Introducing our latest preaching series:
What an appropriate time to be studying Jonah. That is, we will be studying the book of Jonah. This is not a character study of the prophet, and we are certainly not looking to follow his example. Rather we are looking to learn from his mistakes, and to learn about our Heavenly Father who orchestrated and preserved these events to teach His prophet and His people a lesson. It is a fitting follow up to our joint small group study with the Owls Head Baptist Church which used Tim Keller’s book, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith.
The nationalistic prophet hated his enemies and wanted only to see their destruction. The thought of them receiving mercy made his life not worth living. God wants to teach Jonah, and you and I, that this is no way to treat an enemy. How appropriate, I say, when we not only hate our enemies, but when we make enemies of our own. The division in the church when disagreeing on secondary or debatable issues, the lack of cooperation beyond or even within our four walls, the refusal to forgive and reconcile when we wrong or disappoint one another reveals that we sometimes suffer from the same heart attitude as that anti-prophet Jonah.
At a time when the society we live in is so divided by political party affiliation, when it’s become offensive to disagree, when the “other” is to be feared and maligned, we need to learn the lessons of Jonah if we are to be salt and light. We need to follow our Heavenly Father’s example: gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. This is not to ignore sin or abandon the pursuit of holiness anymore than God has, but to pursue it with more compassion and less condemnation.
This 8 week preaching series begins on January 15th.
Salvation is from the Lord!