SCRIPTURES:   Jonah 4:1-11

BOTTOM LINE:  God’s Heart is broken for all people … is Yours?

QUESTION:  If God’s Grace has transformed our life, is that moving us to a place of brokenness where we are a living Distribution Center of God’s Love and Grace for those around us?

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God is calling JONAH out here … “ENOUGH!  You are more about a stinking plant that you had nothing to do with … you didn’t plant it … you didn’t nurture it … and you’re seriously mad?  And yet you had the chance to share my Love and Grace and save the lives of 1,000’s and 1,000’s of people from eternal punishment … and you’re mad because I did what you wouldn’t?” 

I mean JONAH … don’t you think I should be concerned about them?  JONAH, you aren’t even concerned for the children and animals?  They’re not even old enough to know right from wrong … or even their right hand from their left hand in some cases … and the animals certainly did nothing wrong at all. 

But … before we throw too many rocks in JONAH’s direction … this is just a pretty honest picture of how we are sometimes isn’t it?  The more I read about JONAH … the more I discover times in my life where I feel like I am just like him.

And that’s not something that’s a good thing in many ways to be honest … there’s several things in JONAH’s journey that I don’t like about my own:

–       Jonah is Angry at times

–       He’s blatantly disobedient w/ God’s will in his life

–       He’s self-righteous – believing only certain people deserve God’s Grace and Mercy (the Ninevites are enemies of Israel … only God’s chosen should be shown GRACE right?  Not these pagan worshippers)

 

ILLUSTRATION:  

JONAH is really this Graceless, Merciless, Unforgiving, Unrepentant, and Unrelenting at this point.

He still hasn’t changed … back in chapter 2, it sort of looked like maybe he was gonna get it … as he was looking back and reflecting … but here we are in chapter 4 … same story, different chapter.   And remember … chapter 2 was written after the fact, as JONAH was looking back and reflecting …

But I think to be honest … I think JONAH who we know to be the author of this short book … God calls him out here in chapter 4 … and once JONAH finally did get it, he sat down and penned this book for us so that we could learn from his story …

We could sit front row and see where we can struggle … what that might look like … how people who are really close to God can still struggle w/ the same things we struggle with … and yet how amazingly patient and incredible God’s GRACE and MERCY and LOVE our in our lives … even though we fall so short of God’s MISSION in the world right?

God’s heart breaks for ALL PEOPLE … and the question is … Does our heart break for the things that break the heart of God? 

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