Summary: God is passionate for all people.
THE RIGHT CONCERN
S: God’s compassion
Th: My Life as God’s Light
Pr: GOD IS PASSIONATE FOR ALL PEOPLE
?: How? How is it revealed?
TS: We will find in Jonah 4, four stages which reveal God’s passion for all people.
The _____ stage which reveals God’s passion for all people is…
I. COMPASSION (1-4)
II. CLASS (5-8)
III. CONNECTION (9-10)
IV. CONCERN (11)
RMBC 8/05/01 AM
1. Have you ever really not been “on the same page” as someone?
ILL #226 (washing machine)
A new resident was walking down a street and noticed a man struggling with a washing machine at the doorway of his house. When the newcomer volunteered to help, the homeowner was overjoyed, and the two men together began to work and struggle with the bulky appli-ance. After several minutes of fruitless effort the two stopped and just stared at each other in frustration. They looked as if they were on the verge of total exhaustion. Finally, when they had caught their breath, the first man said to the homeowner: "We’ll never get this washing machine in there!" To which the homeowner replied: "In? I’m trying to move it out of here!"
Well, that was a definite communication breakdown.
The truth is…
2. We only get things done when we are in agreement.
We have to be on the same page.
We need to be either going in or going out.
I have also found in my experience that it is good to be “on the same page” with God.
1. Have you ever been upset with God’s leading?
ILL Personal (Kearny)
Before we ended up in our former church in Souderton, Pennsylvania, we actively pursued a church in northern New Jersey.
Actually, it was the other way around.
For months, a little church in Kearny, NJ that overlooks both Newark and Jersey City asked us to candidate.
While flattered that they would consider us, I was literally scared about the situation.
This was clearly an inner city ministry and that was a culture I did not have much in common with experience-wise.
Yet, we felt that God was nudging us toward there, and reluctantly, we agreed to candi-date.
Constantly, during the whole situation, my prayer was that if this was the place the Lord wanted us to be that He would give us the desire to live and minister there.
And to our surprise, that very thing happened.
We found ourselves, even in the midst of apprehension, with a desire to go.
We grew to love the people there and began to look forward to going there.
The candidating weekend took place, and it went well.
We had a great time.
But the next Sunday, the church body voted "no" to our coming.
I couldn’t believe it.
And for a week, I was on the edge of hurt and anger with God.
I couldn’t understand why He would lead us so, even give us the desire to be there, and then say "no."
It didn’t make sense.
It didn’t even seem consistent.
Why would God do this to us?
In our continuing study of Jonah, we must recognize the context of our study.
2. Context: Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh.
In fact, it would have been just perfect for Jonah if the Ninevites that he tried to run away from were all struck dead by God.
It would just be perfect if God would wreak vengeance on those tormenters of Israel, for they have treated Jonah’s people cruelly.
The Ninevites had slaughtered the Israelites.
He wanted payback.
And that is what he preached “Forty more days and Nineveh is toast!”
Notice his message was negative and with no good news.
He knows God is angry with them, and he wants them to receive their just desserts.
That Jonah is angry, goes without saying...but the Ninevites responded to God, they believed God and repented with all seriousness with prayer, fasting, sackcloth and dust.
When God saw what they did, that they had turned from their evil ways, God had compassion and did not destroy them.
Mercy triumphed over judgment!
The awesome grace of God was beautifully displayed.
So God was no longer angry with Nineveh; but someone else in the story remained angry—Jonah.
Here he is…the one who knows personally the grace of God.
He had just been rescued from his own grave (the belly of a great fish) and even proclaimed "salvation comes from the Lord," yet he couldn’t really stomach what he confessed.
But before we go any further, let’s get a good understanding of the situation here.
3. The story about Jonah is not about Jonah.
We might think this is a story about Jonah and the whale…
…or about Jonah’s rebellion;