#739. THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME A SECOND TIME (30/1/23)
‘Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”’ (Jonah 3:1-2)
Summary: We always have a fresh opportunity to come back to God and to serve Him.
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I sometimes speak to people who feel that they have lost hope and that their lives are too messed up for good to come out of this. Many feel that they have taken a wrong turn at some point in their lives and they believe that they can never be successful. The good news is that God loves to pick us up, giving us new opportunities to know him and be fruitful in our lives.
Some people say things like, “Maybe I’ve committed the ‘Unforgivable sin’ that we read about in Mark 3:29. Maybe I’m the person who cannot be ‘brought back to repentance’ that we read about in Hebrews 4:6-8.” Whilst it’s important to feel the truth and weight of these passages, it’s important to remember, anyone who is sorrowful and who truly repents cannot be excluded from coming back to God. The desire to have a fresh start with Jesus is the work of the Holy Spirit calling us back."
The ‘word of the Lord comes a second time’ to us. His call comes to us many times as He keeps calling us back to Himself. God’s boundless capacity to forgive, was demonstrated by what Jesus told Peter when he asked:
‘“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ (Matthew 18:21-22)
In order to reinforce this idea that we are to treat others as God treats us, He continues in Matthew 18 with the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. The point being that God is over flowingly generous in forgiving our debts and the danger is that if we don’t truly appreciate this, we risk becoming harsh and unforgiving toward others. Simply put, if we don’t believe that people like Jonah - like you and me - can have a second, third, fourth chance, we will become hard on ourselves, hard on others and live without the assurance that unconditional grace in Christ is meant to give to us.
IN RESPONSE - KEEP COMING BACK TO GOD
We always have a fresh opportunity to come back to God and to serve Him. We have a fresh opportunity to repent, receive forgiveness, and get back on the path of serving God. Specifically, do we need to wholeheartedly give ourselves to His mission of bringing people to Jesus? The word of the Lord came a second time to Jonah, today is a fresh opportunity for us to come back to God and serve Him.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Please try to use the COME TO JESUS DAILY DEVOTIONALS (blog). This will help us to get deep into this book together. There is also a video option if that helps (Ensure that everyone knows how to access this)
What have been your 'highs' and 'lows' from the past few weeks?
3. RECAP OF SUNDAY’S MESSAGE - PLEASE SHARE IN YOUR GROUP
JONAH OBEYED AND WENT
Please read Jonah 2:1-3
MAIN IDEA: WE ALWAYS HAVE A FRESH OPPORTUNITY TO COME BACK TO GOD AND TO SERVE HIM.
1. THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME A SECOND TIME
God speaks to Jonah again and recommissions him to go to preach to Nineveh.
2. GO TO THE CITY
God repeats his commission to Jonah. The Holy Spirit, if we give Him space, want to continually remind us of the Great Commission that is spoken over us (See Matthew 28:18-20).
3. GIVE THE MESSAGE THAT GOD GIVES
God sends Jonah to proclaim His message. Likewise, the gospel - Jesus’ death and resurrection for our sin and salvation - is the message that God has given and that we are to give.
4. RESPONSE: JONAH OBEYED AND WENT. WHAT WILL OUR RESPONSE BE?
Jonah, this time, responds by going on God’s mission to Nineveh. As with Jonah, we always have a fresh opportunity to come back to God and to serve Him in His mission.
How would you counsel someone who said that they felt that God had given up on them and that they could never be forgiven and restored?
Jonah obeyed God's call to preach in Nineveh. This shows us the importance of obedience to God's mission in our lives. What does it mean for you to follow God's mission in your life?
How have you Served, Invested and Invited in your communities this week? (Let’s share about this again next week)
How have you got on with making a list and praying for your non-believing friends each day? (Let’s share about this again next week)
Let’s now pray for specific people that God has put on your heart and in your life.
Let’s pray for each other that the Spirit would fill us with His resurrection power so as to be compassionate and courageous this week.