Jonah is a book of extremes. This book is about a man called by God to share God’s word with the people. But there’s one problem: Jonah does the exact opposite of what he’s told. God works on Jonah to help him realize the main goal: reaching the world with God’s love. He’s trying to help Jonah to see the importance of being a world missionary. God said, “I love you just as much as I love these people. My promises are for all people – including you. I’m patient with you, and I’m patient with the people I’m asking you to reach. Now GO!”
Sometimes we think that evangelism is about “them” – but God also uses evangelism to work on us and so we remember how good He is. Evangelism leads to discipleship. Evangelism is a mirror for us to look into – we share God’s love with other people and we see God’s love in us.
In this series, we’ll learn the story of Jonah and examine how, like Jonah, God is working on us as he works through us. As we go out into the mission field each day, let’s reignite the passion of our church to share the Gospel with the world around us.
August 18, 2019: No Way.
God calls Jonah to go to the city of Ninevah and help them see the errors in their ways. Instead, Jonah gets on the next boat out, gets himself thrown overboard, and ends up in the belly of a big fish. He says, “No way!” to God. But God is patient with Jonah, and he’s patient with us too. Even when our faith is weak and we doubt his plan for our lives, when we tell him, “No way!” when he puts us in an impossible situation, God works faith and strength in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
Scriptures: Jonah 1
Sermon Text: selection from Jonah 1
August 25, 2019: I’m Sorry!
Jonah’s in too deep. Literally. As he sits in the belly of the fish, Jonah prays a prayer of repentance and thankfulness to God. Jonah recognizes how God is working on his heart so he can share God with the people of Ninevah. We too find ourselves in the pit of despair, and it’s here where we recognize our deep need for a Savior. Moments like this help us see clearly why we need to share Jesus with the world, because everyone needs a Savior.
Scriptures: Jonah 2
Sermon Text: selection from Jonah 2
September 1, 2019: Repent and Know God.
After getting spit out by the fish, Jonah follows God’s directive and heads to Ninevah to tell the people of their impending destruction. The people repent, and God forgives them. Well done Jonah and thank you God! Sharing the Law and the Gospel is the easiest and the most difficult thing in the world. God calls us to share Him with the world, even when it’s difficult, because he is a patient God who wants all people to come to faith.
Scriptures: Jonah 3
Sermon Text: selection from Jonah 3
September 8, 2019: Are You Kidding Me?
Because of his patience and Ninevah’s repentance, God relents and does not destroy Ninevah. Jonah should be happy, right? WRONG! Jonah becomes angry with God because he doesn’t follow through with the destruction. Even as this book of the Bible ends, we see God continuing to work on Jonah’s heart. As we go out into the world on mission, even as we share Jesus with the world, God continues to work on our hearts to help us truly understand his love and compassion for us.
Scriptures: Jonah 4
Sermon Text: selection from Jonah 4