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Author Topic: Mini-Sermon 1: God, in spite of ourselves  (Read 394 times)

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Offline Flyin6

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Mini-Sermon 1: God, in spite of ourselves
« on: December 08, 2017, 11:23:15 AM »
God, In Spite of ourselves.

I think that God is the same today as he was in some distant past, and he will be the same God throughout all days of some unimaginable distant future. He just does what he does all the time. He gets through, whether we work to promote him or not. A poorly delivered message from him is just as effective as a lifetime of preaching by Billy Graham. He just will win every time, all the time…Thy will be done.

Ever feel called to do something for him? Do you know the voice of the messenger? Is it a voice at all to you? Some claim to hear it, others not. I did once. My sheep know my voice, he tells us and at that moment I knew it was God himself speaking, yes actually speaking, but so far down as to be just above the threshold of hearing.
He is always there, never does he take his eye off of us. He is always working for us or through us for others that his perfect will be done. So please be suspect when a sudden feeling or urge to do something which “feels” like it may have come from him emerges in your consciousness. I would encourage that you have a “my sheep know my voice” moment, act on it. You just may have a major impact on someone and possibly avoid consequences in your own life. Remember that God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14) and he wants our attention.

Consider Jonah for a moment. God asked him to do something “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:2). But Jonah, even with full knowledge that he actually just heard God himself speak decided not to obey. Nope, he thinks to himself, this Nineveh is a city of Assyrians who were always bitter enemies of the congealing Jewish nation, I just think I’ll bypass this one and catch a boat ride home.

Well we know how that turned out…Not so well to be cast out of a boat at sea and then be eaten by a really big fish. Probably wasn’t all that much fun for the fish either, come to think about it. So here we can see in this well-known biblical story that disobeying God has its consequences, kind of like sin. Speaking of Sin, one night at a men’s group meeting years back I was listening to a man who had lost his wife and family, job, and friends because he chose pornography over them. With teary eyes he stood in our group and reached into his pocket to pull out some loose change. He said if you sin it’s like taking this hand full of coins and tossing them into the air. There are consequences to sin. With that he tossed the coins up, maybe six feet and they separated and rained down and ran every which way on the floor. Looking at us, he continues, “You end up picking up the pieces of what you had and trying to put it back together if you can.”

But in that visually encapsulating moment where the rolling and bouncing pennies and nickels were going everywhere, it was clear that a once neat and gathered collection of coins were now scattered and some undoubtedly having been lost.

Jonah tossed God’s command out the window of his SS Camaro, downshifted to third, and smashed the skinny pedal. Heck with that business, I’m outta here he thought. And this is just his disobedience and the effect it had on him. But what effect did it have on others? God had something in mind, and he asked this early prophet to do something, which Jonah refused to do.
Let’s read further in the scripture to see the overall consequences to this disobedience. So God asked Jonah a second time to go to the city of Nineveh and tell them to repent, and this time Jonah did.
Nineveh was so big that it took Jonah three days to traverse its breath and width and he proclaimed to everyone he could find, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” (Jonah 3:4). So we see that he was finally obedient, and in that obedience it is clear that he was under God’s protection. Just like a special envoy of the president is endowed with special authority and privilege, so was this messenger of God.
Looking further into this we can see that when “on a mission from God” (Blues Brothers movie) you are in the will of God, and being in the will of God means you are safe, and you will succeed. Do you see that? It’s important to walk away with knowing that if you live and act within the will of God and not the will of me, you will be successful.
Jonah goes into the heart of the enemy city where if anything he was not safe, and told them, “You knuckleheads are all wrong and you have to change your ways to honor my God or he’s gonna take you out!” Gutsy eh? In the secular view, sure is. But we Christians see it as something else. Exercising faith to the highest degree. Yup, I should be dead here, coming into the heart of my enemy’s city and calling him out, but no harm has come to me, he must have thought.
Then look what happened, the people repented and put on sack cloth (That burlap that was wrapped around that new pear tree in the front yard, sack cloth) (Jonah 3:5-9) and even the king put the sack cloth on and sat down in a pile of dust.
This single act of obedience turned an entire city, perhaps an entire nation from evil to repentance. That likely saved the Assyrian from God’s wrath which often worked against them with death and destruction.
Doing what God commands us to do is a good thing. It aligns with his will. It protects us. He provides everything we need to take the ball in for the touchdown. Obedience to his commands spreads peace, staves off death and destruction, and heals. Obedience to the perfect will of God and to his prompting produces a world of good.

So next time you’re in the middle of the conversation where your buddy is sharing his fear of losing his job, or of having cancer or not knowing how to make things right with his wife, do not set aside the chance to align with God’s perfect will. That perfect will was sent to us in the person of Jesus, the Christ. Tell that person about him. Do not be ashamed, don’t worry how it makes look. I guarantee that regardless of how the world may view it, you father who is always watching will be well pleased…And that, my friend is something you dearly want.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 11:24:38 AM by Flyin6 »
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