Gateway Blog

Filter By:

Jonah: Repentance

main image

Today Pastor Ed Allen continued his summer sermon series on Jonah and Nahum by looking at Jonah 2 as an example of repentance.

Repentance is a complete about face, heading in the opposite direction, completely chaning your mind - and actions.

People don't change their minds easily.  Chaning our character is difficult at best.  Repentance is the key.

We don't ever get away from the need for repentance.

Four vital components of repentance from Jonah 2:

Repentance involves a clear-eyed recognition of where we really are.

Jonah 2:2-6 -- Jonah felt cast away from God's presence.  He knew he was in deep trouble and what was happening.  He regretted where he was, and called to the Lord for help.

(If you're in a place of blaming others, you're not repenting.)

Repentance involves a clear-eyed acknowledgement of God's sovereignty and saving power.

Ephesians 2:1,4 -- we're not here because we're clever.  God in his great mercy is stirring in us.  Jonah said that God put him there.  He had NO resources but God.

The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous make the process of repentance practical.

What repentance doesn't look like:  "I know I need to change, but so do other people."  "I need to think about that."

Repentance looks like:  "God, help!  This is a mess, and I created it!"

Repentance involves an abandonment of all dependencies and values apart from God.

Jonah 2:8 -- We cling to worthless idols.  

We have a different value system than the culture around us.  Examine your choices and your plans.

Repentance involves a firm determination to follow the way of the Lord.

Jonah 2:9-3:2 -- This time, he obeyed.

It doesn't happen unless we decide.

Posted by Sondy Eklund with

Jonah: Obedience

main image

On Sunday, Pastor Ed Allen continued his series in Jonah and Nahum with a message about Obedience from Jonah 1.  But before the sermon, Bill Russell told a striking story about when he felt a strong urging to speak to a stranger - and it ended up being God's perfect timing.  Then another striking instance happened a year later.

The Key Truth from Jonah 1 has a front end and a back end:

Our God Is Sovereign.

See Psalm 24:1-2; Psalm 135:6; Job 42:2; Ephesians 1:11; Matthew 26:19

We Must Obey.

In Matthew 7:13-14, we're told to enter through the narrow gate.  That's not talking about believing the right thing, but about taking the way of obedience.

Obedience is for our best.

Jonah disobeyed as hard as he could.  His disobedience got him and a whole boatload of bystanders into deep trouble.

Obedience is a stinking big deal.

Lives have been ruined by disobedience.

You cannot enjoy the benefits of a relationship with God unless you're actively obeying Him.

Daily we make choices that have far-reaching consequences to ourselves and others.

Jonah used what he wanted to decide his action.

Yet he knew it was disobedience.  He knew what God wanted.

Disobedience always involves some level of kidding ourselves.

God surrounded Jonah with undeniable circumstances.  The sailors asked Jonah why he would disobey such a powerful God.  Not a God to be trifled with.

Jonah wasn't surrendering to God.  He chose death, or so he thought.  Jonah was quitting, refusing to choose.

Almost all of us know the searing pain of disappointment in our lives.  Sometimes we choose big or little disobedience.

Stepping outside of God's will puts you outside the fortress of His protection and out of the best direction for you.

Our desires and our culture tell us that God's will for us should be easier and more convenient, so we choose a different destination.

Examine the story our culture is telling us.  We know from evidence that our culture's ideas do not work.

We then spent some time in prayer affirming the truth:

God is Sovereign.  We Obey.

12345678910 ... 103104