Summary: Our faithfulness to God shows whether we love each other, and loving each other is proof that we belong to Christ.
Learning to Love
The importance of God’s people
More people have been brought into the church by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world, and more people have been driven from the church by the hardness and ugliness of so-called Christianity than by all the doubts in the world.
William Barclay, Leadership, Vol. 9, no. 3.
Something’s are not fun or enjoyable
In our Christian walk, we sometimes find things we don’t like to do. We have times when they simply do not feel like obeying God word.
Being a Christian comes with certain expectations, and one of them is that we will love others, serve others, and provide for others.
Our faithfulness to God shows whether we love each other, and loving each other is proof that we belong to Christ.
But Jonah rose up to flee ... from the presence of the Lord;
History of Jonah & Nineveh
The first Biblical mention of Nineveh is in Gen 10:11, where it is stated that NIMROD went out into Assyria, and builded Nineveh.
Nineveh was the capital of the great Assyrian Empire for many years. Its fortunes rose and fell as Babylonia and Assyria struggled with each other for the dominant position in the ancient world. During some periods Babylonia was stronger, while the Assyrians gained the upper hand at other times.
A. Thorn in the side if Israel
B. He would like his trouble to go away for good.
1. Jonah fled because he was more concerned about himself more than others in Nineveh.
Because of his values and attitudes - his inner character. He acted, as people often do, who dislike God’s commands.
He set about removing himself as far as possible from being under the influence of God, and from the place where he "could" fulfill them.
2. "Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God never will."
God cares, He sees He hears, He understands
God restores, reconciles and forgives.
Jonah 4:5-11 NKJV
3. Sometimes we all have a Nineveh we don’t want to face
Are there people we don’t want God to love?
Do you love that neighbor of yours whose yard is full of trash and who has too many animals?
Do you care about alcoholics and drug addicts?
Do you care about people with tattoos, body piercings and painted hair?
Do you care about those are mean,
Do you know someone who is pushy
Do you anyone that is facing trials, like we have gone through?
4. We may be like Jonah and not realize we are missing the call?
We are comfortable in the knowing that we have been saved, we are comfortable in coming to church, we just kick back, relax and simply fall to sleep when it comes to doing God’s work.
How many times have we rejected God and his call to service
We often think that the people who are oblivious to the seriousness of the times are the people without God in their lives, but it is also Christians who are eating and drinking, going about their lives as usual, while people are plunging into eternity
5. Hiding from God does not relieve us of our responsibilities
We think that we have a great excuse. But the truth of the matter is that we have no excuse, we just simply put God in last place of our lives.
Often times we run because of fear or stubbornness and we simply say that God is just too demanding of us, that God wants too much.
6. What would of happened other men hid from there calling?
1 Samuel 16:2 - Samuel fear of Saul in anointing David
Acts 9:19 - Ananis and his befriending of Saul (Paul)
7. So what happens when we run from God?
When we run we reject God’s call
When we run we stand in Gods way.
When we run people remain hurt
8. Jonah had a great message like us today.
The Book of Jonah reverberates with the same message: God has compassion on all people, even those who make themselves His enemies and the enemies of His people.
Dr. Ellin Greene, of the University of Chicago, has said,
"We get so quickly sidetracked from the simple story nature of our faith. We begin to think that theology saves us, that truth is somehow embodied in our theology of the Atonement, or our mastery of eschatological charts. But when Jesus wanted to communicate the truth of God’s kingdom, he left out the polysyllables and told a story about a woman who lost a coin or a man who dug for treasure. The kingdom of heaven is like this … he said. Dare we ask for more scholarly explanation from the Son of God?”