Summary: A message about getting rid of that which is Jonah like in our lives.
Throw Jonah Overboard
Text: Jonah 1:1-16
Jonah’s name is connected with the word "Dove", which signifies a messenger (pigeon/dove). His father’s name was Amittai, which means "My Truth". Put the two together and we find that Jonah, by name, was to be a messenger of the Truth!
One of the greatest issues in the world today is not sin or sickness or disease or even politics. One of the greatest issues of our time revolves around "Christians" not living up to their name.
(Use a skit to the theme of Mission Impossible with Jonah smashing the message device instead of accepting the Mission.)
Reasons to throw Jonah overboard
A. Jonah represents in this passage that which is not in line with the plans, purposes, and pursuits of God.
A few things to note about Jonah before we get into our message proper:
His name means dove but He was acting more like a donkey. Sometimes people don’t act the way in which God intends for them to be. Throw that rascal overboard, and when he gets washed ashore he will be a dove again!
He fled from the presence of the Lord. You can’t leave God’s house, but you can leave His presence:
There are many places to which you can go to leave the presence of the Lord, places in the heart.
Illus: teen with door closed to parents. Still in the home, but not being a part of the family.
People who have/are fleeing from the presence of the Lord are asleep:
1. Asleep to the needs of others
2. Asleep to the personal danger they face
3. Asleep to the purpose for which God has made/called them
WHAT IS THE JONAH IN THE BOAT OF YOUR LIFE?
1. It is that which makes a person to run away from the presence of the Lord.
2. It is the spirit of evil diversion from what ought to be your true priorities.
3. It is the spirit of disobedience.
4. It is that which removes the batteries from your smoke detector, and you can’t detect danger
5. It is the spirit that says: "Please leave a message no one is available to receive you call."
6. It is that which drags you into trouble.
7. It is that which invites storms.
8. It is that which invites divine displeasure.
9. It is the spirit of slumber
10. It is the spirit of compromise.
Reasons to throw Jonah overboard:
1. God has marked the Jonah in Jonah for destruction.
"Contentment is the enemy of freedom."
This applies to us personally, and to that which God would use us to do to help others.
Jonah was content with sleeping while others tottered on eternity.
Jonah was content with looking out for himself, and ignoring others.
There is that in Jonah that God has earmarked for destruction. We joke when we see that in others, "Lord, don’t let me be near when the lightning bolt falls." God has earmarked spiritual contentment (the Jonahic type) for destruction.
Someone is always near when the lightning bolt falls.
Jonah’s ways threatened both sailor and Ninevite with destruction because they would not hear the gospel. Jesus died on the cross so that people could hear, God hates anything that prevents people from hearing, and sometimes that hate extends to the Jonah in you!
So throw Jonah overboard before God does!
2. Throw Jonah overboard because the time is short.
Romans 13:11-12 And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed. 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Illus: Water poured out.
3. Throw Jonah overboard because Jesus would have you to do so.
This do in memory of Me. Jesus died because of the Jonah in you, to keep him (your Jonah) around is to repudiate what Jesus went through for you.
As we prepare for communion:
In his book No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, Max Lucado tells the following story to illustrate God’s love, grace and concern for those who are lost.
Longing to leave her poor Brazilian neighborhood, Christina wanted to see the world. Discontent with a home having only a pallet on the floor, a washbasin, and a wood-burning stove, she dreamed of a better life in the city. One morning she slipped away, breaking her mother’s heart. Knowing what life on the streets would be like for her young, attractive daughter, Maria hurriedly packed to go find her. On her way to the bus stop she entered a drugstore to get one last thing. Pictures. She sat in the photograph booth, closed the curtain, and spent all she could on pictures of herself. With her purse full of small black-and-white photos, she boarded the next bus to Rio de Janeiro. Maria knew Christina had no way of earning money. She also knew that her daughter was too stubborn to give up. When pride meets hunger, a human will do things that were before unthinkable. Knowing this, Maria began her search. Bars, hotels, nightclubs, any place with the reputation for streetwalkers or prostitutes. She went to them all. And at each place she left her picture--taped on a bathroom mirror, tacked to a hotel bulletin board, fastened to a corner phone booth. And on the back of each photo she wrote a note. It wasn’t too long before both the money and the pictures ran out, and Maria had to go home. The weary mother wept as the bus began its long journey back to her small village.