Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to Walk in Obedience to the voice of God in all things.

25 January 2009

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris

Fortress Chapel

F.O.B. Sykes

Tall-afar, Iraq

BIG IDEA: God is a God of love and mercy, who would rather forgive and save our enemies rather than punish and destroy them.

REFERENCES: Third Sunday after Epiphany; Hebrews 6:1-3 (GNB) “Let us go forward …” Psalm 139:1-9 NIV (O Lord, you have searched me and you know. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast)., (A Wisdom Psalm); Romans 10:14-15 (NIV) How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? Matthew 12:41 NIV (For the men of Nineveh will rise in judgment with this generation and they will condemn it. For they repented at the preaching of Jonah and behold a greater than Jonah is here); Acts 10:9-22 (Peter’s Vision on the Roof Top);


II. READ THE PERICOPE: Jonah 3:1-5, 10 (ESV)

III. READ THE TEXT: Jonah 3: 1-2 (ESV) Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.

IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to Walk in Obedience to the Voice of God in all things.

V. SERMONIC THEME: “Back to Zero”

VI. INTRODUCTION: It’s so good to see all of you on this Third Sunday after Epiphany.

As we indicated last week, the season of Epiphany is about Revelation – and Opening our Spiritual Eyes and Ears - to see who Jesus is, what he does, and what he says.

Neither the crib nor the cross alone can truly explain the significance of Jesus. Therefore, during the season of Epiphany, Christians everywhere discover the meaning of the “Crib” and the meaning of the “Cross” through Jesus’ life and mission.

For Jesus’ life gives us details of the meaning of the manger and the cross, while His Resurrection reveals the Significance of His life. However, if we think Epiphany is a Tour of Discovery about Jesus ONLY – we’re missing the MRAP.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 1: In our Old Testament Reading of Jonah, for this Sunday, we find a model example of God’s patience with us.

a. We discover that God is a God of love and mercy, …

b. … who would rather forgive and save our enemies … rather than punish and destroy


c. Now, my brothers and sisters, I’m not sure if I ever shared with you that Southwest Airline is my favorite airline.

d. I even love their commercials.

e. Their commercials almost always imply that if you really need to ESCAPE or get away … for whatever reason … their airline is the airline of get-a-ways.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 2: In fact, I can almost hear the phrase: “Do You Want Get Away?” …

a. … then just seconds later … viewers can sublimely imagine themselves arriving at their destination of choice;

b. … whereby … a beep is heard … then a voice suggesting that they may safely disembark the plane.

c. I love the Southwest Airline Commercials!

d. Likewise, in reference to get-a-ways …

e. … the Lord has laid a question on my heart that I would like to share with each of you for your consideration.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 3: As believers, have you ever been so angry and disappointed with God, that you just wanted to … escape … and get as far away from His presence as possible?

a. Have there been time in your life when you thought, to yourself, for whatever reason, I know better than God - what will make me happy; and what is good for me.

b. As you may recall, the Psalmist reminds us all, in Psalm 139:7-8 (NIV), ….

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