The LORD gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.”
~Jonah 1:1-2, NLT
It exciting to preach when you have a message.
I love the book of Jonah and if I had to preach it in one sermon, I would entitle it the “Message.” God gave Jonah a message to deliver to Nineveh. Jonah did not like Ninevites and refused to deliver the message. But God arrested Jonah via a great fish and inside the confines of the stomach of a fish Jonah came to his senses and repented. Chapter three of Jonah is similar to chapter one….Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.” Jonah was reluctant but he went and he delivered the message. Here is the part that I love: it was God’s message, not Jonah’s. God inspired Jonah, He told him what to say. Jonah did not love the Ninevites nor did he want them to be saved. He was a good news/bad news message: repent or perish but it was God who wanted the Ninevites to have an opportunity to repent, not Jonah. The Message was inspired by God, it was delivered by Jonah and it was believed by the Ninevites. The Ninevites heard God speaking through Jonah. Then they spread the word throughout the city. Our credibility as preachers depends on our speaking what God tells us to speak. If God speaks to us and through us, the message is credible and believable.
It’s the miracle of preaching: a man delivers the message but people hear God speaking. How unfortunate it is that preachers try to impress folks with their polished sermons. Three points with each point alliterated and illustrated. A catchy story here, a catchy story there and our goal is to impress. We want the folks to leave thinking about our sermon. Wow! Did you hear Bro. Jack’s sermon? We miss the point. No one went through Nineveh talking about what Jonah said; they didn’t hear what he said, they heard what God said through him. It was as though Jonah was not present. I heard a black preacher describe the burning bush experience. Moses looked at the bush and said, WOW, what a bush! God said, Moses look to your right. What do you see? Moses said, I see a bush. God said, look to the left, what do you see? Moses said, I see another bush. God said, “Moses, it is not the bush, it’s My glory on the bush, any bush will do.” Charles Sanders in a finish carpenter who does excellent work. He did a lot of the work on Eddie and Sue’s new house. When Eddie show folks Charles’ works, he doesn’t brag on the hammer Charles used, he brags on Charles. God is the carpenter, the preacher is the hammer. You don’t glorify the hammer. You glorify the one who holds the hammer in His hand.
- Well, she got on down there Saturday night but PTL it warmed up considerably. They have changed the forecast. They were giving 20’s for next week but they have upgraded by at least 10 degrees. It was nice last night. I can live with 50 but I wasn’t ready for the 28*.
- It is hard to believe: THANKSGIVING is just around the corner. Luke 14 is this coming Sunday night.
- We had a record crowd for GOLDEN GIRLS Saturday morning. We thought with the cold weather we would be down but we were up with two new members.
- Our Senior Adult Christmas Brunch is December 7 at 10:00 I think. My assignment in apple pies.