Current Series: Jonah

11/12

The Jonah Radio Show
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10/29

Under The Plant
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Jonah the Reluctant Prophet
Chapter 4: Under the Plant
 
After Jonah’s five word sermon in Ninevah, the whole city (120,000+) repents and God relents from destroying them… much to the chagrin of Jonah. He is livid and sets up a shelter east of the city, hoping God would change His mind about changing His mind. God sends a vine as a parable within the parable, trying to get Jonah’s attention off of himself, to have eyes to see what God sees and feel what God feels. Jonah was so concerned, so passionate, so protective of a plant… couldn’t he see how God should be as concerned, as passionate, as loving and protective about actual people?
 
In using Jonah as a mirror to hold up to our own lives, chapter 4 offers some questions: 
 
What are we most concerned about? Is there any “vine” in our lives that is disproportionately important?
Do we ever resent or resist God’s grace, thinking that it applies to other people and not us, or that it applies to us, but not to our ‘enemies’?
Do we extend God’s grace abundantly or selectively to others?
 
Luke 6:27-31
Ephesians 4:32
Colossians 3:21-22
Psalm 103

10/29

Under The Thumb
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10/22

Under The Sea
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Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet
Chapter 2: Under the Sea 

The second chapter picks up the story with Jonah in the belly of a big fish. He had been swallowed by the consequences of his actions, stripped of his self-sufficiency and the illusion that he was in control, and now all he could do was cry out.

Jonah, at least for the moment, gets to the end of himself which is a prerequisite to begin to put one faith and trust in God. Jonah begins to realize that God loves him so much that He not only sends a storm to wake him up, but also throws him overboard in order to truly save him. We want to be rescued from storms and fish when storms and fish are what often rescue us.

Sometimes, like Jonah, our hardships are the consequences of our own actions, our own sin and disobedience. 
Sometimes it is someone else’s doing.
Sometimes life is just hard.
Regardless of the source, what does it mean for us to pray through hardship?
Do I trust that God loves me, even in this hardship?

“We want to use circumstances as an indicator of how God feels towards us. The life,  death, and resurrection of Jesus is the true indicator of how God feels towards us. You may not be spared the belly of the fish, but can be assured that God is with you, redeeming the situation.” - Tim Mackie

“Waiting is where we learn to let go our timing in this traffic, our disappointment in this decision, our hurt in this comment. Waiting is where we learn to let go of our control and expectations, and trust that God is good no matter what is happening.” - Adele Calhoun

Waiting is where a heart after God’s heart is likely to be forged. 
Trust. Quiet. Perspective. Forgiveness. Joy. Alignment.
Waiting is where we move from desperation (about our circumstances and hardship) to a desperation (for Jesus). 

Dwight Edwards.
“Until we’re convinced that our plight is truly desperate, we won’t seize hold of God’s offer.  But, until we come to the end of ourselves, we’ll never really take ahold of God.  God’s intent in clearly exposing our sinfulness is not to make us feel bad.  It’s to make us feel desperate.”

10/15

Under The Deck
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Jonah the Reluctant Prophet
Chapter One - Under the Deck
 

The book of Jonah is unique in that it is a story about a prophet, but not a book of prophecy. It is  an historic account of a real person, but told as a satirical parable with the purpose to “hold up a mirror to the reader… ‘In Jonah we see the worse parts of our own character magnified which are to produce humility and gratitude that God loves his enemies and puts up with the Jonah in all of us.’” - Tim Mackie

When God called him to go to Ninevah, Jonah ran the opposite direction - away from the face of God; who, in His ‘severe mercy’, sent a storm to strip Jonah of his illusion of control and self-sufficiency, awaken his apathy, expose his hypocrisy, and to re-align him with mission.  

The ‘mirror’ of Jonah is an invitation to look at our own propensity to run, control, and be self-absorbed. What did the Jonah Mirror reveal to you, personally, this week:

Are there any areas of your life where you are trying to be the one in control; to be partially or technically obedient, but on your terms?

Are you adequately “awake” to the effects that your own sin and disobedience have on others? Are you awake to God’s compassion for the lost and broken? 

Are you awake to any areas of apathy in your life?

Are there any contradictions between what you say you believe in and how you live your life?

What do you need to confess to the Lord?

What do you need to receive from the Lord?

How do you respond when the “Word of the Lord” comes to you?

What would it mean for you to consistently run to God instead of from God?

How do you respond to God’s mercy?

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