Jonah and The Whale

Surprised By Love | Jonah and the Whale | Pastor Steve Andres

July 2, 2023 • Pastor Steve Andres • Jonah 4:11, 2 Peter 3:9

Are you surprised by the love of God? This weekend Pastor Steve wrapped up our JONAH AND THE WHALE series with a message about God's compassion.  Jonah 4:11 But the Lord said, “Should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left?” Jonah was wrestling with understanding God’s love for Nineveh. God was patiently trying to help Jonah understand: 1) The PRODIGAL love of God. Prodigal is a word that means wild or lavish. To Jonah, God’s compassion for Nineveh seems misdirected, but that just shows Jonah didn’t understand how undeserving he was of God’s compassion. Surprise is the right response to God’s love for us sinners! 2) The PATIENT love of God. God has patience with Jonah as he stumbles again and again. He doesn’t appreciate how forgiving God has been toward him. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. How patient is the love of God? We might be wrong for a lifetime, and God will still give us an opportunity to get right.  3) The PERSISTENT love of God. Jonah rationalized his anger and resentment. But God sent the storm, the whale, the tree, the worm and the wind to change Jonah's thinking. This kind of love comes only from God, and so it has to be received before it can be shared with others. Have you been surprised by the love of God?

An Undivided Heart | Jonah and the Whale | Pastor Steve Andres

June 25, 2023 • Pastor Steve Andres • Jonah 4:3–5

How do you react to disappointments? Jonah preaches to Nineveh, and the whole city repents. But then, in a twist of the story, Jonah is angry and complains to God. Jonah 4:3-5 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Jonah should have been grateful to see change in the city, but his motives are mixed, and his heart is divided. James 1 says, “A double-minded person is unstable in all they do.” What does Jonah teach us about our hearts? 1) Everyone begins their relationship with God for selfish reasons. When we come to God, it is almost always out of self-interest, but God still accepts us! Once we begin to see God, our hearts change from seeing him as useful, to seeing him as beautiful. 2) Everyone needs to tend to their heart regularly. The daily disciplines of scripture reading, prayer and confession are meant to help us lead our hearts toward wholeness and devotion to God. 3) Everyone needs to experience the grace of God to have an undivided heart. Every rival god in our hearts demands our utter devotion, but leaves us empty-handed. With God, it’s the opposite. The grace of God is shorthand for how Jesus gave everything for us, so we could be free to love God with an undivided heart!

The Love of our Father | Jonah and the Whale | Pastor Joaquin Pardo

June 18, 2023 • Pastor Joaquin Pardo • Jonah 1:1–3, John 1:11–12

Despite sin, rejection and disobedience, the Word of the Lord still came! This weekend Pastor Joaquin Pardo continued our JONAH AND THE WHALE series with a message about the love of our Father! Jonah 1:1-3  Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.  John 1:11-12 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. 1. Your Father in Heaven isn't afraid of rejection. There is a pattern all throughout the Bible that shows the world and the people of God rejecting God. However, there is also a pattern of God's love and grace towards his people. Despite rejection, God still comes to us. 2. You are never disconnected from the Father's love. Although Jonah rejected the Word of the Lord and attempted to run away from him, that never disqualified him from being a child of God. God never stopped loving him. Our sin and disobedience is not strong enough to keep us away from the Father's love. 3. Your heavenly Father loves you too much to let you drown in your mess. The Lord sent his word, a storm, and even appointed a whale to rescue Jonah from the mess Jonah created. Over 2,000 years ago, our heavenly Father appointed his son Jesus to rescue us from our sin, rejection and brokenness. The work of salvation has been completed in the person and work of Jesus. All we need to do is receive this free gift!

Unbreakable Hope | Jonah and the Whale | Pastor Steve Andres

June 11, 2023 • Pastor Steve Andres • Jonah 3:1–2

What is God teaching you through your troubles? After Jonah’s experience in the fish, he was a changed man.  Jonah 3:1-2 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.” God uses disappointments, failures and suffering to bring change to our hearts and lives. What did Jonah learn in the school of suffering? 1) Suffering teaches us how to be humble. When we deny our brokenness, we delay our healing. Suffering shines a light on our need for God, not just to help our suffering, but to heal our sin. 2) Suffering teaches us how to help. Your greatest gift will often come from the place of your deepest wound. In failure and pain we learn to be compassionate and sensitive to others. 3) Suffering teaches us how to hope. A rugged hope in God’s redemption gives us strength to endure, even when circumstances are unresolved.  Don’t let the dark nights go to waste! Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, God can redeem every failure and every disappointment! 

He Never Changed | Jonah and the Whale | Pastor Devin Gough

June 4, 2023 • Pastor Devin Gough

Pray Now | Jonah and the Whale | Pastor Steve Andres

May 28, 2023 • Pastor Steve Andres • Jonah 2:1–2, Romans 8:26

The only way to fail at prayer is to not pray! This weekend Pastor Steve Andres continued our JONAH AND THE WHALE series with a message about prayer. Jonah 2:1-2 Then Jonah prayed to his God from the belly of the fish. He prayed: “In trouble, deep trouble, I prayed to God.   He answered me. From the belly of the grave I cried, ‘Help!’   You heard my cry.” The Bible says that Jonah was swallowed by the fish, THEN he prayed. Why do we delay so long before we call to God? 1) PRAY NOW, because now is the best time to pray. Prayerlessness is pride. Thankfully, God is not too proud to answer us, even when we have looked to everyone and everything else before asking Him. 2) PRAY NOW, even if you don’t know how to pray. There are no spiritual black-belts, no professionals at prayer. Even when we think we are doing well, we could never know what we need to know to pray correctly. Romans 8:26 We do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us. God is actively helping you every time you go to him in prayer, translating your simple petitions into something powerful. 3) PRAY NOW, because the only way to fail at prayer is to not pray. Our problem is not going to be asking or expecting too much from God. Our problem is going to be asking for and expecting too little. “Heaven is full of answers to prayers for which no one ever bothered to ask.”  Billy Graham What are praying for today?

God's Reach, Your Run | Jonah and the Whale | Pastor Steve Andres

May 21, 2023 • Pastor Steve Andres • Jonah 1:3, Proverbs 13:20

Have you been running from God? This weekend Pastor Steve Andres started a new series, JONAH AND THE WHALE, with a message about God's reach when we run. Jonah 1:3 So Jonah went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. The book of Jonah is only four chapters, but it’s three chapters too long. Jonah says no to God and runs from God’s call on his life. 1) When you are running from God, there is nowhere to go but down. Eventually, we reap from whatever we sow. If we sow obedience, we reap good fruit. But if we sow disobedience, we see the fruit of that as well. 2) When you are running from God, you pick up the tab.  When you are in the will of God, He always provides. When we are running from God, we pay a price we rarely want to pay. 3) When you are running from God, expect the weather to get bad. If you are a child of God in rebellion, you can expect a storm or else you might be somebody else’s kid! 4) When you are running from God, everyone around you suffers. Your rebellion means that others have to deal with your storm.  Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise people will be wise, But a companion of fools will suffer harm. We have all experienced the collateral damage of someone else’s foolishness.  5) When you are running from God, everything God does is to save you and restore you. To Jonah, the fish that swallowed him seemed like a cruel punishment, but it was actually the means of saving him! Jesus, the obedient prophet, faced our storm and was swallowed by death so that we could be rescued! God’s reach is always greater than our run!