23 June 2010

Brokenness Results in Restoration


Jonah 1:17 to 2:10

There is one truth that each and every one of us can’t deny!! There is only so much person can take before God’s breaks their stubborn will......We must realize as Christian’s, when God chastens His children!He will break you! We all have a breaking point that leads to the very situation that Jonah was about to face. When God wants to get your attention or correct your behaviour! Trust me, He will.......Jonah chose to disobey and when we disobey it is always accompanied with chastisement from a holy and righteous God. Look at what we have seen so far...........3 miracles performed by God:

1. The storm was created for Jonah
2. The Lots fell on Jonah
3. The Ceasing of the Storm

The 4th God provided the means to save and chastise Jonah with “a Great Fish” “And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17. Can I ask you something personal? Only you can answer these questions

1. What do you do when you don’t get your way?
2. Do you enjoy wallowing in your own self pity?
3. Do you cry out to God and beg for forgiveness so that you can be delivered from the present situation?

Look what happened to Jonah when the Lord finally broke him of his disobedience. Jonah had sorrow, anguish over his behaviour

1) DELIVERANCE REQUIRES GENUINE REPENTANCE TO GOD’S MERCY (V1-V3)

AN HONEST DECLARATION OF PERSONAL GUILT! “Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish, saying, "I called out to the LORD, out of my distress, and He answered me; out of the belly of Sheol (grave, hell or the pit) I cried, and You heard my voice. Jonah prayed to God (I called out to the Lord). He invoked God to help him in his trouble (in my distress). He relied not on his own strength. He looked not for human aid. He looked to God alone because he knew this was for him. We need to remember God always hears our prayers when we want to be restored to fellowship through repentance! Jonah is crying out to the Lord in repentance. I like what John R. W. Stott says “Sin and the child of God are incompatible. They may occasionally meet; they cannot live together in harmony.” The Reason God was listening to Jonah because Jonah thought his life was over and he wanted to be delivered from his act of disobedience. Repentance (means) “comings to a right mind; "a sense of regret" an uneasiness of feeling at the past or present, and is applied even to the remorse. Sorrow for anything done or said; the pain or grief which a person experiences in consequence of the injury or inconvenience produced by his own conduct.” Examples of Genuine Repentance:

1. Job after being rebuked by God (Job 42:6) “therefore I adhor myself (means I despise myself) and repent in dust and ashes”

2. Isaiah when God reminds him of his unworthiness (Isa 6:5-6) “I am a man of unclean lips”

3. David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba (Ps 51:3-4) “for I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight....”

4. The Thief on the cross when he asks Jesus to remember Him (Luke 23:40-41) “Lord remember me when you come into Your Kingdom”

5. Jonah here in this chapter “I called out to the LORD, out of my distress, and He answered me”

Ask yourself: When you have disobeyed God does your heart cry out to God for forgiveness? Does your distress bring you to the foot of the Cross in repentance? Can you relate to Jonah’s situation in your life today.......maybe even right now? (Prov 28:13) "Whoever conceals (covers it up...hides it) his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy." What this verse is saying! If the sinner does not acknowledge his sin.......If he chooses cover and excuse it away. God will never admit a sinful, unhumbled soul into His kingdom. But if you confess your sin with a repentant and broken heart.....Forsaking every evil way or our reasoning to the issue. The Bible also says “you shall attain mercy” and deliverance from God. Jonah knew the significance of the situation he was in as he was trapped in this large fish!
1. He knew he disobeyed God’s command at the beginning
2. He knew the terrible storm was made for him
3. He knew he had to be thrown overboard
4. He knew this great big fish was made for him
5. He knew he was standing at deaths door as in (verse 2)
6. He knew the only thing left to do was to confess to God his sinful

The only thing next was Repentance a genuine brokenness over your sin (verse 1-2) The same kind of brokenness the church in Corinth felt after Paul confronted them about their sinful and immature behaviour
“As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” 2 Cor 7:9-10. Repentance always brings restoration and forgiveness when it’s done in a godly sorrowful manner. Genuine repentance accompanies God’s sovereign mercy “you have cast all my sins” You have forgiven me of my wickedness! (Isa 38:17). Jonah didn’t want that feeling to be separated from God any longer listen to Jonah’s heart here in his prayer (verse 4)........This brings us to what happens next when we are being delivered by a holy God!

2) DELIVERANCE RESULTS IN SUBMISSION TO GOD’S MERCY (V4-V6)

AN HONEST SELF-SACRIFICAL HUMILITY TO HIS SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY! “at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.” (Verse 6) A.W Tozer said “People who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks: 1. they are facing only one direction, 2. they can never turn back, and 3. they no longer have plans of their own.” We are His instruments for His glory.....We are here for His good pleasure not the other way around......He decree’s in Himself (His good and perfect will) we don’t tell God what we are going to do......We must submit completely to Him......WHY? Because as Jonah said “he saved me from the pit of Hell” So let me ask you....Are you being submissive to God in your life today? We must submit to God and resist the devil or the flesh of selfishness as Jonah did earlier.....Are you drawing near to Him and His merciful grace and love? We must come to him, Jonah must come to Him. Jonah has to approach draw near to God in order to attain His mercy (that’s humility). Jonah cries out to “the” LORD, my God” because He is the God of all creation! (Verse 6). Jonah had no hope of deliverance from the fish. He couldn’t see ahead like we can in this chapter. But he found the grace of God again. That same grace we receive through the privilege of prayer (Heb 4:16) "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." .....“The throne of grace!” Isn’t that a beautiful expression when it comes to the privilege of prayer? A throne is the seat of a sovereign completion. A throne of grace is designed to represent a sovereign Lord who distributes mercy and pardons. The same grace God shows each and every one of us even in our disobedience!

3) DELIVERANCE RESPONDS IN OBEDIENCE TO A MERICFUL GOD (V7- V10)

OBEDIENCE IS ALWAYS RIGHT WITH THE LORD! (Verse 9) Jonah says “But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to You; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the LORD!" Jonah vowed to be obedient to the Lord.......Jonah is saying “I will do what you ask of me LORD if you gave that chance again. (Jer 11:4) “.......I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to My voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be My people, and I will be your God,”. We as Believers must be obedient to the Lord in everything we do in every situation. John MacArthur says “The question in salvation is not whether Jesus is Lord, but whether we are submissive to His lordship.” Jonah said here in this chapter “But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to You; what I have vowed I will pay....” Why? “Because salvation belongs to the LORD and the Lord only". Jonah was acknowledging with a thankful heart for being brought back to a Father and son relationship with the Lord. (Ps 119:67) “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.” I will praise You in everything, even while I’m here in this fish. I will forever praise Your Name no matter what the outcome is......I offer up sacrifice and praise to my Yahweh! Because you are worthy of all my praise. Why is Jonah praising and thanking God for his situation? The previous verse it shows the heart of a self righteous man! (Verse 8) “Those who pay regard (those who cling to worthless idols) to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.” This is the opposite of Jonah’s praise to God. He wants nothing to do with that kind of worship or falsehood.....Idols that were created by man for man. A god made in our image. WHAT JONAH IS SAYING! “Whenever a believer puts something else in place of God and thereby turns from Him, he inevitably also turns from God’s mercy and grace.” James Boice says “God is not less merciful, but when a believer has rejected that mercy, they therefore deserve all that comes on them!” We must cling to the Cross of Jesus Christ and hold on for dear life. He is our:
• Source of life
• Our Redeemer
• The Light of redemption to a lost a broken world or generation

“keep (to guard, to watch) yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” (Jude 1:21) Love and obedience to God is our HOPE our sanctification! It endures forever and to all generations (young and old). “Keep” falling in love with God and wait patiently until He call us to Himself. This is our hope to meet Him in Heaven for all eternity........Not because He spared us Hell (which He does).....But because He is worthy of our praise and adorned for His mercy and forgiveness! Jonah knew he was unworthy to be in the presence of God, But he also knew the God he served was full of mercies and grace “But I with the voice of thanksgiving..................Salvation belongs to the LORD!" But that's not all!!! Look what happens next. this should make us all fall on our faces in reverence! Just as God called the stars by name. Just as God knows the number of hairs on your head. Just as God spoke life into existence and gives it air to breath.......God speaks to His creation and they obey! This is the 5th miracle in this prophet’s letter!!! (Verse10)And the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.” Deliverance requires repentance so that we can be restored to a Holy God......Deliverance results in humility to the Lord in everything.......Deliverance demands obedience to His every command. Oswald Chambers says "Obedience to the call of Christ nearly always costs everything to two people- the one who is called, and the one who loves that one." Do you have anything that you need to repent to God about today? Do you feel like Jonah this morning? (Caught in a web of sin and don’t know how to get out of it).....If your here today....there still time for you!! Do you want to serve the Lord in everything you do? Because it starts here.....today.............Right now! There is victory in the Cross of Jesus Christ. He can take any situation you’re in and turn your heart to give Him the glory!! He can bring you peace and comfort in those dark hours like nobody else.....He can take your rotten circumstance and turn it into a growing time....He can transform your heart of selfishness to a heart that has anguish over sin and a desire to serve Him because He is worth it! I hope He is your greatest treasure. Remember what Jonah said “........salvation belongs to the Lord” Listen to the Hebrew writer when he penned this about our loving Lord!
“looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the Throne of God.” Heb12:2. The author and finisher of our faith. Jesus himself is our Captain, who willingly sacrificed Himself for you and me......You are His crowning glory and joy...........Deliverance always ends in right relationship with God.....“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” But it begins with a brokenness over YOUR SIN!

No comments: