Being Jesus in Jonah – A new year message

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Sermon Notes

I did sensing some of you for the first time happy new year and just a few who are didn’t see action respond today we are focusing our attention to the book of Jonah the book of Jonah do know where the book of Jonah’s Old Testament or New Testament kids start with easy questions the old us of the resident New Testament book new Old Testament correct you know where Jonah is what’s in front of Jonah the cookie maker I heard someone say was the right so we tend to the book of Jonah Obadiah Amos is close our lectionary according to our church lectionary and the theme for this week is God’s revelation to all God’s revelation to all the passages that were read. First and second lesson the epistle and even the gospel all refer to different instances in which God’s revelation is being given to the unassuming given to those outside of who we thought would get the revelation I have decided to take the book of Jonah as our focus today the book of John is one of my favorite prophetic books not just because it’s a quick one to read through and so I’ve read through it several times not just because of its shortness what this something very greedy about it something very real about it the other books sometimes I feel like I if I struggled to identify myself with but with Jonah I see I see myself as is Jonah and quite often I find myself in his shoes and several times what is it about Jonah oversoul it’s just to give you a little bit of background Jonah was written according to most scholars around the eighth of the eighth century BC the for price 800 years before Christ was likely this book was written down it was probably an oral turn in oral use before that but finally it eighth century BC it was written down you know who the Assyrians were the good guys and bad guys bad guys the Assyrians are bad guys the Assyrians and 622 PCs in our member for NBC everything is backwards so smaller number means it’s exit close to us and so in the sixth century BC we have the Assyrians coming in and taking over Israel they invaded Israel the city the capital of Assyria is and him and him and minute the capital of Assyria is an event either know about the modern-day Assyria or anything like that and I’m a biblical in olden times if it was the capital of the nation as are men of a was a capital abuse of Assyria the nations. In that day and age everyone knew the the mentality of the Assyrians they were they were cutthroat people if they wanted to take over the nation they would not just simply go in there and through democratic means takeover bill go in there with the full force of the Army and him devastate the place they’ll control and dominate bill killed people of people who are the best and the brightest the kill them off because those are the biggest threats to them these are ruthless people and to these ruthless people God is telling Jonah at you: preach to the Ninevites and we have to imagine what must it have been to be in at you reading this book what kind of ideas must it have conveyed in their own minds what was God trying to convey through this for chapters according to our theme God’s revelation for all I would like for us to look at Jonah from the angle that God’s revelation is meant for everyone even the that guys the Jewish people they had a sense of only miss only necessary meaning that they felt that they were the chosen ones God is the only God everyone agreed with that all the Jews agreed with that them over the course of time they made it very clear that God and God alone is the only one that actually exist all of the gods are they God’s that just statues made of wood are made of metal our God is the only God and with that idea over the course of time came the sense of we are the only people and so the Jews had the sense of loneliness and because of the sense of loneliness it made them very self-confident it made them very self-sufficient and they felt as though they had everything that they needed they look down on others other communities other nations other religions were looked down upon granted there several times in Israel’s history where they decided to go and him and estates and mimic those of his practices but on the whole the nation of Israel was very patriotic patriotic wanted to always maintain it’s only miss and to these people who decided that you know we are who we are as God shows us and we are special because of that and no one else’s like us to them he is this strange message: preach to the Ninevites that if we look at one very interesting verse in the book of Amos Amos chapter 9 verse seven we see a very strange side of the Bible that we don’t usually talk about all read the verse for you this is God speaking to the Israelites through profit animals are you not like the Ethiopians to me OPB with Israel did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt and the Philistines from after and the Aramaeans from tier with this whole time the Israelites believe that God is only working in their community God is only working in his beloved in his chosen community and because of that idea they became a complacent in trying to be and live up to this beautiful title of children of God and so when they started to slack when profit a most finally gets fed up with the way that society is going in their arrogance he the word of God tell them God is working through other communities don’t you realize that what makes you think that you are so special what makes you think that you are the only ones who are able to hear the word of God that that’s a very strange concept I don’t mean to make that sound like its pluralistic, though but I do mean to make you sadder our notions of what our boundaries are we have some awesome the community have been here for now 25 years slowly now we are incorporating and we are adding to our numbers nonmonotonic but in our community I’m pretty sure that we are welcoming a more welcoming than other communities are I remember how many senior youths in Houston would have interracial marriages and then because of the pressure of the community they could bring their spouses to church that was the sense of only miss that we had just like the Israelites had we are the boss, it’s no one else can be our revelation from God is just for us it’s not open for all it that’s the kind of attitude that slowly developed and slowly build up here we have a man who is told: preach to them group of people who will one day take over your country: preach to the people who despise you because my revelation needs to be heard by them my revelation is for all and so as we read through the book of Jonah I’m not taking any verses because I assume the Jonah the book of Jonah is a familiar story to assault as a read through the book of Jonah when we get to the end chapter the last chapter we realize that he has finally preach to them through a kind of conversion experience which will get back to he finally does preach to the Ninevites and then they repent and then what does our man Jonah did intrude Minnelli for he goes on a hill and he just wants to see them destroyed he hopes he hopes that they don’t actually repent because he doesn’t like them isn’t want them to actually be a part of his community that’s the kind of wall that he built up that’s the kind of wall that was built up in God’s own chosen community think now about the walls that we have built up think about all the kinds of hindrances that we place in front of others from joining our church or just from hearing the gospel is more important do we care like God cares for these people finally at the end he goes and he waits and he builds a booth for himself and the Bush goes up and he hides under the shade is very comfortable under the shade and then God sends a warm to destroy this say that he loved so much and then he says like a baby I’m so angry I could die and then God comes in and he says you know why why are you acting like this I’m paraphrasing why you acting like this why you behaving like this don’t you know that there are and number of people there who don’t know the difference between right and left don’t they need my revelation you will have received this love and care for me for so many years don’t you realize that the love that I given to you is meant to be shared with others that’s what it means to have a revelation to all the grace that we have received is Martha might the grace that we have received as Christians should not end with us we have to go out and talk to those people who we normally wouldn’t want to talk to were those kinds of people people of other nationalities I will miss them people of different sexual orientations they need God they need to hear this revelation and if we avoid interacting with them if we of we going out to them and speaking to them and love will talk to them what about those people that we are prejudice against other religions Okies a Muslim what is a Jew will use a you and I talked to him about in one of the verses that we had read in the epistle I can’t remember off the top of my head to the epistle reading RFID was the second lesson but if you don’t: who will how will this message being given to them shortly God could have come down and made himself known to the Ninevites surely he could have he’s got but he chose to use Joan and he chooses to use you he chooses to use each and every one of us 44 families and growing of those 44 families average family has about 30 to 40 if each one of these people would just speak to one not this and if we had 10% effectiveness that be so glorious what stopped us as a community that believes in the word from revealing this word to everyone around us we look at the life of Jonah we are reminded just how childish we are and just how stubborn we and it’s time for us to grow up God desires that all be safe first Timothy chapter 2 verse four the how can this happen there was definitely something in the middle that I missed out on chapter 2 is a very important chapter in this for chapter book where does mission start mission always starts here first the first converts in the book of Jonah is Jonah himself door reluctant convert though it he may be a convert who didn’t quite get it even in the end nonetheless he was the first converts know we have to ask ourselves if we are not going out and if we don’t feel the need or the desire the past and to speak the gospel to others what does that mean about us and our own conversion experience what does that say about the effectiveness of our year-end revival what does it say about the effectiveness of having a vibrant church all these things not in vain if we can’t care for those people who God cares for alcoholics need love they need our care they need our attention they need the grace of God who better than us to tell them about their already mentioned homosexuals and liberals those people who are loners was people were fundamentalists racists it’s difficult it’s not easy and we like Jonah will have a tendency to run and I pray that when you do run the you get swallowed up by fish that’s the only way it seems for some of us I jokingly say me going to graduate school was my fish and it took me some time to realize what he was calling me to do don’t spend more than three years them spend more than three days in the fish we we are in a very blessed situation Lahore about the church a brand-new church with the American Watson who isn’t going to hinder any of your desires to work in this community I’m only getting current window very lucky situation not lucky blessed I’m blessed to be here we need to make something up this is the beginning of a new year 2014 we just had the leadership conference at the leadership conference in the middle of it on day two they had a service project were they invited people they went to different shelters and invited people to come to their church where they serve them food where they gave them provisions and were most of all we show them love I don’t know how many people were converted on that day but I know how many people understood the a little bit better about this revelation of the love of God and that’s where needs to start I pray that in this new year that we would do find new ways to do this that we would be more than Jonah’s that we would be Jesus is Jonah the one who was reluctant to throw himself over the boat is the opposite of Jesus who gave up his life we need to be able to understand and learn from John God’s revelation is for all we have been so blessed to receive this revelation this this beautiful message of the gospel of grace of forgiveness of sins of wholeness of piece of redemption that Terrance much shared with everyone that we can in order to do that but us ourselves go through this Jonah conversion experience that is taste and see that the Lord is good and I pray that the new year would be one full of blessings full of challenges that would help us to grow and with God by our side who can stand against