Has anyone ever given you a do-over? You know, getting a second chance is such a powerful means of grace, and today we're going to see God give Jonah a do-over because he wants us to learn something very special. And that's what I want to share with you today.
Stay with me. I'm Dave Druey, and we're in the middle of our newest series, You Were Made for More, taught by Chip and his son, Ryan. For the past several programs, we've been studying the book of Jonah and learning how this familiar Bible story can apply to our lives today. Well, in this program, Chip's going to be in Jonah chapter 3, but before we get there, let me remind you to keep listening after this message for some really insightful thoughts from Chip. You're not going to want to miss what he has to share.
Okay, here is Chip now with his story. Every major change that ever happens in your life happens because of a shift. Every big change in a relationship, a shift in perspective, a shift in career, a shift you relocate.
But we tend to try and tweak our way through life. I love this title because it's about the book of Jonah, and you would think, you know, this Old Testament book, but it's about a shift that happens in your life. A shift that happens not only in his life, but a shift that happens in people that we would never dream God could change. I was meeting with a young man and his wife recently with my wife, and they were in a marriage crisis.
Great people have really walked closely with the Lord. Just a very typical time that you have in career and kids and pressure and all the rest. One of those times where, oh God, I need your help. And he called, and we sat down together, and we had a good talk with the two of them, and I texted him about two days later, hey, how are you doing? Because I gave him the name of a counselor that I called, and like most of us, right?
We have family of origin issues. We have struggles we've been through, and sometimes we need some outside help. And about a week later, I said, well, how did it go, and did you get ahold of the counselor? He goes, well, you know, work got really busy, and, you know, the kids are doing this and doing that. Well, I certainly understand. And so two weeks later, I texted him again and said, hey, how's it going?
And kind of went out of my way to line him up with his counselor. And he goes, oh, you know, we've just been so busy. Things are kind of transactional.
So I mean, now we're six, seven weeks out, and what I realized, this guy is a lot like me. You get into a storm. You really want help.
There's a big conflict. You cry out to God. And you get a little relief. And what you realize is you want relief instead of transformation. Because, see, now the crisis, you know, it's transactional. It's not what it needs to be.
But we're kind of getting along, and things are sort of okay. And what I can tell you is, over and over and over in my life, when I realized I needed to deal with an issue in me or in my marriage or in my parenting or at work, I've tried to tweak, tweak, tweak, and make little changes. Can I tell you?
It does not work. You just delay the pain, and you don't experience what God wants for you. I love, notice in your notes, if you pull this out, and if you happen to have a pen, at the very top it says, how do you shift to, and would you with the pen underline the more that you were made for? When we run from God, we shift away, and underline this.
Are you ready? From the more that you were made for. God uses storms, difficulties, circumstances, pain, cancer, pandemics, challenges. He uses storms in our life to shift us back to, underline this, say it with me, the more that we were made for. And then we learn that Jonah is delivered by God from the storm for two reasons. God reveals his mercy, and then he repositions or shifts him forward for the more that he's made for. And I want you to know, I've been doing this for a long time, and the average Christian that I meet, when I sit down and have anything other than a superficial conversation, is not experiencing the more that you were made for. God didn't just save you to forgive you.
He's got a plan, he's got a purpose, he's got peace, he's got direction, he's got a connection in relationships. And some of the biggest challenges, I want you to think about the biggest challenge, the biggest thing if you could say, right away or fix it, some of the biggest challenges you have in your life right now are actually allowed by God to bring some storms to receive his mercy so that you can shift and experience the more that you're made for. Because here's what I want you to get, is that when our external acts, obedience, do not reflect our internal attitude, heart, we miss the more we're made for.
Let me say that again. When our external acts, okay God, I'll apologize. Okay God, I'll do what you told me to do. Okay God, I'll get my finances in order. But you can do external things, Jonah does it.
Okay God, you said go tell those Ninevites that there's judgment coming, okay I'll do it. Often we do external acts to get relief. My friend came for counseling. My friend even walked away with a little resource in his hands.
My friend did a couple little things with his wife that at least put the fire out for now. What he wanted was relief. What he did was tweak his life. But he didn't make a shift. And because he didn't make a shift, the same issues that are unresolved are just gonna keep boiling up and I got a feeling I'll hear from him sometime soon.
Now here's the good news. We're all that way, aren't we? Jonah was that way. How does God respond when, you know, it's external, we're not really from the heart. I love it. God gives Jonah a redo.
Are you ready? We're gonna get a short movie in chapter three of Jonah and the movie has four scenes. Scene number one is God recommissions Jonah. You see Jonah a second time saying arise. Circle the word arise in your notes. Go to Nineveh, the great city, and proclaim to it the proclamation which I'm going to tell you.
I love this. Jonah rebels. I'm not gonna do God's will. He gets himself in a pretty messy, sticky, dark, yicky situation. He gets vomited onto the beach and God says okay, let's try this again. Scene number two, Jonah obeys God's command. So Jonah arose and he went to Nineveh.
According to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city. I won't go into all the background. Literally it was the greatest city on the earth. They've been digging archaeologists for years. It's like this incredible, huge city with hundred-foot walls and you know wide enough for three or four chariots to go by. But then there were all these adjoining communities. I mean it's huge.
Took three days just to walk from one end of the suburbs to the other. Then Jonah began to go through the city, one day's walk, and he cried out and said, yet 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown. So he's obeying. Okay, he doesn't like them but he's obeying and he proclaims judgment is coming. You know it says even in the first day that he starts walking, there's a response.
Notice that word he began. We don't know how long or what he said or here's what we know. A disobedient guy chooses to obey and is telling people, not that he doesn't like, he's telling people that he hates. That in 40 days God's judgment is coming.
So at least he obeys. The people of Nineveh repent. Then the people of Nineveh, notice, believed in God, the one true God, and they called a fast and they put on sackcloth and from the greatest to the least of them. And when the word reached the king of Nineveh he, circle it, arose from his throne and laid aside his robe. He was the most powerful person on the earth and this is an act of repentance. This is an act of I'm going to humble myself before God. He takes off his outer robes, he covers himself with sackcloth and notice that he sits on the ashes.
This is a mental, emotional, and volitional. I have absolutely no hope. I bring nothing. Not my throne, not my robes, not my intellect.
If there's not an intervention from this Yahweh God, the creator of all that there is, I'm done. And then he acts. He issued a proclamation, said, in Nineveh by the decree of the king and by his nobles, do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing.
Do not let them eat or drink water, but both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth. He's just saying, we're done. He's at the end of himself.
And by the way, don't just keep this out there. Think about where has God taken you in your life, where you've just, you know, this marriage is done. I can't put up with this kid one more time. My parents are just, they are, they're so unresponsive.
My boss, this health issue, I'm so done with this. What you're seeing is a king with great power and a city that you would never dream would be responsive coming to the end of themselves. That's a very important place to be. And then notice after he makes that decree, here's what he tells everyone. Let men call on God, underline the word earnestly. It's the opposite of Jonah.
Jonah's gone through the motions. But he says, call on God earnestly. And it's not just words that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in their hands. And then the king basically is like this, who knows, right?
Who knows? Perhaps God will turn and relent and withdraw his burning anger so that we will not perish. Scene number one, Jonah obeys. Scene number two, none of it hears. Scene number three, they repent. Scene number four, God responds with mercy. When God, underline the word saw. When God saw their deeds that they had turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which he had declared that he would bring upon them.
And he did not do so. One of the things I jotted in my notes that's really worth pondering, God takes no delight in punishing the wicked. These are the most wicked people historically on the face of the earth. These are the people that run the sex trade of their day. This was a group of people that impaled people, that skinned them alive, that would go into whole towns and rape all the women and put a sword through pregnant women. I mean, atrocious, atrocious.
Just the worst things you can think of. In view of all of that, God finds no delight in judging the wicked. His default emotion, the default emotion of this book and the message is mercy. He's merciful with a rebellious prophet who knows better. He's merciful with wicked, wicked people.
Over the years, I've spent a lot of time and a lot of different people with all kind of backgrounds. In one season, found myself going regularly to maximum security prisons with a man who taught me a lot about God. Part of his life was every month he would go to maximum security prison and he started dragging his young pastor.
And if you've never been to one of those deals and these are murderers and these are rapists and there's no hope of ever getting out and the bars go and then you walk in in about a nine by nine, it goes, oh Lord. But John loved him. John said, Chip, you need to understand God loves these people. And we compare and we think their mistakes is far worse than ours, but our God's heart is for mercy. And I had the privilege of being with John and watching people that I could have never even imagined wanting to hear about God cry like babies and experience forgiveness for things that they wish they had never done, but they did.
And that's the picture that we have here. Don't miss the big message from Jonah's life. Notice the contrast between chapter one and chapter three. In chapter one, God commands him to go and response is Jonah's fleas. In chapter three, God commands go and Jonah goes. In chapter one, God warns the sailors with the storm. And in chapter three, he warns the city through Jonah. In chapter one, the storm actually stops the moment they respond. In chapter three, the wickedness stops.
The response is the sailors repent. They start worshiping Yahweh on the boat and they put their faith in the one true God. The city responds and repents in chapter three, and they believe in the one true God. In chapter one, Jonah ends up in a fish and God delivers him. And in chapter three, Jonah ends up in a revival and God delivers his enemies.
And don't miss this. Jonah disobeys in chapter one and then he cries out for life. Jonah obeys in chapter three and then he cries out and says, I want to die. I would rather die than see my enemies receive the mercy of God. I think there's a couple big lessons, one from the Ninevites and then one from Jonah.
Are you ready? Here's the lesson that I at least learned from this passage from the Ninevites. Receiving God's mercy requires faith evidenced by repentance.
Verse five, it says they believed. In other words, God wants to be merciful to everyone, but it's like having an ocean of water and being dying of thirst and going, I'm not going to drink. I don't need that.
Well, guess what? It can be available, but you don't get it. So in order to be merciful, you have to be merciful. In order to receive God's mercy, you have to believe.
And then second, it's evidenced by repentance. Did you get those words? The king says everyone must turn away, believe in God earnestly, turn from your wicked ways, turn from your violence. And then did you notice when God saw their deeds?
Did you hear those words? God turned, God relented, God withheld. See, there's this whole big theme, this undercurrent about repentance. So let me just explain what repentance is and what repentance is not. If you're taking notes, you could write the word repentance. And what I want to tell you is that genuine repentance, it's a New Testament word.
It's metanoia, meta with or change mine. And so there's an intellectual part of repentance. In other words, you intellectually say, I'm going down this path. It's like I'm going down 101 South and you realize, oh, I'm supposed to be on 101 North.
So you go over the overpass and then you turn around and you go the other direction. That's a good picture of repentance. Well, that's an intellectual thing. Second, there's an emotional component. It's not just like Jonah, oh, yeah, I was supposed to talk to them about God.
I don't really want to. He repented in his behavior, but his heart wasn't there. There's a heart, there's an emotion. There's a sense of sorrow. And it's not like faking, oh, I'm really sorry I got caught. It's a sorrow where you realize you really damaged the relationship. I will just tell you, both in horizontal relationships with people and in my relationship with God, when I finally realized that sin, doing what's wrong, right, is not fundamentally a behavioral issue. It's fundamentally a relational issue.
Because if it's behavior like, oh, I'm sorry I did that. You know, I logged on one more time. I lusted one more time. I lied one more time. I stole one more time. Blah, blah, blah, blah. I'm really sorry. And then it's like push repeat.
No, no, no, no. Repentance is intellectually a change of mind birthed out of a sense of a relational hurt. I hurt that person. It caused a divide between me and my God, and he loves me. And then there's a volitional part. And the volitional part is your behavior is followed by your mind and your heart. I was trying to think of a time when I learned that sin damages a person. And if you get that, how it changes your behavior. Think of that thing in your life that you struggle with, and then you try hard, and then you struggle with it, and then you try hard, and you struggle with it, and you try hard. And you know, for some it's anger, for some it's lust, for some it's money, for some it's shopping, for some it's eating, for some it's sex.
You know, whatever, right? We're human. We were in a tough season. I was in seminary, so I was going to school full time with a full load.
I was working full time because Teresa needed to be home with our kids. And I mean, it was like intense. I'm up like at 4, 4.30 and studying. I go to school, blah, blah, blah.
I come home, eat, play with the kids, then work, you know, until 11, get up, the same thing. It was really intense. And my one sort of little moment was playing basketball. And so like coming home sometimes, I could find a pickup game on an outdoor court, and I didn't have a cell phone.
And if I did have a cell phone, I probably would have not called anyway. And Teresa, it always happened when she cooked a great meal, and her love language is service. So she served me, and I'd show up late. We'd have an argument, and we just, then she would look this way at night.
I'd look this way at night. We wouldn't talk to each other for two days, and then we'd pretend it didn't happen. You know, great conflict resolution. We hadn't been to enough counseling at that point. And you know, but what we were, I know we were doing some counseling because we were learning these I feel messages about how to share your anger without attacking the person, because our lack of that was not good at all.
And so I think she listened more than me, and I came home, and you know, the food's cold. And here's what you need to understand. My rights, my time, I'm working, I'm going to school.
I should be able to play as much as I want. It's my one little thing. Who cares if it's cold? I don't get it. Why is she up tight? You know, I don't show up at 5 30. Give me a break. Tighten up. Loosen up. This, you know, I'm resentful.
I'm angry. And she is well. And so I come in, and there's candles on the table, and kids have already eaten.
I'm really late. And she's really kind, and she says, I put it in the oven, and then I eat. And then she tried one of these I feel messages. She goes, I just want you to know that I spent the day cooking this meal because I love you. And I feel like you don't love me when I spend this time doing this for you, and you seem to not care about me, and not even call, and you do it, you know.
And I looked in her eyes. I'll never forget this. And I remember thinking, love and being late for supper? This doesn't even compute. What? I mean, we had a battle. I'm going to do my thing.
You do your thing. You're this rigid person, 5 30, dinner, dinner, dinner. Give me a break. And when I looked into her eyes, watered up, I realized, oh my. This isn't about basketball. This isn't about when you eat supper.
Oh, she feels like I don't love her. And all of a sudden I've repented. I saw it through a new lens. You've been listening to part one of Chip's Talk, Declaring the Message. You'll be right back with his application for this teaching, which is from our series, You Were Made for More, facing the Jonah in all of us. Have you ever thought you could or should be doing more with your life, but because of past mistakes or current circumstances, you feel unworthy or unmotivated to make a difference?
Well, if you've wrestled with that, this series is for you. As Chip and guest speaker Ryan Ingram teach through the Book of Jonah, they'll reveal we were all made for more. Discover how to shift your ambitions, relationships, and life to the greater purpose God has for you. To learn more about this series, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org, the Chip Ingram app, or call 888-333-6003. Before we go any further, Chip's joined me in studio to share a quick word.
Hey, I want to take just a minute to ask you something really important. If you've been impacted by this ministry, would you please pray about partnering with Living on the Edge in a new way right now? Nearly everything we do is dependent on contributions from partners like you. Our ability to reach people through radio, online, or our app.
Sharing and developing small group resources. Providing broadcasts that are international in Asia and the Middle East and literally dark places around the globe. Please pray how you might be able to come alongside and be a partner to Living on the Edge to help us reach people with the truth of God's word. Thank you in advance for whatever God leads you to do.
Thanks, Chip. Well, as you've heard, God has called this ministry to help Christians really live like Christians both here in the US and all around the world. So if you'd like to help us fulfill that mission, we'd love to have you join the team by becoming a monthly partner. Set up a recurring donation at LivingOnTheEdge.org or through the Chip Ingram app. Or you can now text the word donate to 741-41. That's donate to 741-41.
Well, now here's Chip with his application. As we close today's program, God is an all-knowing, all-powerful, we use the word sovereign God, and he sees all that's going on. And what I want you to know is that when you repent, despite however severe your mistakes, God orchestrates all of life in such a way that he can bring about good. And that's why there's hope no matter what.
If you download the notes at LivingOnTheEdge.org, I put a little chart in there. And in chapter one, talk about God's sovereignty. God says to Jonah, go. Jonah's response, he flees. Then he's warned by the sailors.
The storm stops. The sailors actually start to walk with God and they cry out to Yahweh. And Jonah disobeys and gets thrown into the ocean. And then in chapter three, God commands him to go and he goes.
He warns a city. The wickedness stops. The people repent and a revival starts.
The very person that could not have disobeyed God in a more drastic fashion became the instrument that God later used. I don't know where you're at. Don't know where you've been. Don't know what you've done.
But a sovereign God can take a heartfelt repentance, a sorry that leads to a change of behavior, and use you in ways you never dreamed. Don't give up hope. Thanks, Chip. You'll find the message notes Chip mentioned in a couple of places.
Go to LivingOnTheEdge.org and click on the broadcasts tab. App listeners can just tap fill in notes. You'll get his outline, all of his scripture references, and lots of fill-ins to help you remember what you're learning. They really help you get the most out of every program. So I hope you'll take advantage of this resource the next time you listen. Well, for Chip and the entire team here, I'm Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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