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talks in 'In Deep' (6)


God Cares More

Jonah is having an epic meltdown in chapter four. Like most of our meltdowns, it is driven by a narrow focus and a selfish heart. He chooses anger in light of his perception that justice has failed. That is often why we choose anger too. But don’t forget that you are the recipient of grace, the benefactor of God’s patience, and the object of His pursuit. God cares more. He is patient. He loves everyone, everywhere even the enemy down the street or sitting next to you. He is compassionate. True love and justice are found in perfect balance in Jesus. When it seems wrong to you what will you choose? Trust or anger?

It Can't Be That Simple

We often overcomplicate things. Sometimes when looking for answers we look for the big, dramatic, or flashy. What if the answer we are looking for is just simple obedience? Want to know God’s will? Simple obedience. Need to find your way through a mess? Simple obedience. Jonah has come to a point where he finally is attentive, has a willing heart even if it is a bit reluctant, and puts movement into his faith. It’s a great equation for simple obedience and walking through whatever you are walking through. When you say “Yes” to God, you will find that he has been working in ways you can’t see and can transform any situation to bring about his purpose.

The Second-Teenth Chance

We find Jonah at the start of Chapter 3 right back where he started. New day. New opportunity. Second-Teenth chance (because you never just get 2.) There was a lot of damage done and that is something that Jonah would have to carry but the fresh start was there for him. Do you need a fresh start? My favorite picture of fresh starts is the one Jesus gave to us in Luke 15. The prodigal son shows us the anatomy of a second chance and it is a beautiful picture. What will you do with your second-tenth chance?

The Right End of You

Jonah has spent three day sand nights in a dark and stinky place. Life is full of places like that. I wonder what took him so long to cry out to God. Sometimes our hard hearts need to be softened. It took Jonah a while but he finally is at a place where he cries out to God and surrenders. Surrender isn't losing. It's the opposite when it comes to our relationship with God. Surrendering is letting go of our illusion of control. Surrender is letting go, yielding, it is a willingness and openness to God. Surrender is freedom. Surrender is hope. Surrender is the right end of you. God hears you. He can bring your life out of whatever pit you find yourself in. No other god cares about you like the one true God.

The Wrong End Of You

Things always escalate when running from God, which takes a toll on us internally. Jonah is not in a good spot physically, emotionally, or spiritually. He doesn’t suggest turning back or asking God for forgiveness when confronted with his efforts to run from God. He thinks the only way out is to be dumped into the rough sea. The expected outcome was extremely dark. God, however, meets Jonah in his worst moment with grace experienced in a big fish. That saves his life and helps him get his heart back to where it belongs.

The Runners

Running involves an act of will—a choice to run in response to something. The story of Jonah is a story of running from God. Running from God is complex. In this message, we discuss what it means to run from God and why we run. It never turns out as we expect. It is an empty journey and it costs us and others so much. Fortunately, God is a God who uses the wind to frustrate our efforts in the wrong direction. He shakes up our lives to get our attention and he uses the voices of others to wake us up. Don’t miss out on your meaning and purpose by running from God. Instead run to Him, run with Him.