This message was preached by Colin D' Cruz at Word of Grace Church Pune, on the 16th of February 2014
Are we in step with God's purposes for our lives and through our lives? Jonah was concerned with his comfort, God was concerned with the city. Which concern reflects our hearts?
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Chapter 3 Now Jonah gets the Word from God a second time. This is the message “Forty days and the city will be destroyed” Verse 10 The city pays attention to him and they turn to God. God has compassion. This story is not about a big fish but a big God full of compassion, long suffering, slow to anger and gracious and compassionate. Here we see the contrast between Jonahs heart and God’s. Often we are so much like Jonah and we need to change.
4:1 Disaster is averted and what does Jonah do? The most successful evangelist in the O.T and he is not happy with his success. Jonah is angry.
Jonah ran way because he did not want God to have mercy. God’s heart is for the nations of the world. He has a BIG heart. People from different nations are different from us but God loves every culture, language etc. God loves us all. We should not have a superiority complex. We are all equal n the sight of God. Paul considered his background as rubbish.
Rev 7:9 There was a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language. WOW!! What was Jonah’s heart? He did not rejoice in their salvation. How angry was He” 4:3 He was so angry that he wanted to die because they repented. He was a zillion miles away from God’s heart. Do we secretly wish punishment? Ask God for compassion. We may not say things like Jonah but our behavior and actions are telling. Who are our friends?
How does God reply? Verse 4 “Have you any right to be angry?” Verse 5 He is waiting to see what is going to happening?
The Lord provides a vine and Jonah is happy about that. He is happy about the vine but is not concerned about the city. We can be like this- totally self absorbed – concerned only with our needs, home family etc, etc. It never ends – there is no end to how much we can pamper ourselves and be unconcerned about the lost.
So God gives him an object lesson. God sends a worm. God is in charge of the worm and the whale. A scorching heat comes upon Jonah.
Jonah wants to die again – what a suicidal prophet!!!We can be like that. If we don’t get what we want we become angry and sulk.
4:10 Jonah feels he has a right to be angry. Now God gently rebukes him. God once again show his compassion. What do we learn? God has a heart for the people for the world. Even though we are selfish God is committed to us and wants to use us to reach the nations. Jonah had the anointing but he lacked the character. God is committed to working on our character as well and we need to work on that.
God could have sidelined Jonah but God pursued him even though he was messed up. God used super natural events and evens of life to teach Jonah.
Where is your heart today? Is you life goal your personal acquisition, comfort or are we caught up with the purposes of God?
Hudson Taylor said “I will live on less and less so that I can give away more and more” How different this is form the prosperity gospel which focuses on more and more. There is something about self-denial and sacrifice. God says seek the kingdom and all thing s will be added. God will provide for all our needs.
Jonah was concerned about his comfort but God was concerned about the city. So it ends with “Should I not be concerned about that great city?” God would ask us whether we are concerned about the great cities in India and the world.
What are you doing today and next week and next month that the glorious gospel goes to the nations?
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log ontowww.wordofgracechurch.org.
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