Category: Jonah (Page 2 of 2)

Salvation Comes From the Lord

The most interesting thing about Jonah 2 is that the prophet gives thanks to God for his deliverance while he is still inside the fish! He praises God for his rescue even before he is on dry land! Salvation Comes From the Lord

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.” ~Jonah 2:2

Jonah doesn’t even mention the small matter of his residency in the fish. Instead, he demonstrates a complete trust in the mercy and compassion of God. He is grateful to be in the Lord’s keeping, even if it’s in the belly of a whale.

“You brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God!” ~Jonah 2:6

Jonah gives thanks in spite of the uncertainty of still being in the sea. He gives praise knowing he did not deserve to be rescued. He’s grateful for safety in a most unlikely place. He’s thankful even in great discomfort. Jonah recognizes God’s salvation in spite of his unresolved questions and issues.

“Salvation comes from the Lord!” ~Jonah 2:9

Jonah sank to the bottom of the sea. The “roots of the mountains.” Surrounded by the deep. Engulfed by the waters. In the “depths of the grave.” Jonah sank to the ocean floor, and yet he did not drown. He did not die. He was saved by our gracious God. Our mighty God is still in the rescuing business today. Sin and death are no match for his uncompromising love and incomparable power.


More empty tomb “tags,” these from an increasingly bold Lorie T:

Chick-Fil-A    Sonic    Chevron



Avoiding the Call

JonahAs is often the case, my posts on this blog are things I’ve thought about and studied about and prayed about in relation to Legacy’s Sunday sermon but didn’t actually preach. Sometimes these posts are things I wanted to say on Sunday — intended to say — but, for a variety of reasons, didn’t.

This is one of those posts.

We’re immersing ourselves in the story of Jonah here at Legacy this month as we build towards our annual Missions Sunday on March 28. This past week we considered God’s call to take the good news of his salvation to all peoples, specifically our enemies.

God wants all the people of Nineveh saved. He wants them to repent and come into a relationship with him. And God intends to use Jonah to make it happen. But Jonah doesn’t want to participate in the redemption of this particular people. So the prophet runs to get lost in another culture. He heads west to Tarshish, the farthest point west known in Jonah’s day. Yhwh is not honored in Tarshish. He’s not even known there.

Jonah knows he can’t run away from God. But he can go to another place, another world, where maybe he can escape God’s call. Jonah maybe can immerse himself in worldly things. He can become overly occupied with possessions and status and busy-ness and career and sports and home ownership. Maybe a wife and kids. If he can just get away from the temple and from a lot of church people trying to tell him what to do, maybe Jonah can find some peace.

Of course, Jonah never got that chance.

God’s call on your life is unmistakable. It’s clear. You understand exactly what it is. But are you avoiding it?

I felt my God’s call to preach for years. And for years I said ‘no.’ I rationalized my rejection of the call. I was working at KRLD! I was the Sports Director at the Texas Rangers flagship station in a top-ten market! I was already doing enough. I was being a good influence there. I was shining like a light. Don’t talk to me about preaching the gospel, I’ve got work to do! God needs me here at the Ballpark!

Turns out I was just hiding at the Ballpark. Running away from the call. I’m sure God could have used me in radio. I’m sure he wanted to. But I wasn’t letting him. I was afraid. Or maybe I just wasn’t that interested. I was preoccupied with chasing my own dreams to insure my own comfort. Jonah tried to hide in the hull of a pagan ship. I was hiding in the tunnels at a stadium in Arlington.

In what ways are you avoiding God’s call on your life? What is God wanting to do with you and through you that you’re not letting him do? What are you running away from? Where are you hiding? In your job? In your recreation activities? In your family?

Why don’t you come on out? It’s beautiful up here. Getting involved in people. Getting into the middle of their broken lives. Talking to them about the miracle of salvation, the power of the empty tomb, the promise of the Resurrection, the glory we share in our risen Lord. Helping people. Encouraging people. Guiding people. Sharing their burdens. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done. And, by far, the most rewarding. You might not be called to preach. But I’m certain our God is calling you to something big for the Kingdom. Something really big. Something he’s equipped you for and empowered you to do. And maybe you’re scared. Or uninterested.

Stop hiding. Commit right now, today, to doing exactly what our God is calling you to do. Act now and avoid the hungry fish!



Preaching to our Enemies

JonahThe story of Jonah helps us understand how God thinks. It helps us see God’s great love for all of his creation and his will for all men and women of the world to be saved. The apostle Peter finally figured it out after a couple of rooftop visions in Joppa.

“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” ~Acts 10:15

“God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.” ~Acts 10:28

“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” ~Acts 10:34-35

We have enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan. And our God loves them and he wants them to be saved. But sometimes our language and our prayers and our actions and our emails don’t reflect it. How quickly we forget that while we were God’s enemies, Christ died for us.

We have enemies right here in our own communities. Enemies of our property values, enemies of our employment figures and tax rates, enemies of our comfort zones and our decency and order. And our God’s unmistakable call is to take to them the good news of salvation.

See, the deal with Jonah is that he believes in the sovereignty of God in his clear call. Jonah understands it. He just doesn’t want to obey it.

We believe that Jesus meant it when he said love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. But we don’t always practice it.

God is still calling his people to preach, to witness, to testify, on his behalf to other people. We see it with Jonah. We really see it in Jesus. Our Savior crosses all the social and political and cultural and racial and economic boundaries to save violent outcasts, those possessed by demons, warring zealots, traitorous tax collectors, Roman centurions, and thieves on crosses. He broke through the barriers of time and space to save you. And me.

And our God unmistably calls us to reach out to others the same way.



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