Service as a Venue for Sanctification
A Sermon on Jonah 4
Dr. Timothy Laniak explains that Jonah 4 offers another reason for Christian service. The first reason is simply the call of God. God has an agenda in every area of life and he uses men and women to carry out his mission. But beyond calling is compassion as a reason for obedience. God does not simply want mailmen but messengers capable of embodying his message. For this reason God often appoints the very ministry to which he has called us as our classroom for forming Christian character. Dr. Laniak argues it would be a shame to lock our identity into some assignment, not allowing God to do the important surgical work to sanctify us, as he did with Jonah.
Timothy Laniak teaches Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He served as a missionary in 15 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as the director of the International Fellowship House in Boston. His publishing began with a social-scientific commentary, Shame and Honor in the Book of Esther. He spent two years studying in Israel, including one year of research that formed the basis for his books Shepherds After My Own Heart and While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks. Dr. Laniak’s scholarly interests include the social world of the Bible, metaphor, biblical theology and hermeneutics, archaeology, leadership and ecclesiology.