Summary: God’s Mercy is greater than our sin
Jonah 3:1-10 1. Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
2. "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."
3. Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city--a visit required three days. 4. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned."
5. The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
6. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.
A young high school foot player realized that his size and ability would limit his chances of earning a "letter,” so he decided to try out for the position of punter. He figured as often as his team punted the ball, he would get in plenty of playing time. On the day kicking tryouts were held, he stood in line with a dozen or so other guys. Each player got one kick; if the coach liked what he saw, the player was called back to kick a few more times.
He was reasonably confident in his skills as a kicker. He thought maybe he had a chance of making the team. When it came his turn to kick, he took the ball in his hands, extended his arms, swung his foot forward and --the ball went off the side of his shoe and landed about six yards away from where he was standing. The coach shook his head and yelled, "Next!” Needless, to say, he was disappointed in his performance. He waved and said, "Hey coach. That one went off the side of my foot. I can do better than that. Give me another shot at it.” The coach looked at him for barely more than a second and said, "Next!” His career as a kicker ended before it started. He had one chance and he blew it.
· There are a number of things we do in life in which we have only one chance to get it right.
o Borrow money from the bank (or from a friend) and don’t pay it back, you probably won’t get another chance to borrow.
o If a job promotion is tied to a certain project that you are doing at work, and you muddle the project, you probably won’t get another chance to do the job right, and you’ll miss out on the promotion.
o If you invited all your friends to your house for a big party, and then when everyone showed up you said, "I decided I didn’t feel like having a party tonight, why don’t you come back another time.” I doubt if any of your friends would come to another one of your parties.
o In any of these cases, if the appeal was made, "I’ll do better next time," more than likely the appeal would be ignored and the second chance would be denied.
· Today, I have one chance to deliver the message that God has laid on my heart this week.
o What if, after I finished preaching this morning, I were to say, "Folks, I think I can do better. Why don’t we all stay an extra 30 minutes and let me preach his message again?"
o How well do you think that idea would go over? How many would stay? Since we came in two vehicles this morning, my family might even leave
o Everyone pretty much expects me to get it right the first time, if I don’t you shake my hand a smile on the way out and say it was good to be here
o There are many situations if life in which we have only one chance, and even if you need a second chance
o You had one shot, you blew it, and that’s all there is to it and there’s nothing you can do about it.
o The good news is that with God, it works differently. With him, we get a second chance. We don’t deserve a second chance, but we get one.