Sermons

Summary: The God who gives the second, third, fourth, chance

Good morning friends! What a great privilege it is to be here with you this morning. For those of you who don’t know me….I am the Pastor of the Edelstein Congregational Church. My name is Chris Duncan….and I’m not right! I was thinking this past week….well….it was obvious early in my life that I wasn’t right….I remember staying at my Grandpa’s farm on the weekends. The nearest neighbor was about 6 miles away….and at this time I was going through a period of rebellion…well…actually if you ask my wife….she’ll probably say that I am still going through a period of rebellion….I remember going to school and all of my friends would talk about sneaking out at night…sounded like the coolest thing I ever heard…so one night….I waited till my grandparents had gone to bed…they had been in bed about two hours….I could hear my granddad snoring…so I slowly opened the window…my heart was beating….and I was a good kid at this age…I was pretty compliant….but my heart was just racing man…100 miles per hour….I opened the window….I crawled outside….I shut the window….and then it hit me….I’m on a farm! There isn’t anyone around for 30 miles! I snuck out into nothing! So I went out and milked the cows….and uh….so….I’m not right…I’m an idiot….I love fish…and I was given this incredible smoked salmon a few years ago…smoked salmon packed in it’s own oil…and I sat down at my kitchen table with some crackers…some cream cheese…some capers…onions….and before you know it….I had eaten the entire salmon…..you’ve never done that? It was the strangest thing……I wanted to get up and go outside……but I couldn’t…move…..I thought….well….I’m just going to lay here on the floor for a little while….and then I had this strange desire to swim upstream…and lay eggs….none of you have ever had that huh?

I am so glad to be here with you this morning….so glad to be apart of worship with you this morning. It is so great to come together as a body of believers under the banner of Jesus Christ…as one body…and worship together….amen?

This morning we are going to be talking about second chances…our text is going to come from the book of Jonah…..You know…during our times of worship we talk about our God being a God of Majesty….we easily talk about our God being a God of wonders….we easily talk about our God being an awesome God….I guess my question this morning is….what do we do when our God moves us…when he speaks to us…when he calls us….what do we do when our God asks us to take action of some kind? The God who created the earth…the God who put the mountains in place….he whispers to us….what should we do? I have a good idea! Let’s run! Let’s run! Not a real good idea…is it? But that’s what Jonah did! Today’s message isn’t about running from God….it’s not about running….that’s the scene that takes place….The book of Jonah itself isn’t really about running from God. It is a book that teaches us about this marvelous God who can do anything he wants….and chooses to give us a second chance….There is a story of an Amish couple that had just been married….The Amish are a peace loving wonderful people…and many of them don’t believe in driving vehicles…so they were riding in a little buggy….it was their little honeymoon buggy and they were driving along…..and on their way home….their horse reared up…kicked it’s hind legs up and then stopped…right in the middle of the road…and the young Amish man said…. “Horse….that would be one!” And he finally got the horse moving again….and a little while later the horse took off running…..without being encouraged…went around a corner and almost crashed the buggy and he finally got the horse under control…he said… “Horse….that would be two.” As they turned into the little driveway of their home the horse stopped all together…the horse wouldn’t move….nothing the young man could do would get the horse to move along…and the young man said… “Horse…that would be three.” He pulled a rifle out of the buggy, even though he was a peace loving man…he shot the horse….after that…he went over to help his young bride out of the buggy….and his young bride faced him and said… “Husband…dear husband….why didst thou shoot the horse?” And he said… “That’s one.”

Now it’s obvious here…that this husband had chosen to give his new bride….a second chance….this is a story about second chances…and I’m not sure even in the beginning that Jonah even understood that….Read Jonah 1.1-2….Friends if your note takers….I would encourage you to take notes this morning because there are some great lessons to learn from the book of Jonah….1….When this awesome God speaks….listen….We need to listen for God speaking to us…..It’s the very first part of this story…that this God who created everything…that this God who is so amazing would even take the time to speak to us….we need to listen for God….We don’t listen for many reasons…and sometimes our response to God is affected by our image of who he is. I’m not sure that we are always convinced that God has our best interests in mind. We are willing to give him Sunday…were willing to pray about those things that we trust him with…but how about the things that are really important to us? I was willing to talk to God about going to church on Sunday…and little non important things…but I was unwilling to give up those really important matters of the heart…like matters of love….I’m just leveling with you here….As a teenager…and I see some teenagers here this morning…it easy to give God…Sunday school and stuff…but how about trusting him with finding you a life mate…a person to love and adore…I had this image that surely God wouldn’t want me to have someone that I would desire…you know I grew up with this whole idea in mind that God was not about Joy or fulfillment…God was about rules! And if it was fun…or if there was joy or fulfillment in it…then surely it couldn’t be God….I used to think God’s whole job was to stand up in heaven and God… “Behold….Chris Duncan haveth fun…. No! (Stomp foot) I was afraid that if I trusted him….if I trusted him with finding me a mate that somehow he would trick me…I’m just being level honest with you here…surely he wouldn’t want me to have someone I truly cared about and desired….he would say…come here….I’ll show you what I’ve found…and there would be Jabba the Condominium…just waiting….as opposed to Jabba the Hut…bigger…go ahead…share that with each other….I’ve never had to explain that before….I didn’t want to listen to him in matters of life calling…how many of you would be honest enough to admit that you might have been a little afraid to talk to God and say to God you can send me anywhere you want to….for fear of where he might send you…anyone…show of hands? Because we have in our minds this idea that God is going to send us someplace undesirable and we’ll be miserable there! You know where you’ll be miserable? Where God didn’t call you…that’s where you’ll be miserable…

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