Books authored by Dr. James Dyet. Purchase on

Friday, May 29, 2009

God's Amazing Love

A couple of weeks ago, on a clear day, I stood at the top of Pikes Peak. It is amazing how far in all directions you can see from 14,110 feet. The view encompassed other mountain ranges, valleys, and Colorado’s eastern plains stretching out to Kansas. But God’s love reaches even farther than the view from Pikes Peak. It extends to every continent.

When the King of Nineveh and his subjects repented, God demonstrated His vast and amazing love by forgiving them and sparing their city (Jonah 3:6-10). His love outdistanced their wickedness.

Wickedness rages throughout the world today, but God loves even the vilest sinner; and Jesus died for that person as well as for every human being. Forgiveness is only a breath away for anyone who responds to God’s love and believes in Jesus as his Savior. John 3:16 proclaims the all-inclusive nature of God’s love and His unconditional promise of eternal life to all who believe. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Someone God’s love this way:

“His is love; ‘tis love unbounded—
Without measure, without end.
Human thought is here confounded,
It’s too vast to comprehend.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Preach It, Jonah!

When Jonah entered Nineveh, he did not take a survey to determine the community’s felt needs or interests so he could tailor his preaching to fit his audience. Nor did he offer an entertainment package or promise success to those who would simply give the Lord “a chance.” Instead, he preached the message the Lord had given him (Jonah 3:1, 4).

The Ninevites responded to Jonah’s stern message about judgment by repenting. Even the king repented. He stripped off his royal robe, covered himself with sackcloth (course, dark cloth made of goats' hair), and sat in ashes. He wasn’t giving God a “chance.” He was beseeching God to give him a “chance.” And them he decreed that everyone in Nineveh should follow his example. He hoped God would spare the city (v. 9).

He was right. God responded to the citywide repentance with mercy (v. 10). More than two centuries earlier, King David had prayed, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). He, too, was right!

In Colonial America, Jonathan Edwards preached a stern sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” that caused members of his congregation to grip the backs of the pews tightly because they feared they would slip into hell if they let go. Are we overdue for a similar message today? Of course, if congregants heard one, they might have to grip the backs of theater seats, but genuine repentance might buy our nation more time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

40 Days until Judgment

It wasn’t an easy assignment. The Lord had commissioned Jonah to preach against Nineveh’s wickedness. It is never easy to preach against sin, but to do so in foreign capital with a reputation for extreme cruelty would test any preacher’s nerves and loyalty to the Lord.

Nineveh was a vast city of three days journey, and its fortifications were extremely strong. Its walls were 100 feet high and wide enough for three chariots to run side by side at the top. As he gazed at those huge walls, Jonah must have felt as small as an ant.

Keep in mind that Jonah was the lone foreigner in a densely populated city. He was God’s sole representative among thousands of immoral, profane, fierce pagans. So did he tone down his message? Not at all! He told the Ninevites their city would be overthrown in 40 days (Jonah 3:4).

No one knows how long America can survive. Surely, our nation is generous and noble in many respects, but its moral decline is obvious. It has become almost totally secular and disrespectful of God and the Bible. Furthermore, many pulpits are silent about sin and its destructive consequences. People are told what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. Churchgoers are assured they have intrinsic value and God wants to make them successful, wealthy, and healthy. Instead of being told they need to be saved, they are told they are entitled to be successful and happy. God is portrayed as a doting celestial Santa Claus who exists to make every day Christmas. He delivers toys and fun to boys and girls of all ages. No one is naughty; everyone is nice.

If our nation is to survive for many more years, we need to expose sin and warn against its dire consequences. But we can also offer God’s grace and forgiveness to those who turn from their sin and believe on God’s Son. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).