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In the Belly of Grace [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2021 6:00 am

In the Belly of Grace [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Allen Wright, pastor, Bible teacher, and author of his latest book, The Power to Bless. I take it as great reassurance to me that the Word of the Lord came to Jonah, verse 1 of chapter 1, and then Jonah 3, 1.

The Word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, a second word, a second wind. As Pastor Alan Wright, welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series Second Wind, as presented at Rinaldo Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now, a copy of Pastor Alan's book, Lover of My Soul. This can be yours for your donation this month to Allen Wright Ministries.

As you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Allen Wright. Beloved, are you ready for some good news?

Yes. You know, when you feel like giving up on God, He never feels like giving up on you. If you've ever had a time in your life, you just felt like throwing in the towel.

You just felt a little too tired. Let me just reassure you, God's not tired. God's not ever going to stop loving you, pursuing you.

And all the gifts and the calling of God in your life are irrevocable, no matter how much you have missed it or messed it up. We're talking these weeks about getting our second wind after a long, long pandemic year. And many people have been through very dark valleys.

Some people have been experiencing just rather painful, ongoing inconvenience. But everybody has been called upon to persevere. So what a good time to talk about the idea of persevering, the idea of like what an athlete gets when you feel like the muscles are locking up, you know, and then something happens physiologically and there's a second wind that comes and you feel renewed energy. So we've been talking about how those who wait expectantly upon the Lord shall renew their strength and mount up with wings like eagles. We've been talking how in the spirit, there's something that might be very much like what goes on in our bodies.

When, when the weightlifter lifts the weights, it actually, it actually hurts, you know, it's uncomfortable and it's creating some kind of little micro tears and muscle tissue that then are restored. And when they are restored, they come back stronger than they were before. And, and Paul said in Romans that suffering produces perseverance and perseverance produces character and character produces hope so that our lives don't become like ships without a rudder with no anchor, but that there's a character within us that's been through some stuff and has seen God be faithful and can hold on knowing that he's going to continue to be faithful. That's what hope is all, all about.

That there's a, there's a bright future no matter what we have gone through. And we've, we've seen that there is a way in which God is carrying us through so that we don't give up one day too early, one step too early. And I can't think of any more powerful or poignant story in the Bible about how God empowers us for perseverance by his grace than the remarkable story of Jonah, a very, very important prestigious prophet who becomes depressed, who wants to run away from God. And yet God will not give up on Jonah. It is a story.

I wish we could just sit and read the whole story, but I'm going to give you some excerpts here as we begin. And we're going to come back to a number of scriptures in Jonah, as we talk about what it means to be in the belly of grace. Jonah 1 verse 1. Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amittai saying, arise, go to Nineveh, that great city and call out against it for their evil has come up before me. But Joseph rose, Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it. That word going down appears over and over in Jonah. By the way, one of the most beautiful literary pieces in the Bible, just full of thematic elements, repetitious phrases that tie it all together. And this is one of them going down because it's a picture of what's happening to Jonah's spirit. So he paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish away from the presence of the Lord. A bit of an irony because the whole story teaches that you can't get away from the presence of the Lord, but he wants to run from the presence of the Lord. Verse five, a great storm has arisen at sea that the Lord himself appointed and the mariners on the ship were afraid at verse five and each cried out to his God and they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep, not because he was at peace, but because he was depressed.

He just didn't care anymore. The other sailors find out that he's a Hebrew and they're asking him, what should we do basically to appease your God? And at verse 12, Jonah said to them, pick me up and hurled me into the sea. Then the sea will quiet down for you for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you. So they did throw them into the sea. The sea was quieted.

And we're 17 famously. We remember the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. We won't take time today to read the prayer like a song that Jonah prays while he's in the belly of the fish.

It is a prayer of gratitude for God saving him. At verse 10, the Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land. So this is where you've got to envision the wayward prophet who had done all he could to run away from God, wanted to give up on God, give up on the ministry, give up his calling, abandon his prophetic anointing. And now he is sitting on dry land with greasy whale guts still on him, having been in the belly of a fish, humiliated and nearly dead, but alive again.

And what happens? One of the most beautiful verses in the whole Bible, Jonah three verse one. 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. The word of the Lord came to Jonah. He ran away, got swallowed by a fish, nearly died, tried to abandon his calling.

And then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. Now we are in our final days of offering this special product. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860 or come to our website, SpencerAllen.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright.

I love the stories of, uh, people that look like they failed and they ended up not being a failure. Spencer Silver died this week from heart ailments. Um, he was 80. He invented something that we've all used.

In fact, it became part of everyday life. In 1968, Silver was working for 3M cooperation, was given the task of creating a super strong adhesive. They wanted this scientist to invent one of the most powerful glues that had ever come to pass, something that could just adhere to anything and stick and last. And what he came up with was a failure. In fact, what he produced was weaker than a child's school art glue, but he realized that it had an unusual characteristic.

It could be attached to a surface, pulled off that surface and reattached without damaging the surface or losing its own stickiness. Under a microscope, Silver said it looked remarkable, like tiny crystalline little silver balls. And it was just such a cool thing. But as Dr. Silver said later, it was a solution waiting for a problem.

They didn't know what to do with this failed attempt to make a super strong glue. The idea actually came from his colleague, Dr. Art Fry, who sang in the choir at the local Presbyterian church. And he marked each week's musical selections in his music book with a little piece of paper that inevitably as they're going through the songs would fall out and flutter to the ground. And he one week was sitting there having lost his place because his marker fell out and had to look over at a fellow choir member to see what page they were on. And while he was doing that, he thought, wouldn't it be wonderful if somehow the marker could stick to the page and yet not ruin the page?

And he remembered Dr. Silver's failed glue experiment and the two of them conspired and pretty soon, at least by the eighties, they had come up with the prototype for the post-it note. I just love these stories where it looks like you've absolutely blown it. And then it ends up that by some grace, it actually becomes better than you thought. That's God.

That's the way he is with us. I take it as great reassurance to me that the word of the Lord came to Jonah, verse one of chapter one, and then Jonah three one, the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, a second word, a second wind. So the power of perseverance and our lives depends on this, that we know that at every point, even if we have blown it miserably, God hadn't given up on us or the mission.

Because if you think for even a moment that you've messed up too much or missed it too much or been too faithless or been too sad or been too depressed or to anything for God to continue his loving presence and his powerful anointing for your life to keep moving forward, according to his call, if you ever begin to doubt that, then the devil will work you hard to give up because as long as we know that God hasn't given up on us, something inside of us can keep on going. The story of Jonah. So he was told by God to go to Nineveh, but he decided to go to Tarshish. It's like if God said, go to Alaska and you decided to go to Florida.

It is more than that. Actually, we don't really know where Tarshish is. We just know it's far west.

It may be as far west as Spain. It was as far as Jonah could think of getting away from Nineveh, which is in the opposite direction. He goes down to Joppa. He gets onto a boat and he starts trying to get as far away from God as he possibly could. You know, interestingly, this verse three just is emphasized.

This is what I'm talking about. The literary quality of the book of Jonah. Verse three, Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish. Later he paid the fare and went down to go with him to Tarshish.

It's a Tarshish, Tarshish, Tarshish. Lord said, go to Nineveh. And Jonah said, Tarshish, Tarshish, Tarshish. Lord said, go to Alaska. And he said, Florida, Florida, Florida.

It is the intent of his heart to get far away. We learn in second Kings something about Jonah. He's mentioned there, Jonah, the son of Amittai, St. Jonah, where he prophesied prosperity for Israel during King Jeroboam, the second reign. So it proves that Jonah was well known, a very powerful prophet who had access in the royal court.

So he was a highly regarded spokesperson for God. Nineveh was this bastion of the Assyrian empire that was the arch enemy of Israel. The Assyrians would be the first ones to overrun Israel, the northern part of their kingdom in 722 and destroy much of their homeland and deport many of their people. So Syria is the enemy and God had said, I want you to go prophesy to them. Well, we wonder, well, why would he mind going and prophesy and saying the Lord is going to bring judgment on you? Well, it's all explained to us later in the book of Jonah at Jonah chapter four, verse two, because what happens is after Jonah is spewed from the belly of the whale and the word of the Lord comes to a second time, he goes to Nineveh, he prophesies the word of the Lord and the people at Nineveh repent and God has mercy on them. The God of grace has mercy even on Israel's arch enemy.

And this is what we learned. Jonah gets mad about it at verse two of chapter four, he prayed the Lord and said, Oh Lord is not this what I said when I was yet in my country. That's why I made haste to flee to Tarshish for I knew that you're a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding and steadfast love and relenting from disaster.

He had known that if he went and prophesied to Nineveh, there was a real chance that Nineveh would repent and that God would relent of his judgment against them. Jonah didn't want God to show grace to his enemy. That's why he ran away from God. Nothing will make you more tired or more depressed in your whole life than to try to run away from the grace of God. You can't get away from the grace of God and it's what who God is.

And so you might as well just give into it and let him flow his grace through you. But Jonah became depressed. Here's what happened in Jonah 1 verse 5. The Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea.

So this was this was one of those storms. It wasn't designed to kill Jonah or anyone. It was designed to get their attention and there was a mighty tempest on the sea. So the ship threatened to break up and the Mariners were afraid each crying out to his God.

They hurled the cargo to try to lighten the load, but Joan had gone down in the inner ship laying down and was asleep. This is a story about a great man who had been born into the family of God called to the ministry by the grace of God who when given a word that could unleash the grace of God to their enemy didn't want that grace to go. And so he became depressed and he was just weary of it all and didn't care anymore. You can see here what emerges in the story is really the the language the voice of shame. It is the way that hell wants us to think. All right, Jonah chapter 1 verse 7 when they said to one another the the Mariners come let us cast lots that we may know on whose account this evils come upon us. So they cast a lot and a lot fell on Jonah. Okay, he's the problem verse 8.

They said to him tell us on whose account this evils come upon us. What is your occupation? Where you come from? What is your country?

What are your people? And Jonah admitted and said this is about me. I'm a Hebrew and then they said to him. Well, what shall we do to you verse 11 that the sea may quiet down the sea grew more and more tempestuous. He said to them pick me up Hurley into the sea. He's suicidal at this point.

He doesn't care anymore. And then the seal quiet down for you. I know it's because of me this great tempest has come play. I want you to I just want to spend a few moments talking about the logic of shame hellish logic.

It flows like this the storm proves listen to what's going on in his soul. The storm proves that God condemns me. It's all my fault. My failures have doomed me. I must pay for my mistakes and my suffering and sacrifice.

I'm sure will please God. Let me tell you why every one of those things is a hellish lie. First the lie the storm proves that God condemns me y'all isn't the story actually about how God sent a storm that ended up leading to Jonah's salvation and to the salvation of Nineveh. The truth is the storm wasn't a curse. It was a blessing Alan Wright today's Good News message in the belly of grace in our series second wind Pastor Alan is back with us in the studio as he shares his parting Good News thought for the day in just a moment God's love you've heard about it with your ears. You believed it in your mind now experience it in your heart with Alan Wright's beloved book lover of my soul. The Bible is a love story from beginning to end. You are the spiritual bride of Christ the perfect bridegroom. The Bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you to win you and to walk with you hand in hand for any man who has fallen in love with a woman you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like for any woman who has searched for true love which you long for can only be found fully in God. Gary Chapman renowned author of the five love languages says the incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life and lover of my soul. Ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart accept Christ proposal enjoy his embrace revel in his love after all it's a match made in heaven.

It's lover of my soul by Alan Wright. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support when you give today. We will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries.

Now we are in our final days of offering this special product call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860 or come to our website Pastor Alan.org back now in the studio to share Pastor Alan's parting good news thought for the day and I have to say I was excited when you started preaching this message Pastor Alan and I could see the twinkle in your eye that this wasn't one of these passages that you thought oh this is an overused piece of the Bible we all preach about and move on right quickly. You took time and I love the book of Jonah as well. Well it's a beloved story. It's a story every child seems to know and this prophet getting swallowed up by this whale and but this is a story about God's commitment to Jonah so that his prophetic gift would not be stripped from him even though Jonah wanted to run away from God and run away from his call and we're talking about being able to persevere without finding a second wind and Daniel I just love this verse of scripture the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time so we want to say to our listeners you know if you think you've blown it if you think God's given up on you look at Jonah he tried as hard as he could to get as far from God as he possibly could and yet God swallowed him up with grace put him on dry land and gave him the prophetic word again.

God's not done with us he's pursuing us and that's how we persevere is by his grace. Thanks for listening today. Visit us online at PastorAllen.org or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. If you only caught part of today's teaching not only can you listen again online but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free. Find out more about these and other resources at PastorAllen.org. That's PastorAllen.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-19 17:41:48 / 2023-09-19 17:50:20 / 9

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