Summary: Before we move into this New Year of 2016, there are somethings we need to throw overboard. To get out of a God ordered storm, we need to come to terms with some stuff and Throw It Overboard.



It is important to spend this 52nd and final Sunday of the year 2015 providing proper focus and closure. We have made it and endured another year. I am sure all of us would admit that we have had some struggles and ups and downs throughout the past 12 months.

• Some had it easier than others this year

• Others have experienced real challenges this year

• Some have experienced loss this year and are still shedding tears, yes, this year

• I am sure you would agree as a Church this has not been one of the better years

• I am sure some have even contemplated “Throwing in the Towel” this year

So, here we are on this final Sunday. What is it we need to take away this morning to help us bring a sense of closure and understanding? If God but tarries, the New Year 2016 is pregnant with possibilities. We can re-set and redefine some goals for this New Year. But how we do that will be critical. As we examine this Old Testament text, I want to lift as a thought this morning – Throw It Overboard.

• I believe like Jonah, we too have felt like running away

• I believe like Jonah, we wanted to do something different than what God has asked us to do

• I believe like Jonah, we think it is easier to sit down on God

• I believe like Jonah, we would rather go to Sleep during the Storm

The Prophet, Jonah, here is commissioned to go and cry against the city of Nineveh. The mandate is clear, unmistakable -- preach a message of judgment, preach a message of warning. Tell them that God is going to judge them. Nineveh is the capital city of the Assyrian Empire. And this is his commission. Jonah fully understands God’s instructions and directive to him.

In our text we have seen how Jonah ran from his call to preach to the people at Nineveh. He had found a boat going to Tarshish and boarded it.

• Going in opposite direction of where God called him to be

• Sometimes we think it is just easier to turn our back on our tough situations

• But God sent a strong wind to intercept Jonah

• Can I tell you God will allow us to go so far before He Intercepts us

• It is here we see the futility of man’s free will when God calls him

In the middle of this horrific Storm, Jonah is below sleeping. They had awakened him and asked why he did not cry out to his God for deliverance. He said he was a Hebrew and he feared God, sounds like some of the people we have all met. Tell you they are saved, but sleeping -- Tell they are a Christian, but sleeping – Tell you they belong to a Church, but sleeping. These hard working men find out that this RUNAWAY PROPHET is the cause of God’s fury.

• There are some Storms we have designed ourselves

• There are some Storms we find ourselves in because of our own disobedience

• There are some Storms we are in because we have angered God

In the midst of this Storm, the Mariner’s Inquiry -- “WHAT SHALL WE DO?” -- They knew by now the storm was not an ordinary storm but the hand of God bared against his prophet. BUT WHO SHOULD THEY ASK FOR THE SOLUTION?

• The prophet of God?

• God’s man here upon this earth!

• They asked Jonah

• They knew he was the cause but they also knew he was God’s man and the answer to their dilemma

• He was flesh and bone the same as they were

• But he was more than that he was God’s man

• Anointed and ordained to do the work that God had for him to do

We must be careful who we ask our Questions in the midst of our Storm. All too often we ask the wrong person or people what we should do as it pertains to God’s business.

• We ask the one that never comes to Sunday School

• We ask the one that never comes to Bible Study

• We ask the one that never returns to support any Afternoon Program

• We ask the one that only attends Church 1-2 times a month

• We ask the one that is not involved in the life of the Church

• We ask the one that does not Tithe or invest their time in the ministry of the Church

• We ask the one that never has anything good to say about anything or anyone

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