God's Unrelenting Grace: Second Chances

God’s Unrelenting Grace Series Pt 4
Second Chances
February 25, 2018

Jonah 3:1-5
Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."
3 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city — a visit required three days. 4 On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." 5 The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. NIV

The book of Jonah is the story of God’s unrelenting grace because it reveals that…
I.    God Gives Second Chances (Jonah 3:1) Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time

a.    It’s (second chances) are called by many names –
•    another take
•    another try
•    another opportunity
•    second try
•    another attempt

In golf, its called a mulligan, found what you call a mulligan in Scotland, the land, and nation in which Golf was invented. Look at this video ---

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn_Z1uMuRLI
While tournaments don’t allow mulligans – God Does! You might remember …
Last Sunday we discover that God’s unrelenting grace was working on many levels even in Jonah’s rebellion/disobedience. Talk about Grace!
Here is Jonah in the belly of this fish/whale and he has a powerful encounter in prayer. In that prayer, he comes to grips with his rebellion. I love Michelle McKinney’s paraphrase of Jonah’s prayer in her book, “His Love Always Finds Me.”
She says his prayer might have been something like this, “Alright who am I fooling? You and You alone are God. My fight with you is fruitless. My stubbornness has become an idol I’ve clung to, separating me from your grace. You alone have the power to save even me, O Lord. Here I sit with no power to redeem myself. Only You can do it. I was foolish to withhold my obedience from You; instead, I should be offering You a song of thanksgiving for the privilege of being able to serve You.” [Michelle McKinney Hammond. His Love Always Finds Me. (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1999) pp. 79-80]
Because of Jonah’s sincerely repentance, God sends indigestion and nausea to the whale and Jonah gets vomited up on dry land! So now what?
•    Is Jonah so flawed because of his failing and rebellion that God can’t or won't use Him?
•    Does God ever stoop to use us when we reject his calling or turn a deaf ear to his voice and direction?
•    There is GOOD NEWS – We all make mistakes/sin in life.  (Finances, parenting, marriage, choices) some unintentional and some that are outright rebellion just like Jonah, but God gives second chances. We dare not miss that God does this because…

b.    It’s Needed and Necessary –
•    Don’t you just love that the Bible doesn’t sugarcoat the truth! The patriarchs of the Old Testament, as well as the apostles of the New Testament, are shown as flawed sinful persons.
o    Moses disobeyed and struck the rock
o    David’s adultery and murder
o    Peter’s denial and lies about Jesus

The point is that the book of Jonah reveals that God is unrelenting in the expression of His Grace towards us. Once Jonah repented Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time!
But just what does that mean? It means God gives second chances and the book of Jonah is the story about God’s unrelenting grace that reveals…
II.    God Still Has a Plan for Your Live (Jonah 3:2)   "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."

God wants you to know that with him:

a.    Failure isn’t Final

Play “Seabiscuit – I Can’t See” WingClips Video

Did you catch that? The Line – “you don’t throw a whole life away just because it’s banged up a little bit.”

That is what the book of Jonah is all about and this truth is revealed over and over without the Holy Scriptures! As well read the Bible we can clearly see that.


b.    Others failed, and God didn’t give up on them
•    Abraham was flawed and failed several times, he lied about Sarah fearing for his own life and he failed to trust God for the son of promise and decides to help God – Yet these failures weren’t final – God still made him the father of many nations!

•    Jacob was a deceiver and stole his brother’s birthright and blessing. He lied to his father. Only after wrestling with God did he obey. God wrestled him into obedience and then God transformed him and changed his name!

•    The Book of Judges – numerous chapters in talking/introducing another Judge starts, “And again Israel sinned.”

•    These along with many others “failed” God at some point – but God didn’t give up on them! God still had a plan for them. God didn’t give up on them and he won’t give up on you! His Grace is unrelenting! What assurance to understand that God doesn’t discard us and he still has a plan.

•    Most often that plan includes his redemption of our rebellion/sin
Finally, we need to see that  Jonah is the story of God’s unrelenting grace because it reveals that…
III.    God Can do Much with One Person (Jonah 3:3-5) Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city — a visit required three days. 4 On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." 5 The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

a.    Who is yielded and obedient
•    Notice that verse 3 clearly details Jonah’s obedience. Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh.
•    Also, note the message Jonah preached "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned."
o    I’m told that in Hebrew this phrase is only five words and we see that in English its eight short concise words
•    What unbelievable – literally miraculous results!!!
•    Look at verse 5 - 5 The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
•    The scale and the magnitude are mind-boggling! (Imagine what it would look like if ALL elected leaders, ALL Church leaders, ALL people AT Once repented
•    Truly a sovereign move of God that took place because of God’s unrelenting Grace towards Nineveh and Jonah.
•    But I also want you to consider that it was also possible BECAUSE God in His Grace redeemed or transformed Jonah’s failure.
•    Don’t miss that God can do much with one person …

b.    Who has been Transformed by their failing

NO coincidence that God had a great fish sallow the prophet – Nineveh & Dagon

Scholars say, Dagon was the chief deity of the Philistines, and the worship of this pagan god dates back the third millennium BC. According to ancient mythology, Dagon was the father of Baal. He was the fish god (dag in Hebrew means “fish”), and he was represented as a half-man, half-fish creature. https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?event=AFF&p=1011693&item_no=944854

The Bible says that God had the fish vomit Jonah up on dry land.  IS it possible that it happened within sight of witnesses who would have conveyed this tale to those in Nineveh?
Let me ask you a rhetorical question: “Do you think someone who spent 3days in the belly of a whale can come out the same?”
Dr. Harry Rimmer told of a man in 1926 who was swallowed by a fish and spends two days inside the fish and lived to tell the story. He was displayed in London as “the Jonah of the twentieth century.” When Dr. Rimmer interviewed him two years after it had happened, this man didn’t have a hair on his body, and his skin was a yellowish-brown color. You see, the gastric juices of the fish had reacted upon the individual as the fish had tried to digest him.
Those chemicals were bound to have an effect upon him, and this is apparently what happened to Jonah also. You can imagine the color of Jonah’s skin, and you can imagine how he must have looked.
Conclusion:
Talking to someone today who thinks I’ve blown it – hear me today our merciful God – the God of unrelenting Mercy still has a plan for you!
Invite those who will allow God to transform them & their circumstances

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