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.