What is a real awakening and revival? How can we be praying more often for God to do this in our city? Why is Jonah angry when God awakens and spares an entire city under his preaching? Jonah 4 introduces a twist ending that changes how we are to read this whole story. From this fresh perspective we get a better glimpse into the inner workings of Jonah's heart (and ours!) and see the gentleness and compassion of God as He works to transform Jonah's religious pride.
The book of Jonah continues to be about God's sheer mercy. God first shows Jonah mercy so that he might show Nineveh mercy. Then God pours out His Spirit through the preaching of His word and thereby awakens an entire city to the reality of God, judgment, and salvation. God's anointed message coming at God's appointed moment is irresistibly powerful. May the gospel awaken Athens also!
The first beacon of hope begins to appear while Jonah is in the watery depths, surrounded by breakers and waves. On the verge of death, he is swallowed up by a great fish and his life is preserved. For the first time, Jonah really begins to pray. As the runaway prophet says, "I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and He answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice" (Jonah 2:2). Come with Jonah and learn to pray in the seminary of the storm.
To run from the Word of God is to run from the God of the Word. Jonah runs from his call to the nations and thus misreads his circumstances. Where are we supressing God's Word in our lives? Where are we misreading our circumstances?
Jerry shows us that the gospel grants us peace with God through the word (gospel) of Christ and this is all for the glory of Christ. Our subjective experience of peace in this life is to be grouned on our objective peace with God in Christ.
What are you hoping in? Are you hoping in better circumstance in the here and now? Or are you finding your hope (that is, your confidence and joy) in the finished work of Christ and the new creation?
Today we closed our series in Galatians focusing on our need for each other (the local church), our need for rest in Christ, and our need to live a life of sustainable sacrifice so that we will 'not grow weary of doing good' knowing that 'in due season we will reap, if we do not give up' (Galatians 6:9). We hope you have enjoyed this journey through Paul's letter to the Galatians.
Pride gets a thrill from having more of (or being better at) something than someone else. Only when our identity is stable in Christ will we be able to simply love others from the heart.
We tend to read over familiar passages quickly and without much thought. Let's slow down and examine this familiar text and see what we may have missed.