Sun, Oct 08, 2017
Duration:32 mins 52 secs
The Grace that Angered Jonah
Really God? The Assyrians? Are You kidding me? Don’t You know how cruel, immoral, brutal, and pagan they are? I can hear Jehovah clearing His throat and whispering tenderly to Jonah’s hard heart, “As a matter of fact, I do!” The grace that Jonah received from The Lord gladdened Him. But when that very same grace was bestowed upon the wicked Assyrians in the city of Nineveh, it maddened him to the core. He pouted. He brewed. He stewed. Wasn’t that display of unmerited grace the same scenario in Luke 7 in the account of the “immoral woman” and the self righteous Pharisee (vv. 37-48)? Wasn’t that display of grace the same ending to the story of the prodigal son when the father bestowed upon his wayward, freshly-home-from-the- pigpen son in such a celebratory way that it angered the prim and proper elder son (Luke 15:13-32)?
As we conclude our study of Jonah this morning, it would serve us all well to take a “grace check.” When God forgives or restores a sinner, does it gladden us or madden us? Do we pout, or do we praise? Do we give God a thumbs up for His incredible grace, or a thumbs down? Do we imitate Jonah and wait for them to fall and for God to drop the hammer, or do we come along side of them with arms wide open and a place at the table of fellowship? Jehovah does. Jesus does. Do I? Do you? Selah
Sun, Sep 24, 2017
Duration:39 mins 30 secs
A Second Chance…A Great Revival
After getting tossed on to the shores of Nineveh, “the word of The LORD came unto Jonah the second time” (Jonah 3:1). Jonah was not an exceptional case of being given a second chance. Denying she was his wife, Abraham watched Sarah get carried off to the king’s harem, not once, but twice. Moses murdered a man and tried to cover his sin by burying the body in the desert sand. David committed adultery and subsequently murdered the woman’s husband. Aaron built the golden calf but was appointed the first high priest. Peter denied Jesus by the enemy’s fire. John Mark left Paul and Barnabas and ran home to Jerusalem. I am sure that every single one of us can relate to and be thankful for the fact that our God is the God of second chances.
Not only is our God the God of second chances, He is also the God of grace and revival. The Assyrians were a wicked and cruel people. They were the opposite of everything that God said was holy, upright and pure. But God declared in Jeremiah 18:7-8: “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” At the preaching of Jonah, who by the way was far from being a fully yielded vessel, the entire city repented and God forgave them.
Abba, cause our nation to repent at the preaching of the greater than Jonah and heal our land. Selah
Sun, Sep 17, 2017
Duration:41 mins 44 secs
From Rebellion to Repentance
Last week we read about Jonah, the rebellious and reluctant prophet. This morning we read about Jonah, the remorseful and repentant prophet. After the whale swallowed up Jonah, we learn that he did not repent immediately. It wasn’t until the third day that he cried out to God. There is no doubt in Jonah’s mind that God orchestrated every single event that led him to repentance. Scripture declares, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Proverbs 3:11-12) Like Jonah, you and I as followers of The Lord Jesus Christ will be chastened and corrected by The Lord when we are out of His will.
Jonah experienced the mercy and forgiveness of God when he turned to Him with a broken and contrite heart. Jonah declared these words of comfort and hope for all who sin and fall short of the glory of God but who turn to Him for mercy: “Salvation is of The Lord.” (Jonah 2:9c) If you are a child of God and are running away from His will for your life, you will get swallowed up until you stop making excuses and confess and repent of your sin. Forgiveness of our sin presently is as much a part of the gospel message as is forgiveness of sins of our past and future. Salvation is of The Lord.
Sun, Sep 10, 2017
Duration:39 mins 7 secs
YOU CAN’T RUN FROM GOD
The story of Jonah is one that is well known. Even people who do not espouse to any “religious beliefs” or “spirituality” have heard of the story of Jonah being three days and nights in the belly of a great fish. Jesus Himself believed the literal account of Jonah and the whale (or great fish). He said that it was a type of how He would be three days and three nights in the belly of the earth before He rose again (Matthew 12:40). Hallelujah! Jesus is risen, beloved. Truly, the good news of salvation is of The Lord and from The Lord.
But Jonah is a book that is packed with practical lessons for any person who is a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a book that teaches us that it is impossible to flee from the presence of God. It is a book that teaches us that our sin and rebellion against God affects others and sometimes puts others in danger. It’s a book that teaches how racial resentment can be so deep that it can blind us from heeding the commands to preach the gospel. It teaches us that God’s grace and the gift of repentance are extended to the most wicked of people. But above all things is the singular message that God is ultimately in sovereign control over whales and winds, gourds and people.