Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Jonah Part 3: Cruise-ship or Warship | Colin D
This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on September 24th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking 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 into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
Jonah 3:10-“When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.”
Jonah 4:1-11 “But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to 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. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
What an amazing story! Here’s a prophet of God who has been instrumental in the greatest revival known to mankind- a whole city turned on 5 word- 40 days and Nineveh will be no more. Imagine this happening to you! You’d be ecstatic! And here we see that in the midst of this great spiritual outpouring, there is a prophet of God, responds with anger. What an anticlimax!
We see the mystery of why Jonah ran away. He says, I knew you are a gracious God and merciful, abounding in steadfast love. He knew God would not destroy them if they repented. He is so disappointed that he asks God three times to kill him. But God did not take his life. God loved the ninevites, but also Jonah.
Jonah went out of the city and made a tent for himself. He still wanted to see what would happen to the city. We see God’s mercy and kindness. He made a plant grow up and give Jonah some comfort. Jonah is exceedingly glad about this plant. When dawn came up the next day, the plant withered. There was a scotching east wind and he was faint. Jonah has the refrain, kill me.
Jonah was sent in the midst of a dangerous people and he proclaimed the word of the Lord and he was successful. But he was more concerned with his self-interest than the heart of God. He was not happy for the salvation of those who are enemies of Jews.
Exodus 34:6- “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, and Moses went away to the top of the mount Sinai, the Israelites had made idols and God wanted to kill them. So Moses pleaded with God and he relents. Then Moses remarks this. God is gracious to the weak humanity, merciful to the guilty, slow to anger in the face of grevious sin, abounding in love to the unlovely and relating from disaster to the one who repents. That is our wonderful God.
Jonah was entrusted with the very words of God that could transform cities. In the midst of that revival he was concerned about his own comfort. Who would Jonah remind us of today? The church!
We can be people who are so happy we’re saved. But do we have the heart of God for God out there? We were like that at one time and the mercy of God drew us to repentance. Like Jonah who was so concerned about his own comfort, it can become our preoccupation.
Titus 1:2-3 “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,”
You and I have been entrusted with the word of God.
1 cor 1:21- God chooses to save poepel through the foolishness of what has been preached. When we proclaim the word, there is power to transform individuals and save cities. Are we concerned more with the plant than the people? A church can get so preoccupied with meeting the needs of the people. we are here for the lost.
2 Cor 5:11- “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others.” Verse 18- “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation”
Imagine the church is like a ship- what kind of ship would it be? A cruiseship where you have all the comforts of the world? Or a warship? A warship is where are on amission where we roll up our sleeves and get to work because we are on a mission.
Daniel 12:3- “Those who are wise[a] will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
Matthew 12:30- ““Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” There is no neutral. If we do not gather, it is like being in the river, where if you don’t paddle in the opposite direction, you are scattering, going away in with the river.
If we are not fishers of men, how closely are we following Jesus?
We see who God is in this story
God is sovereign. He is in control of the fish, the plant, the worm to eat the plant, the sun to shine and wind to blow. Let’s proclaim the gospel boldly because he’s in control of everything in the world. We need to seek the kingdom. seeking the kingdom is also about using out time and talents to reach the lost.
Have we become complacent or do we have the heart of God for people? Let’s engage the world around us!