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God of This City

Jonah 3:1-10

God is Bigger than Rebellion vv.1-5

In these verses God makes it crystal clear that He has a plan for Nineveh to hear from Him.  He is persistent in both His affection for us, His children, and those He wants to call children, the Ninevites.

Two main things we can glean.

1.)  God will make a pathway for God’s glory
Even in Jonah’s rebellion, God through discipline, gave him another chance to get on board!  I love the end of Psalm 23 verse 6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”  What does that mean?  God will track you down for your good and His glory!
2.) God allows us the privilege of partaking in His work
Satan wants to paralyze us by throwing our past in front of us.  He wants you to feel that you’re disqualified because of your past.  He wants you to feel inadequate, unable, and that the task is impossible!  I want to serve God for just that reason.  Because I’m in awe of a God who as stated in Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  I’m in awe that God would die and rise again for those who deserve Hell.  That’s me, I deserve Hell.  Now granted, once encountered, He transforms us.  We’re not the same!  May John 10:10 ring in your hearts: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Here’s our application: God is bigger than your past, your evil, your rebellion.  If He wants to save your home, this town, our nation, He will and is powerful enough to do it!  He’ll use you in the process! 

I can’t wrap my mind around this passage.  Listen to what Jesus tells His disciples in John 14:12-14 as he’s preparing them for the coming of the Holy Spirit:

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”   


God Blesses Repentance vv.6-9

The Ninevites repented!  Look at the kings reaction in this passage.  There was a genuine turning from their evil ways and it was marked with action.  God knows the heart!  We can give Christ lip service all day, but the heart is what must be transformed!  From the heart will lead to action for God.  Allow us to examine our hearts today and ask the question, “are my actions a true reflection of my heart?” 

1 Samuel 16:7  “7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

“You’re absolutely justified by grace alone through faith alone, but it’s a faith that radically transforms a heart.  It transforms desires.”  David Platt

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 “9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. 10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

Every true revival I’ve studied is marked by people repenting!  Turning from self and turning toward Christ!

God Bestows Restoration vv.10

God did not carry out the disaster because of their response.  What if we became serious about reaching our neighborhoods?  What would that look like?  How can we prayerfully strategize as a church to make an impact for the Great Commission?  These are all great questions!  These are questions that must be at the top of our list in planning and preparing for our future, individually and as a church!  Unfortunately godly restoration for our community and country has taken a backseat and has been replaced with idolatry!  The thirst for godly righteousness has been replaced by a thirst for worldly recreation! 

Luke 19:41-44  “41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Do we believe in restoration?  Do we want restoration?

Two types of restoration

1) Personal
– An individual transformation as a result of the gospel

Psalm 103:11-13 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”

2) Corporate
– A large community of transformation as a result of the gospel

2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

God can bestow restoration!  Let’s want it with every beat of our body!  God is indeed the God of this city, this nation, this world!