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October 4, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ matter to God. Conservative people and liberal people, Muslims in atheist and New Age people. Every color of skin Asian people Hispanic people Asian people African-American people, gay people people people matter to God every one of them. I wonder how many of us really resist the joining of today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana going pastor now is once again he shows us how god's word. our world what you think is a storm is a door.
i wonder if chuck colson would've ever had the ministry had anyone in prison on that terrible thing, not in the long run by helen keller by john erickson, tana. your life's a storm was god used that is, he so often what you consider this storming are so spiritually blind to the doors that all you think about is is just awful.
this is just terrible.
this is just awful. yes, it is what a opportunity you have in the context of a storm of your life for god to use you in an immeasurably great way in a way you could not possibly imagine. when god opens doors for us week to serve him and his kingdom.
we often allow fear to hold us back. other options to hold us back spiritual blindness to hold us back in an unrealistic sense of guilt or inadequacy to hold us back.
when is jonah thinking in this context, failure, i'm disobedient. i have nothing to say i know what god wanted. i know what god's will is my life and i didn't do it.
you see he's resigned himself to the zone inadequacy in his own guilt.
you see, again look at verse 11 and 12. they said what should we do the seated calm and he said to them, pick me up throw me into the sea than this. he will become, for you, for i know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you. what you think it is. thinking is this a be the end of the story. i am such a disappointment.
this is how you understory throw me overboard. i will drown. that's it my life sending you see that's what he is thinking. i have no adequacy now to do anything to help anybody is an amazing scene.
a terrifying super storm terrified sailors on runaway profit sinking boat and then call miss we do that so often you see so many of us have so many other, restrictions or difficulties, or we keep thinking we'll guy won't use them to use me. not now, not in my past that with my health now or i am not how young i am. whatever it is is a sense of inadequacy or guilt in us that god can't really use me now that's never the case. don't let an unrealistic sense of guilt or inadequacy hold you back it says in verse 17 the lord appointed a great fish to swallow jonah and he said jonah was in the stomach of the fish for three days and three nights.
this is the famous part of the story kinda by the way, there's probably no way. it's a whale. okay, i know that we like to say that in fact i don't know if there's anything here that's natural. the key word in this whole chapter is great. this is all great stuff.
this is god at work. it's a great city of nineveh. it's a great storm so great that experienced sailor say wall that i die a great wind. this tea was sailors and had great same hebrew word fear and now you have a great fish and this fish it says in the english it says that it was appointed out that the hebrew words, almost like the prince means commissioned is kind of anything were to choose what king does the lycan ambassador. i commission you to go to that country and represent me some cod commissions a great fish that were a fish. this is god. yes, lord, go pick up jonah but this is really important swallow. don't you is and then i'll tell you where and when to drop them off god at lord said jonah fun is now in a pray and then jonah prayed to the lord his god from the stomach of the fish and he said i called out of my distress to the lord and he answered me. i cried for help from the depth of sheol you heard my voice and he says and you cast me into the deep into the heart of the seas and the current engulfed me in all your breakers and bill is passed over me and so i said i have been expelled from your site. nevertheless, i will look again toward your holy temple. water encompassed me to the point of death, the great deep engulfed me weeds were wrapped around my head.
i just send it to the roots of the mountains to the earth with his bars was around me forever. you brought my life up in the pit home lord my god while i was fainting away. i remember the lord my prayer came to you in your holy temple. those who regard vain idols forsake their faithfulness, but i will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving. he says that which i have vowed i will pay salvation is from the lord.
he's an eloquent guy. this guys good. i don't know what to be like to be in it fish for three days, but this is quite a prayer.
you make not realize something when god said, rising go to nineveh what didn't jonah do. he didn't pray it says he took off his he sometimes went when god opens a door for us to serve him in his kingdom. we allow the lack of prayer to hold us back.
we don't pray. now jonah is he's praying and is a great prayer, you know, sometimes god can put you in a place where there's nothing you can do but pray.
sometimes you really have to hit the bottom message is for jonah before you look up jonah finally gets it that which i have. i will pay salvation is from you and when my favorite verses in the whole story and then the lord commanded the fish and it vomited jonah up on the line. love that big spiritual moment here and in vomit hebrew words more graphic call almost sounds like you going to bomb like a gag reflex call he just vomits him and now is on the land and you know there's a principle here, by the way, often after you vomit you feel better and certainly jonah did, so now he says okay that's do this again now the word of the lord came to jonah 2nd time, saying, arise, and go to nineveh, the great city and proclaim to with the proclamation, which i'm going to tell you. and so jonah rose and went to nineveh, according to the word of the lord in all nineveh was an exceedingly great city three days walk across nineveh and enormous city he's there, he's ready to do it. he finally went the right way that's not as though i so often no no no no no no may be me. okay, that's an absolute jonah but there's something else now.
one last thing, when god opens a door for us to serve him in his kingdom. we often allow fear to hold us back. we often allow all the options we have the hold us back will allow our spiritual blindness do not even see the door. we have an unrealistic sense of guilt or inadequacy, and at holds us back a lack of prayer can hold us back as well. but ultimately the may be the most important thing it's a lack of love that holds us back. that's really does verse four and then jonah began to go through the city one days walk and he cried out with a loud voice, yet 40 days and nineveh will be overthrown.
this might be the worst sermon ever preached. that's it. now you just solomon chapter 2, praying, this is an eligible man this the prophet hina is a wordsmith 40 days and you guys get it.
now that's reluctance, he i didn't. lord just told 40 days they get it from shock and then the people of nineveh believed in god, and they called a fast they put on sackcloth and the greatest of the least of them and when the word reached the king of nineveh. he arose from his throne laid aside his robe covered himself in sackcloth and set on ashes and he issued a proclamation it said in nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles do not let man beast heard the flock tasted thing. do not let them eat or drink water but both man and beast must be covered in sackcloth. think of the logistics of this get him get them drink water government sackcloth, i just imagine what this whole scene was like this huge city is an enormous city and the king is degraded and everybody feared the king of the assyrian empire said let men call on god.
he says earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way in from the violence which is in his hands. who knows. now you see his motive. who knows god may turn and relent and withdraw his burning anger so that we shall not perish. he's trying to save his skin just like the sailors in the skin of all this people when god saw their deeds and that they turn from their wicked way, and then god relented concerning the calamity which he had declared he would bring upon them, and he did not do it while what success he never would've dreamed this in a million years and i watch how jonah responds.
but it greatly displeased jonah and he became angry, he prayed to the lord this time and said this.
please lord what is this not what i said why was so my own country, he says. therefore, in order for stall. this i fled the tortious for i knew that you are a gracious and compassionate as god and slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. therefore, novel lord, please take my life from me.
death is better than to see this.
what you saying i hate these people. i hate these people and i just knew you're just the kind of god that would end up saving people like this guy was a work in the muslim world can read it in so many different accounts is very much a work in the country of iran. it's astounding how many iranians are coming to christ and from my perspective that i see no joy in the christian community at none we hate them while john norberg says this he said god doesn't look at the categories the way i do and think he said the way i see it. people in this category there. my kind of people and i like those kinds of people, but people in that category over there.
he said i can let go of them without much pain at all. he said, but the problem is people matter to god. depressed people, educated people, divorced people, people with different politics from yours. they matter to god. conservative people and liberal people, muslims and atheists and new age people. every color of skin asian people hispanic people could cajun people, african-american people, gay people people people matter to god. every one of them. i wonder how many of us really. i clicked on. i wonder how many of us would really resist going through an open door because we do not want to minister to people we don't like when we act like this, god is not pleased the lord said to have good reason to be angry and then jonah 1 of the city and set east of it and in a made a shelter for himself and set under the shade until we could see what would happen to the city. he was hoping against hope it will still kill all these people and so the lord appointed a plant and it grew up over jonah to give shade for his head and to deliver him from his discomfort and jonah was really happy about that and got a plant that's given them shade and that we met a bad sunburn. he's got his plant and now is happy.
these people coming to god made him angry one to die. my favorite part of the story. in this sense of the greatness of god and god appointed warm when don came the next day and it attacked the plan of weathered that's a great warm if everyone is impressed with the fish but think of the warm is warm like what is it but got appointed just like he did the fish same word commissioned it and it came about when the sun came up and got appointed a scorching east wind and the sun beat down and jonas had said that he became faint in a bag with all his soul. the guy i can pick ms. simon so hot that is better to me than life and god said to jonah do you have good reason to be angry about the plant and he said i have good reason to be angry, even to the point of death, and the lord said you had compassion on a plant for which you did not work.
he said, and what you did not cause the grow which came up overnight and perished overnight. he said should i not have compassion on nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between the right hand and her left, as well as many animal most people fully bow see were scholars don't know the right hand and the left needs children hundred and 20,000 children which mean the city was probably right around 600,000, which would be pretty much what archaeologists thought of nineveh in its heyday. that's a big city so would god's doing here. he seemed jonah you care about you i care about people. nothing's changed.
you see when you resist going through opening doors, guard doors, god is open for you. what you really send a guy that i care about me and really care about people and have all kinds of reasons.
you could have the fear of it that ministry where it sat, but required of you and hold you back. you have other options. i'm too busy. i have things to do the important things for me. that'll hold you back. you be so blind you don't even see it as a door you can have an unrealistic sense of guilt off you know my past god won't use me, or inadequacy, you know, i'd like to, but i really can't do this kind of things very well at all. often you just let a lack of prayer hold you back, but they almost all get put together under the last and most important category. it's a like a love it's a lack of love for god and love for man, jesus. it is nothing more important that love the lord your god with all your heart mind soul and strength in your neighbor as yourself. closing observations just a couple you know what jonah teaches me. sometimes if you would just walk through the door and if he even did it with a little faith and a stinking attitude you might be surprised how greatly god will use it. you see, god used jonah in spite of jonah not because of jonah. same thing is true with you and me and one last thing this book has a weird ending you think, wait, there's got to be more mean we got it we got a guy sitting on a hillside who is unhappy with the sun tried to think about that and asked the question why because i don't think this is about jonah i didn't.
he's like an artist or god doesn't want this to be a story just about halfway leaves it hanging. this is a story but you see this a story about me.
that's what this is the story of someone close by saying this there's a door out there with your name on it and it's open. what are you going to do this. father, i thank you for the book of jonah the most convicting thing to me. father said read page after page of john i'd see myself not in his situation not in a storm not trying to find my way to nineveh but you know what father i think for all of us.
you open a door and say go to nineveh and we have some way that we decide not to go when we want to go to tarsus. father, i want to encourage everyone of us that if we were simply respond to you with faithful obedience. i think all of us would be amazed at what you might accomplish through us. father i pray that we examine our own hearts and say what is holding us back from serving you and your menu convict us to pass through your heart on the radio ministry of fellowship, nor if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just take a listen to the message one more time.
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