
   They realized that maybe, “Who knows” God might have mercy (Jonah 3:9). 
   God gave Jonah a second chance at his call, and God was now giving the city a second chance.  
   As God saw this once ugly city turn from its wicked ways, God had mercy on them, and concerning the destruction of Nineveh, “He did not do it” (Jonah 3:10). 
   What was Jonah’s response? Was he happy or joyful? 
   No, it greatly displeased him and he became angry. 
   He knew this would happen. This was why he never wanted to go and it took a great fish to send him here. 
   He told the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. 
   “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” (Jonah 4:1-2). 
   Jonah knew the heart of God. 
   Jonah went out of the city and simply sat down.  
   He made a shelter and sat to discover what would happen. 
   God used a plant to explain His love for Nineveh.  
   As Jonah was in the hot sun, a plant grew quickly to give Jonah shade. Jonah loved the plant.  
   Later a worm ate plant and cause it to wither. 
   Jonah began to burn under the heat of the sun.  
   Here Jonah loved and cared for something that was small and really insignificant, God was in a way saying, “If you care for this small plant, how much more should we care for others?” 
   God can use simple things to show us truth.  
   God is not defined by wrath; He is defined as a gracious and compassionate God.  
   We can be happy for a simple volleyball game or a small plant, so let’s celebrate the victory of Jesus even more!

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