Sunday, November 25, 2007

Moving Forward in Grace- Jonah 3:1-5

I preached from Jonah 3:1-5 this morning at church.

Here's an excerpt from my notes:

Think about this: as a prophet of God, Jonah was God’s mouthpiece, God’s messenger. It was his responsibility to communicate God’s will to people. And Jonah outright disobeyed what God had told him to say. He abandoned his calling to run away. He ignored God, he disobeyed God, and he forsook God.

It was in the depths of the sea that he realized his sin, and I believe he repented. He was in the dark, in the pit, and he knew that he had failed. He does what we often do in that situation. He calls out to God and says “I know I messed up. I’m sorry that I rebelled against You. I still need You. You’re all I’ve got.” And what does God say to Jonah?

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you. (Jonah 3:1-2)

God says nothing about Jonah’s sin again. He just says I have a plan for you and I want you to keep moving. You’re feet are back on the ground again and I want you to walk. I want you to move forward again.

This has tremendous implications for us. We are often so crippled by guilt and condemnation that we don’t feel like we can do anything for God. We say “I have failed, I have let God down, I’m no good. I can’t do anything for Him because He is angry with me.” But we see with Jonah that this just isn’t the case. God says “Keep going! I’ve still got something for you to do. My grace is greater than all your sins!”

Because the thing we need to remember when we sin is that Jesus has paid for it. Yes, we need to be sorrowful when we sin, we need to repent when we sin, but we also need to look to Jesus, look to the Cross and walk forward in the victory won for us at the place where Jesus died and paid for our rebellion against God.

You can see the rest of my notes here.



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