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Sunday, March 14, 2021

Sunday Words of Encouragement March 14, 2021

We followed our Sunday worship online again this morning. Pastor continues his series "Crash and Burn".  He reminded us that Hope is not lost for believers. The further away from the church they (the world) push, the more opportunity for the church to shine.

The enemy tries to destroy people (even disrupting their identity) to a point where they can’t see a way back to Him. God has answers! The last message encouraged us to purposely form and develop a relationship with people who don’t know Christ. Ignore the mess. (It's not our job to straighten out the mess.) Give them the message of Jesus!

Our citizenship is in heaven. If we focus on our life here, we may struggle with events around us.
Let’s consider the story of Jonah. In Jonah's world we see cultural decay; sinfulness; imminent crash and burn of a whole city – judgment from God. All parallels to our world situation today.

Jonah 1: 1-3.
God told Jonah to take a message from God to the people of Nineveh. Instead, Jonah ran the other way.
We see the same today: God tells us to take God’s message of Good News (and ultimate judgment) to people who are facing imminent death. Are we doing what God tells us?

Jonah 1: 7-13.

Jonah acknowledges that he has brought God’s wrath upon the ship he is on. He convinces the sailors to throw him overboard where he gets swallowed by a ‘big fish’.

Jonah Chapter 2 is Jonah’s prayer to God to be saved from the belly of the fish.

When Jonah was released from the belly of the fish, he followed God’s directive and went to Nineveh.
Jonah 3:3-10.
When Jonah warned the city, the people believed, responded and changed! Then God changed His mind and did not destroy the city.

Jonah got upset because God showed mercy! Obviously, Jonah was a flawed prophet. As are all of God’s people and messengers. God uses imperfect people to do great things for Him.

Did anyone ever grumble because their church got too big? Did anyone ever say “I like our group just as it is; I don’t want to grow.”

Jonah was worried about himself (he appeared to be a liar), more than about God’s victory.

POINT: When God’s people obey and go into their messed-up world, lives will be changed.

When we, the church believers, take God’s message to the world, lives will be changed! The Word of God will not be wasted! We need to share the message of life and Hope!
Daniel disobeyed man’s laws to follow God’s law. God protected him.

A Final Word:
Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor…Ephesians 6:10-11.

We have to look at people we disagree with and recognize that they are not our enemy. They are victims of the true enemy. Like Jonah, some would say, ‘Let them go to judgment.’
We need to resist the enemy and see all people with eyes of love.
Stand your ground…stay alert… pray in the Spirit at all times. Ephesians 6:11-18.

I found a couple of songs to choose from this morning.
This one speaks of revival and I felt it fits where we need to be: Awake!
Jonah 2:8-10
8“Those who cling to worthless idols
turn away from God’s love for them.
9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Lord, forgive us – forgive ME – for failing to go and take your message to others. Change me, and change others.

Deliverance – Devoted To You

Saved From... Saved For!" — Heartlight®

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