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NOVEMBER 5, 2017








   But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.


INTRO: Little Girl in Public School


   Have you ever tried to run away from home?


   Have you ever tried to run away from God?


NOTE: The story of Jonah is found in the three major religions; Christianity, Judaism and Islam.


   The story in Islam portrays the Islam point of view.




   Who is Jonah?


   2 Kings 14:25 (NLT) Jeroboam II recovered the territories of Israel between Lebo-hamath and the Dead Sea, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had promised through Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath-hepher.


   At the time of Jeroboam II, Israel was at the height of its military power, but was low in its spiritual relationship with God. 


   His contemporaries were Amos and Hosea, who were also called to warn the people of God’s coming judgment unless they repented.


   Jonah was called to go to Nineveh and pronounce God’s judgment against that wicked city.


   Who were the Ninevites?


   In the days of Jonah, the Assyrians were a dominant economic power; The Assyrians were also a major military power known as a cruel, violent, and wicked people.


   Archaeology confirms the biblical witness to the wickedness of the Assyrians. They were well known in the ancient world for brutality and cruelty.


   It was located across the Tigris from present day Mogul


NOTE: The ability to repent and be forgiven by God is the Theme of Jonah.






Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.


   We all are given the same choice, obey the command of God or reject His call.


Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.


NOTE: The downward spiral of Jonah’s decision:


  • Down to Tarsish Jonah 1:3a

  • Down into the ship Jonah 1:3b

  • Down into the side of the ship Jonah 1:5

  • Down into the sea Jonah 1:15

  • Down into belly of the fish Jonah 1:17


Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:


   The downward way is commonly broad and smooth for a time.


   For a time the Lord allowed him to have his way.


   Occasion for sin is no Divine warrant to sin.


   Here we see that a man may be strangely favored by circumstances, which is in open rebellion against God.


   He was “Blessed” with a ship headed for Tarshish most likely (Tartessus) of Spain, one of the nation’s major seaports. Tarshish was approximately 2,500 miles west, which represented the farthest point of the world to which Jonah could flee.




NOTE: He paid his fare in a very expensive sense.


   Jonah’s rebellion brought very serious results, the same as our rebellion from God.


   Sin’s pleasures, sin’s fashions, sin’s companions, sin’s vanities are all enormously expensive.


   The success of the wicked is but momentary.


   Obedience is wealth; disobedience is expensive.


   Part of the fare was the withdrawal of Jehovah’s presence.




Jonah 1:5c ... But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.


NOTE: He falls asleep. He is tired out. No obstacles have been placed in his way. It seems as if everything had been providentially arranged. Yes, Jonah, thou sleepest, but God sleeps not.




Jonah 1:4-5a But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them...  


NOTE: Jonah’s disobedience had the potential of great consequences not only to Jonah but also to:


  • The sailors on the ship


    • They lost the cargo of the ship. (Loss of money)

    • They almost lost their lives


  • The Ninevites


    • Would have experienced God’s judgment without an opportunity to experience God’s mercy.




Jonah 1:9-10 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.




Jonah 1:15-17 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.


CONCLUSION: There is no place we can hide from God.


Jeremiah 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.




NOVEMBER 12, 2017






Recap of Last week:

-          Jonah, a prophet, called by God to preach in Nineveh

-          Jonah’s downward spiral: Tarshish, Boat, Sea, Belly of the Fish

-          The fare of Sin

-          Unable to hide from God


 Jonah 1:17; “But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.”

-          Then Jonah prays.

-          How long was Jonah wallowing in the stomach juices of the fish, his skin slowly changing pigment and being destroyed, or the number of raw fish Jonah ate before he realized, ‘Maybe obedience and going to Nineveh wasn’t such a bad thing after all’?


How much poo for you?  How long will we wallow in the stomach acids?

Acids & Juices of Today: Anxiety, Stress, Irritability, Anger, Frustration, Jealousy, Fear, Loneliness, Resentment, Shame.

-          These juices eat away at us and cause multiple problems down the road.

-          America is #1 in the most mental health issues in the world (not including eating disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia) with 47.7% average that someone will have a mental disorder in their lifetime.  Compared with 21.4% adults worldwide in lifetime.

-          According to World Health Organization (WHO) Americans are seeking more treatments, but not seeing a rise in cures/healings.


V.2- 6a Like Jonah, we sink further and further until we cannot keep our heads above water.

V. 4 Many times we give up hope and think, “Perhaps death won’t be that bad”


God laughs and says, “You don’t get out of it that easy”



PIKE’S LAWS OF SIN IN MOTION (Adapted from Isaac Newton’s Three Laws)

LAW 1: Acts of sin committed stay in motion until an object of greater external force is applied upon it.

-          Jesus is the answer. 

-          John 3:16,17, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”


LAW 2: The force of sin (Fs) is felt based on the gravity of the sin (Ms) and how quickly it spreads (a). (Fs = Ms * Acceleration)


LAW 3: For every act of sin, there is an opposite and equal reaction (consequence).

-          Bible’s full of them: Abraham & Ishmael, David/Bathsheba/Solomon, David & Absalom/Tamar, Saul’s Sacrifice & Anointing of David, Jonah & Nineveh


When we sin, we sometimes ask, “Why is this happening to me?” when the reality is, we know why, we just don’t want to face the consequences.


“An idiot may throw himself off a cliff and say, “God, forgive me!” and the Lord will reply, “Sure thing.  Oh… but I should mention… I created this thing called gravity and you WILL hit the bottom”


“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 6:23 (NIV)


“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” ~ II Peter 3:9 (ESV)


“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” ~ Galatians 6:7,8 (KJV)


A lot of times we avoid going to God and ask other’s “Pray for me”; meaning: I want all of God’s blessings but I don’t want to change.

-          The Jerry Prayer: “You won’t like how I pray for you.  I’ll pray that God will break you until you come to the point of repentance.”

-          God’s desire is Shalom; or Wholeness (Full Restoration)

-          If Jonah had been blessed for his disobedience, where would the righteousness of God be?  He would have continued sinning & Nineveh would have died in their sins.

When we are surrounded by poo, or underwater with no escape, or swimming in acidic juices, we have nowhere to turn but God.


Mark 1:15, ““The time has come,” he said, “The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe the good news!””

-          Repentance involves: Observing, Reflecting, & Discussing

-          Believing involves: Planning, Accountability, & Action

V.7      When enough is enough

V.8,9  The Promise of God: “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” ~Hebrews 13:5

            “Quick Tricks” or “Self-Help” don’t work in the long run.  They don’t walk with you through the process.



Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals his transgression will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Romans 10:10, “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”














The 10 Step Spiritual Tune-up for Confession (Adapted from Tim Barton)

1.    Alone – Find a quiet place with your paper, pen, & Bible

2.    Quiet – Quiet your heart before God

3.    Pray – Pray to prepare your heart

4.    Holy Spirit – Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal specific sins in your life you need to confess

5.    List – List the sins the Holy Spirit reveals that you need to confess

6.    Struggle – Anticipate personal struggle (The Devils doesn’t want you to do this!)

7.    Confess – Confess your sins 1 at a time beginning with the hardest

8.    Humble Yourself – Expect to have to humble yourself to at least one person as you seek to make things right in your life.

9.    Done! – Write “Done!” across the paper after you finish it (Burn if you want to)

10. Thanksgiving – End with Thanksgiving to God


V.10 “And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land”


CHALLENGE: Get Right Before God


NOVEMBER 19, 2017






SCRIPTURE TEXT: Jonah 3:8-9 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger that we perish not?


NOTE: Have you ever wanted a second chance?


   That’s what Salvation is all about, getting a second chance.


   We have made a real mess of our life, but God comes along and offers us a second chance.


   The Bible is filled with those whom God has given a second chance.


·         Abraham & Ismael

·         David & Bathsheba

·         Peter & his denial

·         Saul & his persecution of the Church


   The book of Jonah is all about God’s willingness to forgive those who truly repent.


·         God gave Jonah a second chance

·         God gave the Ninevites a second chance




NOTE: Jonah had repented for his rebellion and agreed to fulfil his promise to God.


Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.




Jonah 3:1-2 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.




NOTE: Above all, Jonah was not to state his own personal thoughts or opinions, nor those of anyone else. He was to preach only the message of God—the Word of God itself—to the Ninevites.


   God gives a stern warning to those who seek to preach His Word.


Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.


Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.


NOTE: There are those who corrupt God’s message by speaking their own


Galatians 1:6-9 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.




Jonah 3:3-4 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.


   It was a message of judgment, and yet, underlying it, as Jonah easily perceived, was a message of mercy




Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.


NOTE: The Ninevites were wicked and evil people, but God still loved them.




Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?


Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?


   The entire city repented of their sins and sought God’s forgiveness




Luke 3:8 (GW) Do those things that prove that you have turned to God and have changed the way you think and act. Don't say, ‘Abraham is our ancestor.' I guarantee that God can raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones.


   There are those who have no understanding of the awfulness of sin or the holiness of God.


   Before we can have true repentance we must recognize and acknowledge our sin


Jonah 3:6-8 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.


   The king set the example for the rest to follow


   Their repentance was shown in different ways


·         Sackcloth

·         Sitting in ashes

·         Did not eat anything

·         Did not drink anything

·         They were to pray

·         Turn from their evil ways.


   They put their trust in God being merciful to them


Jonah 3:9 (NIV) Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."




Jonah 3:10 (NIV) When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.


CONCLUSION: God invites everyone to repent and accept His forgiveness


Acts 3:19 (BBE) So then, let your hearts be changed and be turned to God, so that your sins may be completely taken away, and times of blessing may come from the Lord;





NOVEMBER 26, 2017





Recap of Last Week:

·         God’s second chance for Jonah

·         God’s second chance for Nineveh

·         God’s second chance for Us

Question: When is a time that someone was said to have changed, but you were skeptical?
- Ex: The Story of Larry Lee

V.1 –   Jonah had just finished his preaching assignment by God
Jonah was exceedingly angry
-- Exceedingly: Two Hebrew words that mean wretched, vexed, that which consumes the attention, ‘super bad’

V.2 -    What we know about the character of God:
--  God is righteous and holy, unable to look on sin (Habakkuk 1:13a)
        Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” (NIV)
-- Bringer of Justice (Deuteronomy 10:18)
        He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows his love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” (NASB)
-- Compassionate; Slow to anger, abounding in love (Exodus 34:6, Numbers 14:18, Psalm 86:15, 103:8, 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2, Nahum 1:3, James 1:19)
        The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” (NASB)

V.3 -    When our attitudes become, “I don’t want to be here!” because the future is uncertain.
-- “It’s better to kill me now and let me die happy than to let me live to see the possibility of a major screw up.”
-- Sometimes God doesn’t make sense.
            For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)
            Job 38-41

V.4 -    “Really?”

            What is the limit of our own compassion?  What are the triggers that cause revulsion within our own spirit? Ex: Jews & Nazis

            Jonah missed it.

            “Christians are hypocritical and judgmental!”
*Note: When given two standards, you will always compare and contrast.

V. 5 -   Jonah made a booth.
Feast of Booths in Leviticus 23 instructed the Israelites to celebrate this third pilgrimage holiday on the 15th day of the 7th month and it was a weeklong celebration.  Today we refer to it as Sukkot and it is a reminder of what Israel’s ancestors went through in leaving Egypt.
IRONY: Sukkot is a celebration of God’s provision; Jonah’s booth was to celebrate Nineveh’s destruction.

            Setup shop outside of the blast zone on the east.  (sun doesn’t destroy the image of hell, fire, & brimstone and during the evening it helps illuminate it)

            He was waiting and hoping God delivered his wrath.  Verse 10 of chapter 3 hadn’t been written yet.

            PROBLEM: Mosul, Iraq (Where Nineveh is located) can reach highs of 108 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.  Highest recorded temp. is 120 degrees.  Not to mention Jonah’s skin pigment was off.

V.6-8 -            God’s Appointments:
~ God appoints the Big Fish
~ God appoints the Plant
~ God appoints the Worm

            God puts into our life what we need so that he gets our attention.

            “It is better for me to die than to live!”: Our temper tantrums.

            We rejoice when God blesses us and gives us what we want, we curse and throw a fit when things don’t go our way.

            Ex. Estherlyn & cranberries

V. 9 -   God: “Really?”, Jonah “Yes!!”

V.10,11 – Moral of the Story: You pity that which you did nothing to earn and get bent out of shape when it’s taken from you, but you refuse to show pity or compassion on those that need it.

Ø  God’s Character:
Everything is God’s
    --Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (KJV)   
    --Deuteronomy 10:14“Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.” (ESV)
   -- Job 41:1, “Who has first given to me, that I should repay him?  Whatever is under the whole earth is mine.” (ESV)

Ø  God Cares for All
John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

II Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

Ezekiel 18:23, “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

I Timothy 2:4, “[God], who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

            God illuminates the imbalance in Jonah’s life (“But I’m an Israelite!”)

n  Who do we believe is not good enough for Church?  Heaven?
-- Democrats?  Republicans?  LGBT? North Koreans? Muslims? Stinky People?  Homeless?

n  Don’t get distracted by specks (Matthew 7:3-5)
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye?  You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

WHY IS CHAPTER 4 HERE?  Why not stop after chapter 3?

** Because God is at work in the regular, normal, broken, everyday people.  The broken & the humble.**

-          The bible is full of mess ups: Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter, etc…

-          WARNING: If you’re looking for a perfect church, a perfect set of  pastors, and/or a perfect anything, you’d better move on.

-          If you’re willing to wrestle through life, be humble before God, and serve in the midst of brokenness, this is your church.  We are a pack of puny people made mighty by God’s power.

-          Humility is Key:
--Isaiah 66:2, “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”
--Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

SIDENOTE: Forgiveness –

            Literature & Drama: Character Motivation – Why does the character do what they do?
            ~ Perhaps Jonah had been hurt/bullied in the past by the Ninevites.

God desires reconciliation: Shalom.  Restorative relationships empowered by the work of the Holy Spirit.


1.    Forgive someone who has hurt you in the past (Matthew 6:14,15)

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

2.    Invite someone you wouldn’t normally (Mark 16:15)

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.””

3.    Take time to examine your own inconsistencies (Proverbs 27:6)

a.   Perhaps inviting someone whom you trust to correct you

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”


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