Summary: This lesson is about acting on what God desires for us to do. A lot of times we wait, pretend like we don't hear God or just go to Tarshish instead of Nineveh.
Yesterday we left off where the men on the ship threw Jonah overboard. The sea grew calm and a great fish swallowed Jonah. A large fish could have been a huge sperm whale but the Bible doesn’t say what kind of fish. But its insides had to big enough for Jonah to breathe for three days. Supernaturally God caused the big fish to take Jonah to the exact point on the eastern side of the Mediterranean that was closest to Nineveh and then throw him up on shore. Yuk!!
We ended with a prayer last time about running from God. Can you see that God’s will, WILL be done no matter what you try to do? Whatever is done in secret will be revealed, eventually, but the biggest thing is we can’t keep running from our problems. Do you have something today that you have either put off or are running from? You know God wants you to do it but either you are too afraid or doubt that it can be done!
When Jonah was in the belly of the fish he didn’t know he was going to Nineveh. He thought his life was over. So he tried to make things right with God.
Jonah 2:8 “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
So what does this mean? When we have failed miserably and we don’t have anywhere else to go but God, then and only then can restoration start. In order to renovate a house that is crumbling down you have to build a new foundation. Sometimes in our lives for our own good God starts again with us. Don’t worry if you have to start over. Just be thankful you are saved. You know, in life a lot of people can go on sinning that are not saved and not be convicted of their sin. Some may wonder why they can do all these things and not suffer. Well they will not suffer on earth but they will when they see God and their names are not written in the Lambs Book of Life. If you are saved then God will discipline you in a loving way to keep you from straying from Him.
1 Corinthians 7:23,24 “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to”.
Tomorrow we will be talking about what happens in Nineveh but today I want to get back to where YOU are today. Some of you may be convicted of what you are doing and know what you should be doing but can’t. Either for fear of getting caught, fear of your abilities or maybe a prideful heart like Jonah. Jonah did not want his enemies saved.
So what does it mean to cling to worthless idols so that we forfeit the grace that could be ours? A number of definitions that come to mind when being looked at call Gods grace as
When we least expect it, when we least deserve it, when we don’t deserve it at all God still loves us and gives us His favor. That is His Grace. But if we cling to worthless idols such as work, our kids, a hobby, money, fame and ___________ then we have put this thing or things ABOVE our love for God.
I received this email from a family member of the murdered family at the funeral I attended a couple weeks ago. God used this person to give me His grace and to show me I was on track.