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Running From God

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller
The Truth Network Radio
June 2, 2024 1:00 am

Running From God

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller

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June 2, 2024 1:00 am

When God speaks, everyone is supposed to listen. But the story of Jonah is for people like us who run from God and need second chances. In this message, Pastor Philip Miller explores three themes from Jonah’s story: an uncomfortable call, an unexpected flight, and an unrelenting grace. God will never stop pursuing us.

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The story of Jonah is more than a man swallowed by a great fish. First and foremost, it's a story about God. It shows us God's unrelenting grace for undeserving people. And it's a story for those who run from God and need second chances. It shows us a God whose love never quits, who's always and forever pursuing and redeeming us.

From Chicago, this is The Moody Church Hour, a weekly broadcast of worship and teaching with Pastor Philip Miller. Today, join us for the first of five messages on Relentless, the book of Jonah. Our focus today, running from God.

Here now is worship leader Tim Stafford. Running is a theme today. We're running a race, each of us, right? And some of the people are running from God. Some people are running aimlessly through life.

Lots of running going on. But let's think about what we're called to do as believers. It says this in Hebrews and 2 Corinthians. This is God's holy word.

Let's listen as we read. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely. And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or faint hearted. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed.

This is the power of God in us. Amen. Let's run with endurance. Let's fix our eyes on Jesus. We can go through suffering. Amen. It takes faith.

Let's run. Let's walk by faith. By faith we see the hand of God. In the light of creation's grand desire.

In the lives of those who prove his faithfulness. We walk by faith and not by sight. By faith our fathers roam the earth. With the power of his promise in their hearts. Of a holy city built by God's own hand.

A place where peace and justice reign. We will stand as children of the promise. We will face our eyes on him, our souls reward.

Till the race is finished and the world is done. We will walk by faith and not by sight. By faith the prophets are a day. When the longed for Messiah would appear. With the path to break the chain of sin and death. And rise triumphant from the grave. By faith the church was all to go. In the power of the Spirit to the lost. To deliver captives and to preach the news.

In every corner of the earth. We will stand as children of the promise. We will face our eyes on him, our souls reward.

Till the race is finished and the world is done. We will walk by faith and not by sight. We will stand as children of the promise. We will face our eyes on him, our souls reward.

Till the race is finished and the world is done. We will walk by faith and not by sight. We will walk by faith and not by sight. Come thou fount of every blessing. Tune my heart to sing thy grace.

Streams of mercy never ceasing. Call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet. Sung by flaming tongues above. Praise his name I'm fixed upon it. Name of God's redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer. Hither by thy help I come. And I roam by thy good pleasure.

Safely to arrive at home. Jesus saw me when a stranger. Wandering from the fold of God.

Need to rescue me from danger. Walk me with his precious love. How your kindness yet pursues me. How your mercy never fails me.

Till the day that death charmers me. I will sing, I will sing. Home to grace, how great a debtor. Daily I am constrained to be. Let thy goodness, like a feather, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to lead the God I love. Here's my heart, oh, take and seal it.

Seal it for thy course of love. How your kindness yet pursues me. How your mercy never fails me. Till the day that death charmers me. I will sing, I will sing. How your kindness yet pursues me. How your mercy never fails me.

Till the day that death charmers me. I will sing, I will sing. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.

Prone to lead the God I love. Here's my heart, oh, take and seal it. Seal it for thy course of love. Here's my heart, oh, take and seal it.

Seal it for thy course of love. I want to pray for our city, so I invite you now if you'd pray with me. Almighty Father, as we quiet our hearts and we acknowledge your presence, we also need to acknowledge, Father, that we are pressed with the deception that suggests that your sovereignty is unnecessary in some areas of our lives.

In our pride and in our arrogance, we assume that our education, our experience, our knowledge, our instincts, our feelings can guide us. But we know, Father, that we need divine wisdom and divine discernment that only comes from you. We know this, Lord, that today in this place we call Chicago, somebody's car is going to get stolen.

Some mother will get a call regarding injury to her child. We're beset by darkness and evil on every side, and it has no respect of race or sex or IQ or socioeconomic status or geographical location, but this darkness, Father, is permeating every neighborhood. If our hope rested in City Hall or the City County Council, we would be in despair, but we, Father, place our hope and our trust in you, and we cry out to you this morning for mercy, Father.

For those neighborhoods that erect night after night after night with gunshots and violence and all manner of depravity, have mercy, Father. For that mother who received a call even this morning regarding the loss of her child, have mercy, Father. And for those who are in a leadership role, will you give them wisdom, Father?

Will you give them discernment to know what to do and when to do it? We collectively cry out to you, Father, and we say thank you for providing police and firemen and EMTs and those that would stand in the gap for us overnight and would say, not tonight, who respond to help and to support. Oh, Father, bless them, we pray. Now we've gathered and we need to hear from you, Father.

We need the truth, Father. So would you now do what only you can do, fill your servant with your spirit and let your word go forth now with power and authority to do what only you can do. Encourage, Father, enable, Lord, equip, Father, convict, call, save. We'll always be quick to give you the honor, to give you the credit, to give you the glory, to give you the praise. Now we pray in the matchless name of Yeshua, Jesus, our Savior, our King, our God, and amen. He's the God of compassion for this city, for this city that we live in as well.

Would you stand as we sing? You're the God of this city. You're the King of these people. You're the Lord of this nation. You are. You're the light in this darkness. You're the hope to the hopeless. You're the peace to the restless.

You are. There is no one like our God. There is no one like our God. You're the Lord of creation. You're the Creator of all things.

You're the King above all things. You are. You're the strength in the weakness. You're the love to the broken. You're the joy in the sadness.

You are. There is no one like our God. There is no one like our God. Greater things are yet to come. Greater things are still to be done in this city. You're the God of this city. You're the King of these people. You're the Lord of this nation. You are. You're the light in this darkness. You're the hope to the hopeless. You're the peace to the restless.

You are. There is no one like our God. There is no one like our God. Greater things are yet to come. Greater things are still to be done in this city. Greater things are yet to come. Greater things are still to be done in this city. Greater things are yet to come. Greater things are still to be done in this city. The glory shines. The glory shines from heart to heart with praise for you and love for you in this city. Greater things are yet to come.

Greater things are still to be done in this city. Give us compassion. Give us a heart for this city where you've placed us, Lord, and send us into it. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Today we begin Relentless, a new study in the Old Testament book of Jonah.

I want to do a quick word association game with you, so warm up your vocal cords. I'm going to say, Jonah, you say whale. Yeah, Jonah and the whale. Those of you who know your Bibles will know it's not actually a whale. It's a great fish.

Small technicality there. But it's not really a story about the fish, and it's not really a story about Jonah either. It's a story that is first and foremost about God. It's a story about God. It's a story that shows us God's unrelenting grace for undeserving people. God's unrelenting grace for undeserving people.

It's a story for people like us. People who run from God, people who need second chances, people whose only hope is in grace. And this story of Jonah shows us a God whose love will never stop, it never quits, who is an always and forever God, who is pursuing us, redeeming us, forgiving us. So let's dive in and explore God's unrelenting grace for undeserving people. Grab your Bibles. We're going to be in Jonah chapter one. We're going to look at the first six verses today.

You'll find today's reading on page seven, seven, four in the pew Bible. If you want to pull that out, we're going to see three things this morning. We're going to find an uncomfortable call, an unexpected flight and unrelenting grace, an uncomfortable call, an unexpected flight and unrelenting grace. That's our outline for this morning.

Would you bow your heads? Let's pray and ask the Lord to be our teacher this morning. Heavenly Father, we ask you to come and teach us what it means to obey you no matter what. This story shows us ourselves. It exposes our hearts and our desperate need for your unrelenting grace.

So help us cling to you in the beauty of all that you are. In Christ's name we pray. Amen. Amen.

So first of all, we see an uncomfortable call, an uncomfortable call. Jonah chapter one, verse one. Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amittai, saying, pause for just a moment. This introduction here is what we know as a prophetic formula. All throughout the Old Testament, the word of the Lord, we get this phrase, the word of the Lord came to Abraham or Moses or Isaiah or Jeremiah. It's a formula, a divine oracle of God is being given to his prophet. Now notice here, the Lord is in all caps and whenever you see that, especially in the Old Testament, you will know that what lies behind that translation is the four letter name for the covenant name of God. The name that God gave to Moses, Yahweh, the covenant keeping name of God. Israel is in a covenant relationship with God. He watches over them and they are to obey him. And now this covenant keeping God, the God of Israel, is speaking to his chosen prophet.

This is a big deal. When God speaks, everyone is supposed to listen. Now this is the second time, as far as we know, that Jonah received an oracle like this.

A divine revelation, a word from the Lord. The first prophecy he received is recorded for us in 2 Kings 14 and we're going to read that in just a moment. But by way of background, Jonah's ministry took place during the reign of a king called Jeroboam II.

He reigned from 793 to 753 BC, so we're in the 8th century, 2700, 2800 years ago. Israel was a divided nation at that time and Jeroboam II was one of the kings in the northern kingdom. He wasn't a very good king overall, but even kings God can use to do good things. And so Jonah was in his council and here's the prophecy that Jonah received, 2 Kings 14, verses 25 to 27. He, this is Jeroboam II, restored the border of Israel from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of Arabah, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah, there's our man, Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet who was from Gathheper. For the Lord saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter, for there was none left, bond or free, and there was none to help Israel. But the Lord had not said that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, so he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam, the son of Joash. So Jonah's first assignment led to the salvation of Israel here. The Lord told Jonah, Jonah told Jeroboam II, you've got to fortify the northern border against your enemies, which resulted in economic stability and nationwide prosperity. Now, how do you think Jonah felt to have been given this assignment, this first assignment? The word of the Lord conveyed through him, saved his people, gave them a future.

He became a national hero. But this now, this second assignment is very different, isn't it? Verse 2 in Jonah, arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me. So instead of Israel, this oracle is now for Nineveh. Nineveh is the capital of the Assyrian Empire, which is in modern-day northern Iraq.

It is some 500 miles away to the northeast of Israel. The Assyrians were the dominant superpower in the ancient Near East from the 9th century down to the 7th century BC. And in Jonah's day, they had just been completing a 300-year military campaign, bullying all the surrounding nations of their day, including Israel. They were known throughout the world as a brutal, cruel, vicious, terrible people. I don't want to be too graphic, but we have accounts from the ancient world of the Assyrians skinning their enemies alive, of hoisting their bodies on pikes that they would ram through their bodies and leave them writhing in the air. They would cut off limbs, gouge out eyes, cut out tongues.

We have a famous relief of the Assyrians hauling off prisoners of war with fishhooks through their cheeks, chained together in a gang, and they hauled them off that way. Their conquering was brutal. Everyone feared them. They would be, in our words today, terrorists.

They were terrorists. And the people of Israel lived in constant fear, dread, of the Assyrians' brutality and violence. And God looks down and He sees man's inhumanity against man, and He says, Enough.

Enough. Jonah, arise. Go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me. No doubt this caught Jonah by surprise. His first prophecy had been to Israel.

This is for Assyria. His first word was to allies. This is to his terrorist enemies. His first assignment was when God sent Jonah to pursue his own nation's best interests. But now God sends Jonah to pursue his worst enemies.

This is an uncomfortable call. Go to those people who are ruining everything, ruining everything that's good in the world. I want you to warn them that judgment is coming. Now, Jonah is the prophet of the Lord. His job is to do exactly what God tells him to do. And since God has spoken, we would expect, fully expect, Jonah to get up, go to Nineveh, call out against it, just like God says. But instead, we get an unexpected flight. An unexpected flight.

Verse 3. But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish, far from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and he found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down to it to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. So Jonah's assignment is Nineveh, 500 miles inland to the northeast where modern Iraq is. He heads west over the sea, the Mediterranean Sea, 2,500 miles away to Tarshish. So 3,000 mile gap between where he's supposed to be and where he books a ticket.

Jonah runs as far as he can possibly get in the known world of his day away from where he's supposed to go. This is shocking. Why?

Why? Friends, this is career suicide, isn't it? I mean, he's basically turning in his resignation as a prophet. God says, here's what I want you to do. He's like, no, thank you. I'm doing my own thing.

Forget it. He's flat out disobeying God. He should know better, but now he's a rebel. And you notice this reoccurring phrase here, away from the presence of the Lord, away from the presence of the Lord. In other words, Jonah is running from God.

He's not just running from an assignment. He's running from his God. In the ancient Near Eastern world, they conceived of the sea as the place where chaos reigned. The gods didn't have power over the sea.

This is how they thought. And so when Jonah goes to the sea, he's hoping to go somewhere where God cannot reach him. So not only is he abandoning his post, in many ways he's disowning his faith. He's saying, look, I'm done, God. I'm done serving you. I'm done obeying you. I'm done with you.

Now, why? Why this drastic reaction here? Something clearly broke in Jonah. Something clearly broke in Jonah. Something hit a nerve.

He goes off the deep end, right? What is he thinking? Now, the good news is we don't have to guess. Because in chapter four, Jonah tells us exactly what he was thinking.

Now, this is just spoiler alert. This is after Jonah does all the running away and God gives him a second chance and he warns Nineveh and they respond in repentance and God extends mercy to Nineveh. And Jonah in chapter four is griping in prayer at God about this whole situation.

This is what he says. Jonah four verses two and three. And he prayed to the Lord and said, Oh, Lord, is this not what I said when I was yet in my country, that this is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish? For I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster. Therefore, now, Oh, Lord, please take my life from me, for it's better for me to die than to live.

Oh, what an attitude, right? But we begin to see what Jonah's issue is. When God says, look, I see Nineveh's evil. Jonah's like, finally. God says, judgments coming. And Jonah's like, here, here. And then God says, so you go warn them.

And he's like, over my dead body. Are you kidding me, God? You're going to give the most feared terrorist nation on the planet a warning? They're ruining. These people are ruining everything that's good in the world.

They don't deserve a warning. God, just fry them. Drop the hammer. Take them out. Good riddance.

Who needs them anyway? Don't give them a warning, God. You warn them they have a chance to repent. And Jonah won't give his enemies a second chance. Jonah won't give his enemies a second chance. God, if this is one of those moments where you go all gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster, then I'm turning in my resignation.

I'm going to take my chances on my own. I don't want a God who gives second chances to my enemies. If you're going to be gracious and merciful to enemies, my enemies, I'm out.

I'm out. Now, hindsight is 20-20. And from our perspective, it's really easy to get to be hard on Jonah, right? But if we're honest, disobedience to God is something we all deal with, isn't it? It's in our hearts.

It's in our own lives. So let's do a little autopsy of Jonah's disobedience in hopes that it helps us see ourselves. OK, so three reasons I think that Jonah disobeyed here. Number one, his autonomy was threatened. His autonomy was threatened.

Autonomy, self-rule. God told Jonah to do something he didn't want to do. Jonah resented that. He wanted to be his own boss. He wanted to do life his own way. And when God crossed his will, Jonah got cross, right? Has that ever happened to you? Do you ever dig in your heels and just do your own thing in spite of what God says?

I do. Secondly, Jonah's identity was threatened. His identity was threatened. Remember, Jonah's a national hero. He's a defender of Israel. He's an agent of prosperity.

He's a political champion in the land. And now God is telling Jonah to do something that will be deeply unpopular, that will likely undermine his political and nationalistic dreams. You see, his nationalism and his political influence had become kind of idols to him. They were his self-identity, an identity that turned out to be more important than being faithful to God. Jonah was OK to serve God as long as it went along with his national interests and his political agenda. But the moment serving God required he loved his enemies or do something that wasn't going to benefit his nation, he tapped out.

And friends, that can happen to us, too. We can make our own self-identity for ourselves that's more important than faithfulness to God. We can build our identity on popularity and then we find it really hard to be holy.

We can build our identity on our own nationalism and then struggle to live for the kingdom of heaven. We can build our own identity around our political tribe and find it hard to go out and love our enemies. His identity was threatened. Third, his prejudice was threatened. His prejudice was threatened. Jonah hated the Assyrians and his prejudice wasn't without cause. He had good reason to hate them.

After all, they were pagans. They were immoral. They were brutal. They were savage. All of that was true.

No question. But Jonah took it a step further. You see, to him, these people were irredeemable. They were beyond the pale, undeserving, unwelcome, unwanted, undesirable. Jonah could not imagine that God would love his enemies, that God's heart would be bigger than his political agenda.

Friends, and this kind of disposition can creep into our hearts too. That those people, those people out there, the ones ruining everything that's good in this world, those people ruining our city, those people ruining our country, those people ruling our politics, those people ruining our society, surely they're beyond the pale of God's redeeming love. Surely God's mercy couldn't possibly extend as far as those people.

They don't deserve a second chance. See, I'm afraid we're more like Jonah than we realize. Running from God isn't just an ancient problem.

It's our problem as well. So we have an uncomfortable call here, an unexpected flight, and now unrelenting grace, unrelenting grace. I love how this story unfurls. Any other God would have been done with Jonah, right?

Just written him off, moved on. I can get another prophet, but not our God. Verse four, but the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea and there was a mighty tempest upon the sea so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid 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 laid down and was fast asleep.

So the captain came and said to him, what do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call to your God. Perhaps the God will give a thought to us that we might not perish.

I love this. The Lord hurls a great wind like a javelin and it hits its mark, stirring up a mighty tempest. It shivers the timbers of the ship. And again, the Lord, it's the capital L-O-R-D who throws this storm. Yahweh, the covenant keeping God who keeps his promises to a thousand generations, who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and quick to relent from calamity, who is faithful when we are faithless. Friends, Jonah may have given up on God, but God never gave up on Jonah. Amen? So Jonah runs from God and then God runs after Jonah.

That's what's going on. Friends, if God loved Jonah less, he would have just let him go. But the fact that God pursues Jonah with this storm proves how much God loves him. God is unrelenting in his grace for undeserving people.

Don't you see that? Not just Ninevites, but Jonah's as well. This storm is designed to stop Jonah in his tracks.

It's a warning shot. It's a call to repentance. Jonah is to cry out for mercy and come home to God.

It's a wake up call. And where's Jonah? Snoozing, sleeping below deck.

So above deck, you've got the soldiers. They're hurling the cargo. God hurls the storm. They're hurling the cargo. You see that? Everyone is crying out to their gods.

Everyone that is except for one guy, Jonah, the prophet of the Lord, who is not on speaking terms with God. He's not praying. He's dead asleep. How can he sleep at a time like this? Well, my guess is he's in the grips of guilty despair.

Have you ever felt despair that just made you want to stay in bed? He's thrown everything in his life away, hasn't he? His life is over. He's sulking himself to sleep. I think that's what's going on. And then the captain comes down, probably to get more cargo to see if there's anything else he can throw overboard.

And he finds Jonah down in the hold. What do you mean, you sleeper? It's not a compliment. Arise. Same word.

Same word God used in verse two. Arise. Call out. What is Jonah to do at Nineveh?

Call out. Arise. Call out to your God. Perhaps the God will give a thought to us that we may not perish. See this pagan captain of the ship sees this is no ordinary storm. He perceives that the gods must be angry. The tide of judgment has come in and it's time to throw ourselves on the mercy of the God, whoever he may be. There's not a lot of hope in this statement of the captain's statement. It's a desperate gamble that somewhere, someplace, anywhere, there just might be an ounce of mercy in the universe if we could just find it. But Jonah knows better.

You see this? Jonah knows better. He knows there's mercy and grace in the universe. He knows there's a gracious God who's merciful and slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and rich in mercy, who will relent from disaster.

Jonah knows he can turn and find mercy at any given moment if he would just turn around. But he doesn't. His pride won't let him. He doesn't pray. He doesn't repent. He doesn't cry out for mercy. You see, in his heart, he's still running. He's still running from God. So he follows the captain up above the deck as the storm rages and continues to thrash the ship to the point where it almost breaks apart. And that's where our story ends for today.

You'll have to stay tuned for next time. But I just want to share with you three takeaways as we drive this home. First of all, running from God is normal and nuts. Running from God is normal and nuts.

Each of us in our own way run from God, don't we? God gives us his instructions in his word. He gives us good counsel through mentors and friends. He speaks to our conscience. He gives us the Holy Spirit to direct us in his ways. And yet none of us fully obey God in every aspect of our lives, do we?

We're more like Jonah than we care to admit. We don't want God telling us what to do. We don't want to lay down our self identities in order to be faithful to God. We don't want to see God's mercy go to our enemies, those people who are ruining our world. Friends, running from God is normal. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Everybody does it. And running from God is nuts. It doesn't make any sense.

It cannot be done. Even in the middle of the sea, there is nowhere you can go from the presence of the Lord God. He sees all.

He knows all. He is always near. Secondly, God may send a storm to wake you up. God may send a storm to wake you up. If you're running from God, he may send a storm to get your attention. My own experience is that when I run from God, life tends to get stormy. The winds of life batter me because I'm living cross grain to the universe as God designed it.

And so misery is our companion as long as we run. And God sends storms to chase us down, to wake us up. And maybe you're here this morning or you're watching online or listening. And maybe there's a storm in your life. Maybe there's marriage problems or an addiction or crisis in your life and you're trying to sleep through it and ignore the storm and close your eyes and go numb and pretend it isn't happening.

But my question for you is this. Could it be that God is calling out to you in the middle of that storm? Could it be the storm is designed to wake you up, to bring you to your senses so that you might cry out for mercy and come home to him? Because, friends, third, God will never stop pursuing you. God will never stop pursuing you. Now that sounds negative or positive depending on how you receive it, right? If you're intent on avoiding God at all costs, the fact that he'll never stop pursuing you sounds like a threat.

You can run, but you can't hide. And that's true. But on the flip side, it means no matter what happens, you can never outrun God. That's a huge positive because no matter how far you run, friends, his grace runs further. No matter how much you sin, his forgiveness is greater. And no matter how undeserving you become, his mercy is more.

Remember the captain's statement? Perhaps the God will give a thought to us that we might not perish. Just blind hope, gambling on mercy being out there somewhere in the universe.

But, friends, you and I don't have to gamble, do we? We don't have to gamble because we know that God so loved the world that he gave not just the thought, but he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him might not perish but have everlasting life. See, friends, Jesus is the Jonah who should have been. When our evil came up before God, Jesus arose. And he crossed over space and time into our sin-cursed world with the message of salvation. And he loved his enemies. He didn't run away from his enemies.

He ran toward his enemies, the people who were ruining everything good in this universe, in this world. He came not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through him. And on the cross, Jesus died in our place and for our sake, bearing all of our sin and shame, and rose again to make us right with God now and forever as children of God, adopted into his family forever.

Don't you see that Jesus is proof positive that God will never stop pursuing you? That God is unrelenting in his grace for undeserving people. That if we would just admit that we are sinners far from God, believe that Jesus has done everything to make us right with God and commit ourselves to him, saying, be my Savior, be my Lord, be my everything. Even today, we can come home in the grace and mercy of God.

All we have to do is do what Jonah was too proud to do. Cry out for mercy in the middle of the storm. That no matter how far you've run, it's just one quick turn and you're home.

No matter how far you've run, it's just one quick turn and you're home. Because God is running after you. Friends, this is the beautiful reality of the gospel. God knows you completely.

He loves you utterly. And in Jesus Christ, he has forgiven you entirely. And all you have to do is turn around, cry out for mercy, and you'll be home. This is God's unrelenting grace for undeserving people. Amen? Amen. Let's bow our heads. Let's pray.

Father, we thank you that Jesus is the Jonah who should have been. You could have been done with us. You could have had Jonah's heart and said, they've just been too evil. They've been too bad.

They've ruined too much. They're not worthy of a second chance. But that's not your heart. You are a God who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love. You are quick to relent from disaster. You come running after undeserving people.

Ninevites, Jonahs, Phillips, Sallies, Charlottes. You come running after all of us. Father, thank you that when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That while we were enemies, you came for us. Your mercy is amazing to us. So Father, we cling to you and we pray that we would share your heart for the undeserving around us.

Because your mercy is more. We pray this in Jesus' beautiful name. Our Savior. And all God's people said, amen. On today's Moody Church Hour, we heard Pastor Phillip Miller begin a series he's calling Relentless, the Book of Jonah. We heard about a man running from God. Next time, what God does about this.

Don't miss The Lord of the Storm. The Moody Church Hour is a listener supported ministry. We count on the ongoing financial support of listeners like you. Together, we share solid biblical teaching that transforms lives across America and around the world. You can call us at 1-800-215-5001.

That's 1-800-215-5001. Online, you'll find us at moodychurchhour.com. That's moodychurchhour.com. Or write to us at Moody Church Media, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. This broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-02 02:12:24 / 2024-06-02 02:28:04 / 16

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