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October 5, 2021 6:00 am
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We all have a common struggle and today on Focus on the Family. Ken Davis describes the money calls to us.
Power calls to its patient whispers to goddesses come to me. I have a blessing beyond anything you can imagine, where do you go for power for fulfillment you do when temptation comes, you seek out God today will explore those ideas and welcome to another edition of Focus on the Family with your post focus presidents and author Jim Daly that John were midway through a message from Ken Davis about how God can work in a person's life and what we should do when we hear his voice and hopefully as a believer, those things that happened it may not be an audible voice. It may be just a sudden thought that came out of nowhere, but it was exactly what you needed to hear and the basis for these concepts is the life of the prophet Jonah story that the so many of us remember from childhood who can forget someone swallowed by a whale.
I mean that. Come on, but the story goes so much deeper than that.
Excuse the pun, but stay tuned. And if you miss part one of Ken's presentation last time I get in touch with us.
We can send you the entire message on CD or DVD so you can share with someone who needs to hear it yet and that CD and DVD are both available when you call 800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 and I know your podcast listener, but somebody needs that CD and somebody will enjoy watching the DVD with you as well. So look for those both online. I we got the links in the episode notes and I highly recommend the DVD because Ken is a pretty visual guy and the has great body motions along with his humor. Also, if you have a smart phone you can get the Focus on the Family broadcast app and you could do that right now those are great ways to listen to your favorite shows. You can is certainly a favorite in the Fuller family and he's written a number of books he's a motivational speaker and he also teaches speaking skills and that will give you a brief recap of Ken's message from last time and then will roll into the new material as we hear more from Ken Davis on today's edition of Focus on the Family when mascot when he speaks to us when he call to take action of some kind created your God will put the mountains in place. He whispers to us what should we do.
I have a good idea.
Not a real good idea, but that's what Jonah not tonight's message isn't about running. It isn't about running from God that the scene that takes place, but the book of Jonah is self really isn't about running from God is a book that teaches us about this marvelous God who can do any thing he wants and chooses to give us a second chance. Maybe God is calling you to be involved in the church.
Maybe you don't belong to the church mentally little story of a friend sitting down here Ken Nichols and I told story can a story a couple years ago about how my heart was just overcome with depression. There had been an attack from a person and and I just didn't know how to deal with it and as a part of the outcome of all of that. I really believe it was God whispering in my ear can get involved in the church. God did not create us to be nomadic. He did not create us to wander the earth without a sense of community.
I went home and I told my wife. You know what if I died honey, I think you would adjust quite quickly you'd be okay. I said, but the part that I can't imagine is you finding five people willing to carry the casket because I figured she could pick up one side so would be for you in my brain. I have this mental picture my wife coming out of the church with the Down I was living without community.
When I heard there was no one to go to. I needed to hear the word of God on a regular basis and I got a call and I made a commitment that I was going to be in my church two Sundays a month commitment cost me financially, but what I read in return and reward of friendship and relationships, and renewed spiritual figure in the community of people who care where I'm going and what I'm doing. Listen for God. He may ask you to take a step, the first step in resolving conflict in your family or conflict in the church or conflict in your work place. God may be calling you to turn from sin most certainly he's calling you to a relationship with himself. There's no doubt in my mind with this many people sitting in the church tonight.
There are some of you who have never trusted the Lord, I guarantee you you're not here by accident.
I guarantee you that if this isn't your first time in the church that God is willing you he is calling you not to destroy you not take away your joy, not to ruin your life to bring you what your heart most longs for.
Listen for God. The word of the Lord came to Jonah, son of Emmett time, go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because it's wickedness has come up before me.
Verse three says, but Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarsus. If you were to look at a map and see where God was sending Nineveh was sending Jonah, who is Nineveh's brother.
If you can see where God was sending Jonah and you see where Jonah went, you would see that it was a straight line away from where God he ran away.
We so quickly. Jonah man why we need we don't do that to went down to Joppa where he found a ship bound for that port.
After paying the fair. He went aboard and sailed for Tarsus to flee from the Lord. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea and such a violent storm arose that the ship the breakup. All of the sailors were afraid in each cried out his own God and they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship if the first step or lesson we can learn from Jonah is to listen for God's voice and the second one is when we hear it, don't run, do not run from God, for some reasons why. First of all, you will miss out on the blessing he is prepared. Money calls to us. Power calls to its temptation whispers to God, since come to me. I have a blessing beyond anything you can imagine. Secondly, you will bring calamity on yourself and the people around you. The place exploded with danger. It was only him solidly endangered, but it was all the other people on the ship. I spoke to a man recently who had confided in me several years ago that he was on the edge of giving into the temptation of having an affair and leaving his family and we prayed and talked and but in the end it's up to him and he chose to listen to God. God gave him a second chance and he chose to listen to God. And when he discovered later the entanglement that he was about to step into you see in his heart he believed that if he would just follow this direction that joy and happiness in all that he had missed in life would come to him.
Suddenly life would have the thrill and excitement that he wanted to have with our young people all the time you live for every bit of pleasure that you can get now because we don't know about tomorrow, and God's is no trust me know the best way this man found out that the person that he wanted to to leave his family for was involved with several other people. I mean, he would've stepped into a mess. That would've put him in the deepest pit and today. If you talk to him he will openly tell you that God gave him a second chance and he took any praises this God this marvelous God. Verse five says all the sailors were afraid in each cried out to their own God. That's the first thing that happens when you get in trouble is not right. Well, maybe there's more money meant something I can solve it. I don't know what your God is my God is. I'm halfway clever, I may be an idiot but I am halfway clever.
That means that I will always try to figure it out on my own when in reality what we ought to do is go to the source of all the answers right away, but the sailors each called to their own God and they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. That's what I did on items that we got to figure this out and get this ship later we got to do something about this.
I'm a pilot I fly my own airplane. One time I was flying over the mountains. I will never forget this flying over the mountains and I ran out of gas. It had two sides.
You had the left tank in the right tank and I just forgot to change tank and some of the most rugged mountains in Colorado and the power stop. Do you know what a propeller on an airplane is for you don't know you're not a pilot, then, are you know why people think a propeller on an airplane makes the airplane fly. I discovered that day that propellers a fan is designed to keep the pilot cool mom that lives here when that puppy quit. I started some fear and I reached down and I turned the. The gas thing to the left tank where there was plenty of gas and suddenly the engine roared to life friends when we get in trouble. The first thing we ought to do is turn the gas tank to where the where the source of whole rather than try and all of our own devices to make it happen. Each cried to their own God. They threw the cargo into the sea like the ship here's the third reason why you shouldn't run from God. But Jonah had gone below the deck where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep.
Can you imagine this. I've been on a cruise ship in heavy seas where the waves were literally breaking over the front of the ship. I could not sleep. I could not sleep. I was in my room now in my room is in the bathroom making promises to God. But if you run from God long enough, you can be in the middle of mortal danger and never know to be sound asleep. You can reach a place we can even hear his voice.
One of the scariest verses in the Bible to me is found in Romans where it says the simple statement so God gave them over to their own vain thinking they stopped hearing his voice to sound asleep. The captain went to him and said how can you sleep get up and call on your God. Maybe he will take notice of us and we will not. Then the sailor said to each other, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity. They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah and they they threw the knife in the it came up Jonah so they ask him tell us who is responsible for making all this trouble for us. What do you do where do you come from, what is your country from what people are you he said I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven who made the sea and the land and terrified that what terrified them that they understood God he was running from because intuitively they knew this was truly God, what have you done they knew he was running away from the Lord because it already told him so. The sea was getting rougher and rougher so they asked him what what should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us.
Jonah said pick me up and throw me under the sea, it will become calm. I know that it is my fault.
This great storm is come upon you instead that men did their best to row to lamb that is so me. Oh God, how can I get out of the repent come back to me say your sorry to your wife. Is there any other way I can get this then they cried to the Lord, they said, oh Lord, please do not let us die for taking this man's life.
Do not hold us accountable for the killing of an innocent man for you all. Lord have done as you please and they took Jonah and threw him overboard in the raging sea grew home fascinates me.
This is the way our society works to member's September 11 course you remember September 11. Do you remember the Sunday after September 11 churches were filled to capacity. Why do we wait until were in big trouble before we acknowledge God why do we keep trying to do it our way.
Why do we not respond to the first chance that God gives the next portion of Scripture identifies a place I have been in my life what you listen carefully, and when you read the whole portion. This is a portion of Scripture that describes us as we have turned our back on God, and wonder if there are any more chances left from inside the fish. Jonah prayed to the Lord is God in my distress I called to the Lord and he answered me from the depths of the grave. I called for help and you listen to my cry, you hurled me into the deep into the very heart of the seas and the current swirled about me all your waves and breaker swept over me. I said I have been banished from your site yet. I will look again toward your holy temple.
The engulfing waters threatened me the deep surrounded me seaweed was wrapped around my head to the roots of the mountain as I sank down the earth beneath, barred me in forever, but you brought my life of the pit.
God when my life was ebbing away.
I remember you Lord and my prayer rose to you to your holy temple. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace could be theirs. But I with a song of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you what I have vowed I will make good salvation comes from the Lord and the Bible says and the Lord commanded the fish and it vomited up on dry land. I do comedy concerts all around the country.
I was backstage at the intermission of one of our comedy concerts where I had shared the gospel and how God's graces prepared to forgive us of anything we've ever done.
Someone came back and handed me a note as I rested waiting for the second part of the program. The note began like this I came in the door tonight planning how I would kill myself a long long time ago I decided I would tonight. It was only a matter of deciding how and in the midst of the laughter. This note said you told me that God would love me no matter what I have done this person said I have betrayed my family. I betrayed God. I have broken every moral value that I ever set in my life. But tonight I knew that if I prayed to God, he would hear my voice, she said thank you saved my life.
What she really meant and what I heard was that God saved her life.
She did not sign her name. She just signed your 13-year-old friend 13 years old.
We have an entire generation of young people who feel this sense of hope we have a generation of older people who wonder does God still have any use for me. We have a generation of people who are young and vital and vibrant feel that they have turned their back on God, so long that he can't hear them anymore doesn't want them anymore and I'm here to tell you that this is a God of salvation. Your salvation comes the Lord, and this is a God of second chance.
Aren't you glad God is a God of second chances, God gave Jonah a second chance Almighty God said, go to Nineveh and cry against. Doesn't matter what his motivations were. He all day. God and God given a second chance. Now the man is laying on the beach pace close eaten by the acid in the whale stomach. He smelled like oil bar and he lays on the beach at an all-time low. God speaks to him.
The greatest words I think in the Bible verse or chapter 3 verse one then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. He was about to give Nineveh one of the most evil cities that ever existed on the face of the year a second chance. This story is about second chances and tonight is about your second chance. What is God asking you to do. I can give another list for you, but you know your heart is beating with it this very moment is giving you a second chance. Let's pray thank you Lord for giving us a second chance. Thank you for the marvelous story of Jonah so clearly demonstrates your love.
Thank you that you gave us a second chance, even as you hung on the cross we had already sinned against. Thank you that you are a God of chances in Jesus name, amen and Davis on today's episode of Focus on the Family and I don't know about you, Jim. But I'm so glad we serve a God who does believe in second chances at me to Jean and since that he's dealing with fallible human beings.
He gets a lot of practice in giving out their second chances and you know I recently read a profound idea that because God is immutable or unchanging. He doesn't have bad moods or lose affection for us.
In fact, in Jeremiah 31 three the Lord says I have loved you with an ever lasting love.
So God's love and his attitude toward us is the same as when he died for us on the cross. Think of that, no matter what we've done. He loves us and that is so comforting to know. And if you're struggling to accept the truth of God's love.
Let me just remind you that we have caring Christian counselors here at the ministry who can provide a listening ear. If you need someone to talk to.
That's right, John, and we have a really wonderful staff of counselors that they come from all walks of life and are very talented professionals and they are here to serve you. In fact, let me read you a note from someone who was helped by counselor on our team. He said I was stuck in Satan's trap of defeat and discouragement and was at a point of desperation.
When I made the call.
The focus I thought that God's forgiveness was not possible for me because my sins were far too great.
The counselor shared the story of the woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her hair and her tears and described how God's grace toward her was unlimited free in her from all of her sins as the counselor shared that story. The very same sense of forgiveness washed over me and I was relieved of my burden of guilt.
Thank you Focus on the Family say thank you to the supporters of Focus on the Family for providing this valuable service man that is so good and I want to say thank you to the donors for helping us do that.
It's because of you and the Lord working through you and us that we can offer our counseling consultations for free. It's a partnership that provides that counseling resource to so many.
And it reminds me Jim of verse in Proverbs. I think it's Proverbs 12 it says the tongue of the wise brings healing and we seen that time again how the Lord gives that kind of wisdom that does bring healing to our counselors when they're on those phone calls right and if you need that wise word just give us a call and will take your name and number so that a counselor can call you back the give you biblical advice, ideas for some next steps and can refer you to a trained counselor in your area. Someone who has been screened by Focus on the Family and is a member of our Christian counselors network and let me remind you our counseling team has seen the number of calls increase since the pandemic so we need your help. I would you join our team of financial supporters help us help others when you do, I'd like to send you the Ken Davis DVD of today's content.
It's called second chances. Lessons from Jonah for a donation of any amount. Please get in touch with us today and join us as we share the gospel strengthen marriages and equip parents, one family at a time and you can get your DVD when you call 800 litter a.m. the word family will follow the links in the episode notes to donate to the work of Focus on the Family and request that the on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for this Focus on the Family podcast. If you haven't yet done so.
Tell a friend listen in.
Maybe somebody who needs to know that God gives second chances and then take some time and just leave a rating in a comment or two at Apple podcast or wherever you get this show, I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ