Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Same Word; The Second Time Around-Jonah 3

Let's start this morning with a passage from Luke 8:4-15

LUKE 8:4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, He told this parable: 5 "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."
When He said this, He called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

9 His disciples asked Him what this parable meant. 10 He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
" 'though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.'

11 "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the Word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Just how do we respond to the Word of God does really matter. The question for us today is this: Which soil are you? Which soil do you want to be to have growth and life?

Jonah 3:6~10
When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh:
"By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.

The Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. It was the SAME word. Same message: GO! God will give the message.It was not up to Jonah.
The Message we tell and live out in front of people is not OUR story but His.
(His story/history) It is/may be OK to share about your way as long as you keep the Main thing His Story!

Verse 5 “After one day---the city believed!” Must have been some message!
Believe? What does believe mean?

Surface recognize Truth There it is-no personal involvement or need to change.
A Little Deeper weight Truth out. Yes=go this way. No=don’t go that way. Can you be neutral? Not really. You are either for Me or against Me! is what Jesus said. There is no middle road.
Heart motivated by Truth Take action/move
I.E. Jesus’ teaches on the soil and seeds. (see Luke 8, above)

  • King heard and responded really fast! (Like Joel 2:14)
  • Declared a FAST: Change behavior big time
  • Put on sackcloth: Change of dressing—difference would make things uncomfortable.

Steps to Repent:
Do we follow this form? Is this the Biblical Way?

1. Leave your place of power-rose OFF the throne, humility. You are not the center. Not even near center!

2. Took off his royal robe-“Just as I am” from the Hymnal.

3. Covered himself with sackcloth
Not ‘put on' sackcloth...
Not ‘changed into' but COVERED!
Who is our covering? “Put on Christ”
Who covers us? God’s Grace, Mercy, Power, Compassion, …

4. Sat down in the dust.
“Dust I came from; dust I am going.”
Simple life—cut off from the business of life
Deal with THIS issue. Not let other things take over.

Lowest place to go: the ground. Basic place to start. Go back to the beginning. Then move ahead/don’t stay in the past. Try as you might, you can’t change the past.

Then the King issued a proclamation. This took time. Not off the cuff. Not acted in haste. Didn’t put it off. Took time to deal with it. (Like a ball in the water—hard to keep it under the surface!)

5. Fast. No food or drink-man, woman, child AND animals! All of creation was effected by sin. Waiting for us to bring this to an end. Our action yields redemption because of what Christ did on the Cross.

6. Call urgently on God.
Easy to say ‘sorry’ Sumimasen. すめません! Shitsure shimasu. しつれします! Easy to repent but hard to life in repentance. Live in light of how your sin was such an offense to God, He needed to provide a way to bring you back to Himself. Your sin was a deeply hurtful action that caused Him much pain. The call on Him needs to be urgent! Must be dealt with! Can’t put it off any more!

7. Give up their evil ways. Take off the Old and put on the New. Transformed lives are the ones that are followed. Be that for others today!

Give up their violence. A new heart with new desires. Desires that please God! Our reaction is different. Reaction is fast yet prolonged. This is an on going repentance. Have a short list. Faith AND Works. Faith and action. All this goes together. Really can't do one without the other. This makes a balanced life!

Vs 10. God provided Salvation. This is His Plan for man’s repentance. Father God provided it all: fish, a vine, a worm, a scorching wind, an answer, and provided mercy to that city, to Jonah, to Israel, and to us, in Christ Jesus. All from His Hand.

How then shall we then live? Start with repenting—not just being sorry—Godly sorrow goes a long way. Shallow sorrow does not move at all.

Start with repenting—He will provide the rest.

___---Next week: He is coming Back! Get ready!---____