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Summary: Christians need to let God play his role, while they do their part in reaching the world.

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Letting God play his role

Jonah 4: 1-11

Intro:

Playing church

- Kids play house & take on the role of mom, dad, others…

- Many play church & forget that the role of God is taken

Read Jonah chapter 4

From these verses we get truths that show the real spirit & nature of man

- People want hell for those they feel deserve it

- The same people that want hell for others want mercy for themselves

- Only God can be just in determining who gets mercy or judgment

PRAY

I. People want hell for those they feel deserve it

A. Many talk about wanting mercy for everyone, but they mean everyone that they feel deserves mercy.

B. Some will openly tell you who they believe are beyond mercy

a. In Jonah’s prayer in 2:8 he clearly states that he feels that Idolaters don’t deserve mercy

C. Others will show this by their lack of concern and unwillingness to help

a. If we look at what our churches and church members do to reach the lost we see that there are priorities given to who gets God’s mercy

D. These prejudices affect our relationship with God

a. Jonah was unwilling to continue serving, preferred death

b. Jonah gives God an ‘I told you so’, vs. 2, and finds fault in God’s love and compassion

II. The same people that want hell for others want mercy for themselves

A. Contrast how happy Jonah was with the mercy he received from his shade plant with his anger over God’s mercy towards Nineveh.

a. First let’s be clear, Jonah wasn’t concerned for the plant he was concerned for himself

B. God reminded Jonah that his main concern shouldn’t be for himself but the salvation of the lost.

a. Ephesians 2 reminds us that we all at one time didn’t know our left hand from our right (spiritually speaking)

b. What do we pray for most?

i. Ourselves?

ii. Our family?

iii. Our friends?

iv. Our country

v. Or the lost that we can’t reach?

III. Only God can be just in determining who gets mercy or judgment

A. This is where we need to let God play God

B. When we deny others God’s mercy we’re playing God

a. Jonah wanted to control God & got angry when he couldn’t

i. In vs. 2 his angry prayer shows his unrepentant heart as he justifies his sins

ii. Jonah never admitted that he was wrong & God was right

iii. We can turn around physically without doing so spiritually

C. Many who get ‘angry for God’, are really trying to play his part

D. We need to follow what God says not what we want him to say

Conclusion:

This study of Jonah has made many of us reflect on our own struggles with God.

What’s your Nineveh?

How are you acting towards it?

- Are you running?

- Are you arguing with God?

- Are you obeying externally but not internally?

Are you letting God play his role as master of your life (and of others lives) or are you trying to fill that role yourself?

While we let God play his role we need to develop a character of mercy that shows that we’re his children.


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