Jonah | Week 7 | Angered by Grace

Posted on Jul 12 at 09:19am

July 12, 2015 | Sermon Notes

Jonah 4:1-11

1. Examine your heart to see if it’s in alignment with God’s heart.

It is sad to see Jonah place limits on the same grace that saved him – Frank Page, New American Commentary, Jonah

When God’s actions show that He’s totally outside the box Jonah constructed for him, Jonah can’t handle that. It’s so crushing for him, so hurtful, that he’s infuriated. His reaction proves that in his religiousness and spirituality, he’s lost sight of God. He can say the ancient formula, and he knows it intellectually – God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. But in his heart, Jonah doesn’t really see it enough to trust and embrace and celebrate it. – Tullian Tchividjian, Surprised by Grace

God’s listening is another sign of his grace – He won’t leave hearts disconnected.

2. Be humble enough to allow God to diagnose and deliver you.

Personal relief is not God’s end-game. His grace in you and through you is God’s end-game.

God’s teaching is yet another sign of his grace – He won’t leave Jonah in desperation.

3. Extend the same grace and mercy God has given to you to others.

God’s reaching is yet another sign of his grace — He won’t leave people in their condition.

Jonah’s Tribal Mindset v. God’s Missional Heart
Tribal Community

Highest value is self-preservation and those within it keep asking, “How can we protect ourselves from those who are different from us?” It typically elevates personal and cultural preferences to absolute principles: If everybody were more like us, this would be a better place.

Missional Community

Highest value is self-sacrifice and it exists for others. It’s a community willing to be inconvenienced and discomforted, willing to extend itself for others on God’s behalf.

Jonah | Week 6 | Freed by Grace

Posted on Jul 05 at 08:59am

July 5, 2015 | Sermon Notes

What would the marks of a spiritual awakening or revival look like?

Jonah 3:4-10

Repentance is a response to God’s Word that results in an exchange of our arrogant, prideful selfishness for humble brokenness.

Repentance is not an add-on to who and what we are now in the hopes that it makes us better – like the toppings at a Yogurt shop.

Marks of a spiritual awakening in our hearts, our homes, Taylors, community, nation.

1. Expose our hearts to the word of God (Jonah 3:4)

To the unbeliever, it has explosive power.

Romans 1:16

To the believer, it has piercing power.

Hebrews 4:12-13

2. Submit to the power of Christ to rescue us instead of striving to reform ourselves (Jonah 3:5)

3. Respond with genuine sorrow over our sin (Jonah 3:5-9)

No upsurge of religious interest or excitement merits the name of revival if there is no profound sense of sin at its heart. God’s coming, and the consequent impact of his word, makes Christians much more sensitive to sin than they previously were: consciences become tender and a profound humbling takes place. The perverseness, ugliness, uncleanness, and guilt of sin are seen and felt with new vividness. Under revival conditions consciences are so quickened that conviction of each person’s own sinfulness becomes strong and terrible, inducing agonies of mind that are beyond imagining till they happen. The gospel of forgiveness through Christ’s cross comes to be loved as never before, as people see their need of it so much more clearly. – J.I. Packer in “Marks of Revival”

4. Match what God says with what we say and do (Jonah 3:10)

5. Live in God’s freedom (Jonah 3:10)

Jonah | Week 5 | Transformed by Grace

Posted on Jun 28 at 09:07am

June 28, 2015 | Sermon Notes

Jonah 3:1-4

1. The grace that changes the messenger activates the same mission.

The self-righteous make the grave mistake of rejoicing only in their own deliverance. They miss the blessing of seeing God’s grace extend outside their own sphere because of their imposition of limits on God. (Nelson Study Bible, Intro to Jonah)

2. The message is unchanged since it reflects who God is and His heart for all people.

Jonah 3:5-10

3. The power of God ignites movements of genuine transformation.

Repent. Another temptation now is to point the finger at the forces—political, social, philosophical, spiritual—arrayed against the church and its moral teaching. Without denying the reality of “principalities and powers” (Eph. 6:12), we do well to ponder this: What actions and attitudes have we imbibed that contribute to our culture’s dismissing our ethics? Our homophobia has revealed our fear and prejudice. Biblical inconsistency—our passion to root out sexual sins while relatively indifferent to racism, gluttony, and other sins—opens us to the charge of hypocrisy. Before we spend too much more time trying to straighten out the American neighborhood, we might get our own house in order. Blessed are the poor in spirit who mourn their sins (Matt. 5:3-4). – Mark Galli

And, inasmuch as we know that, by his divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God, we have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do by this proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.

– Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation during the Civil War

Marks of Repentance

1. Hear the Word that reveals God’s holiness and heart.
2. Understand the consequences.
3. Respond with genuine sorrow over sin not embarrassment of getting caught – defensiveness and excuses go away.
4. Trust Christ to remove our sins and restore our future.
5. Display outwardly what’s happened inwardly.
6. Abandon sins of the past.

Jonah | Week 4 | Starting Over By Grace

Posted on Jun 21 at 09:40am

June 21, 2015 | Sermon Notes

A church is most healthy when it’s energized by fulfilling the Great Commission.

A church cannot be energized and healthy without an understanding of God’s grace to it and through it.

Jonah 2:10-3:3

1. Remember God’s grace from the past to us personally.

2. Recognize God’s desire to give grace through us to others He loves.

3. Reveal what’s in us.

Prayer Time

A. Self-righteous. We see others and ourselves differently than God sees them and God sees us.

B. Self-determined. We’re afraid or angry or discontent with what God has called us to do so our eyes are on the solution we think is best and we think we can control.

C. Pride – We’re more concerned about our reputation than what is right. So when embarrassed or humiliated or proven wrong by our own rebellion and running we look inward even more, not upward.

D. Unaware – We have no clue as to how deep the consequences might be. We start out on the road to Tarshish seeing only the destination but blind to what it will cost us along the way.

E. Stubborn – We refuse to think about turning around because we see what it might cost and say “no thanks.”

F. Distracted – We have too much to do, to think about, to plan, to adjust to keep our plan moving forward. Often, we stay busy enough not to think and not to hear.

4. Reflect God’s heart for others.

Pray for the people God has asked us to reach and that we would have a heart to reach them.

Unity of race around the gospel.

Ephesians 3:6

Ephesians 4:4-6

End goal of race by the power of the gospel: Revelation 7:9-12

‘I just wanted everybody to know, to you, I forgive you,’ said the daughter of Ethel Lance, killed in the shooting. ‘You took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you.’ She asked that God have mercy on the shooter’s soul. ‘You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. May God forgive you. And I forgive you.’

A family member of Anthony Thompson said he forgave the shooter. ‘I forgive you and my family forgives you, but we would like you to take this opportunity to repent . . . confess, give your life to the one who matters the most, Christ, so that He can change it—can change your ways no matter what happens to you, and you will be OK. Do that and you will be better.’

– Peggy Noonan, “A Bow to Charleston”

“For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.” – Luke 11:30

Jonah | Week 3 | Perspective on Grace

Posted on Jun 14 at 11:24am

June 14, 2015 | Sermon Notes

Jonah 2:1-10

1. God moves us into positions to see a new picture of grace (Jonah 1:17)

Jonah sees differently here than when he first received the call of God, than when he boarded the ship, than when the storm came and he was thrown overboard. The sailors received a new understanding when the storm was calmed. It would take Jonah longer and the road would be harder.

History of the story of Jonah and the Great Fish

-OT – Jonah’s ministry (2 Kings 14:25)

-NT – Jesus and Jonah (Matthew 12:39-41)

-NT – Jesus and people of Nineveh repented (Luke 11:29-32)

Hinge: the authority of Scripture and its Author.

2. Reflection: God rescues those who are desperate (Jonah 2:1-7)

Blind Spots that keep us from seeing God’s grace:

A. Self-righteous.

B. Self-determined.

C. Pride.

D. Unaware.

E. Stubborn.

F. Distracted.

The reason we never get to desperation is because we are so self-dependent. Either we need to tear it out or God will remove it for our good and His glory.

Until we see God-sent storms as interventions and not punishments, we’ll never get better; we’ll only get bitter. Some difficult circumstances you’re facing right now may well be a God-sent storm of mercy intended to be his intervention in your life. You’re in danger and either you don’t realize it or you’re living in denial.

You may feel frustrated, bitter, angry. You could be angry with yourself because you want to control things better than you are. Or you’re angry with God, intuitively if not consciously. Or perhaps, like the sailors, you’re facing an affliction that’s someone else’s fault, and you’re angry at the person. Whatever the case, the question is: Are you crying out to God for help and rescue? – Tullian Tchividjian, Surprised by Grace

3. Response: We pursue the One who pursued us, not run from Him. (Jonah 2:7-10)

Salvation is found not in the beach but in the belly of the fish where God’s grace resides.

The fish’s belly was not Jonah’s prison or death chamber, but only a temporary hospital for his soul and protection for his body from the ocean depths. It’s good for Jonah to be here. – Tullian Tchividjian, Surprised by Grace

Here’s what’s God’s grace does, it frees you forever from the burden of having to pretend that you’re something that you’re not. – Paul Tripp

Jonah | Week 2 | Stormed by Grace

Posted on Jun 07 at 09:46am

June 7, 2015 | Sermon Notes

Context: In seemingly inexplicable timing, humans in self-determination are at the mercy of the overwhelming power of the sea.

Jonah 1:4-16

1. God at times will initiate storms to redeem and restore people.

“Hurl” – 3x in the text, the first one, in the Scriptures refers to throwing a spear.

Jonah’s path “down” – from head-knowledge of God to self-righteousness to self-determination to self-destruction.

When you run away from the Lord you never get to where you are going and you always pay your own fare. But when you go the Lord’s way you always get to where you are going and he pays the fare. – Donald Grey Barnhouse

Sailors path down > no knowledge of God > self-indulgences > self-determination > self-destruction.

Purposeful: God responds to Jonah’s running with a storm that saves the mission to Nineveh (with the lives of thousands of Ninevites on the line) and saves the lives of pagan sailors. In the process of showing great saving grace to pagans, the storm He produces shows great corrective grace to Jonah.

2. Our natural but futile responses to the storms.

A. Panic.
B. Cry out to our gods.

Between the towers is a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, who gazes down with love and concern at a bundle in her arms. This is the Virgin who has been charged with the safety of the local fishermen. The bundle in her arms is not the infant Jesus; it’s a Gloucester schooner. – Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm

C. Solve it with common sense.
D. Check out | Jonah 1:7-13
E. Explain the gap in our lives.

Is there a distance between your confessional and functional theology? Sound doctrine does not always result in a life of obedience. – Paul Tripp

F. Try harder. | Jonah 1:14

3. Submission is the way of being saved in the storm.

God will take you where you haven’t intended to go in order to produce in you what you could not achieve on your own. – Paul Tripp

Hebrews 12:9-11

Jesus, the better Jonah

A. Confess as Lord: the one given for many.
B. Confess rebellion: stop running so that God’s grace can be applied to your own heart and then that grace can be reflected in hard-t0- reach places.

Jonah | Week 1 | Unlimited Grace

Posted on May 31 at 09:55am

May 31, 2015 | Sermon Notes

Jonah 1:1-3

1. God’s chooses us to reveal His heart in hard-to-reach places (Jonah 1:1-2)

2 Kings 14:23-27

2. We run when we cannot see the grace of God through the clouds of difficulty (Jonah 1:3).

God’s calling comes with God’s presence and ultimately His grace. So, if God calls you to do difficult things, He will give you the grace to accomplish it.

Tarshish isn’t a matter of a change of scenery. It’s a matter of the heart.

3. God’s grace must transform us before it reaches them.

Jonah 4:1-2

What primarily fuels Jonah’s desire to run? He was self-righteous.

We’re quick to criticize, not have compassion, which leads to us wanting to see people judged rather than forgiven – Paul Tripp

A. If you’re a husband or wife and your spouse has caused you years, even decades, of pain, is there part of your heart that wants to see them dealt with harshly, even after they have realized their error?

B. If you’re a parent and your rebellious child has produced nothing but hard work for your life, is there part of your heart that wants to see them punished appropriately, even after they have realized their error?

C. If you’re a sibling, a neighbor, a co-worker, a boss, or an employee – is there someone in your life that you would rather see judged and condemned rather than blessed and forgiven, even after they have realized their error?

The people who give grace best are the ones who know they need it most. – Paul Tripp