Choose or Vomit
I'm so today. We get the great honor to talk about Jonah. And our sermon title is choose our vomit not Mike. Hope is that you'll remember the sermon choose our vomit and we have three points this morning for you to Proclaim to repent and to rejoice. Proclaim repent rejoice So here we are we're talking about going to one of my favorite books of the Bible again, because so many preachers can relate to Jonah. So Jonah is Hope by God go to Nineveh these Wicked people and proclaim the good news. They are lost centers in need of saving and without you the town is going to burn essentially and Jonah replies. He says. I don't want to go to Nineveh there mean people they deserve to perish the what happens. Johnny Goes to Joppa that sound sounds familiar. Doesn't it throughout the road? He goes to Joppa and he gets on the boat and he's on the water and the boat is is all over the place. You know, who's ever been on a boat in the middle of like a hurricane or a bad storm? Not from New Orleans. So at the lot for me, right we used to get on the boat and all of a sudden the storm would just come from The Horizon and it's scary. So the fishermen get a little concerned and they confront Jonah they say your running from God. Talking to God and talking to God. Joan is talking to God and eventually what do they do? They throw them over the boat? Now we're on from that's how you learn to swim. You get thrown out of a boat, right? My wife. I'll tell you the story her family threw her out of the boat in Lake Providence, Louisiana, which is this a nasty lake. There might be alligators in there. Just encourage you to learn how to swim. So anyway, he's thrown over the boat and God rescues him. God rescues him. He swallows them up with a big fish. You guys know the rest of the story, right? So you swallow fish and then what it tells us in chapter 2 verse 10 and the Lord commanded the fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Vomited Jonah on the dry land. I want you to think without throwing up this morning a giant whale going on the shore and puking. That's Jonah. That is the image that we have in our head this morning that when we avoid the Lord. He has ways to convince us including throwing us up by a whale. Ora fish and down in the south of the Gulf of Mexico, you know how Louisiana is like a boot? The Gulf of Mexico is right there. The legend is that there are catfish that can eat whole people. I don't know if it's true or not, but that's what I was told. and I can just imagine a giant catfish just eating me, right but the Lord we should Rejoice because by Chapter 3 verse 10 and tells us that tells us that they turn from their evil ways and God relented. And God, I didn't change his mind, but he found another way now, I want us to think about the Bible as a whole the Bible tells us from Genesis to Revelation the same story now just preach this to the use. I'm sorry if you're here in a second. I'm so from Genesis to Revelation. It's one story God's story and We Know by Genesis chapter 2 as we know if we mess up and God had a plan that plan was Jesus that plan forgives us of our sins and for the people and none of us. God had a plan to redeem them of their sinful ways. Now we have to ask ourselves. How sinful were they? Are they a simple as the people of today? Do we know? We have to Proclaim. We have to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. God tells us to proclaim the centers. Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time last Sunday. We talked about Samuel the Lord had to go to him three times before he would listen but God still use them. So Jonah is on the second time being swallowed up by a big fish vomited out on the seashore, but God still uses them and extension off. Go to the great city of Nineveh and Proclaim it the message I give you. And Jonah obey the word of the Lord and what's an enema and now none of them was a very large sea. And it took three days to go throughout it. And Jonathan Gann going dead on a Day's Journey Into the City proclaiming and 40 more days and Nineveh will be overthrown. No, we have a sinful city of Nineveh ruled by a powerful King and ruler think of the United States. We are probably the most powerful nation in the world. We might be outnumbered by many. But we have the resources. We have the Manpower and think about a young prophet. Coming in and saying you guys are messed up. If you don't repent the Lord is going to judge you and we know what we would do. We tell him he's crazy we cast them out of town, but go ahead of my story here. So again, I'm I'm from the outskirts of New Orleans. And when I think of Sin City, I think of pre-katrina New Orleans see where I'm from. Everything is Gage by pre-katrina are post-katrina. Pre-katrina of New Orleans was horrible. It was full of sin and every kind of send you can imagine. I mean, I remember when I was a young kid, I might have been my son's name for five or six my dad to tell you the story of my father and my grandfather and my uncle brought me downtown New Orleans and walked around and everything was there. No, I wonder if the Lord couldn't clear that out. Now. He was Katrina and some pretty incredible ways. And that's what he is much cleaner today and maybe that's what God wanted to do an enema. But you had a young prophet Jonah. Who got them straight and they listened which is so rare because when a prophet comes in and tells you how messed up you are normally they just kill the prophet. They normally cast that profit out of town for Jeremiah 3 example. They put them in a giant hole filled in the hole and left him to die. But Jonah was faithful. He was faithful to God. Can we have to ask ourselves is that individually and as a church Community? How is God calling us to the new ministry? What is his vision for our church and we have to be faithful that because we have two choices we can either listen to the voice of God and proclaim the good news of Jesus are we can be throwing up on the seashore. God will get us directions at we need to go to the second point this morning as we have to repent. We have to repent verse 5 hear the ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed and all of them from the greatest to the least put on a sack cloth. So you guys got your bulletins, right? There's a picture on there from that TV series Chosen. I haven't got a chance to watch it. But there's a picture of a sack cloth. Now just imagine an entire city dressed up in those things. What would you guys laugh at him? Maybe get make make fun of them. You know, that's how they dressed the day that they repent sit here and talk about why. Again, they they chose to listen to Jonah. That is the first indication that their hearts were open. now if I'm sending if someone comes to me and talks to me about and confronts me on my son. How I know if I believe them or I don't believe them. That that's telling of my heart right? If I am told that I need to improve in areas in my life again. I have to be open to that. If you ever played a sport in your life or been on a team you have a coach that tells you how you need to improve right what God tells us how to improve through each other. We're each other's coaches. He has as the Christian Church you again people talk about you don't have to go to church to be a Christian. Absolutely true. But the church is going to coach us. The church is here to equip us to equip each other to hold us accountable and let's go back to the sack Closs. We learned that those pieces of clothing is the ultimate outward sign of submission and humility see because true repentance of our sins. Isn't just saying words on a screen or out of the book. But in truth is a life change because what is our first of the year here in 2nd Corinthians 5:17 that any Chrysler New Creation the old has gone. The new has come. So if we are a new creation in Jesus there has to be a change and that change starts with humility. So it's getting on our hands and knees and saying Lord God. I am a sinner.
Lord God I am a sinner. I need you. I cannot do this on my own. There are so many people in the world that are hurting that are trying to do this on their own and it just is impossible. It's impossible to do it on her own in the soonest That We Gather in our head that we are not God and he is God. The better off we are because we know where our shortcomings are. We know where we need help. so are we going to choose to repent? That's what scripture tells it bites. They need to repent. Are we going to repent or are we going to suffer the consequences that the ninevites were going to get another word? I don't talk about a lot in church, but it's God's rap. God does have Rap God does have judgment. God loves us enough for us to make our own choices in life. Some free will for say Do we have to humbly accept and shoes to repent before the Lord and a have true change in our life? Because we have no change. The confession is really not worth anything because we're told and James right that faith without works is dead. We have to have some works not because we're trying to save ourselves, continue to say that I'd be a bad Lutheran if I didn't tell you that. It is because we are saying we are doing good works and our good works results in our humility. It's a spiritual discipline. So let me go pack again. It's said that they they fasted now, we're not going to raise our hands and we fast it because the Bible tells us that that's a private matter, but we should be fasting now for me. And some people might not like it at church here. We're going to eat you take a fast from our cell phones. For example, just turn it off an entire day. Turn off an entire day. Is it possible? I don't know. I don't know for me if it's possible. I even try to do a Facebook fast where I deleted the app on my phone that lasted for like 12 hours and then I was back on it. That's a problem right the real problem of our society. They were so so close to have digital relationships that we forget how to talk to people.
We have to fast. Maybe you need to fast from food. Maybe you need to fast fast food for awhile. Whatever in your life is holding up you and your relationship with God to give it all to him. Do I fast? In humility because that says not only is your mind and thoughts depending upon the Lord but your body as well. Your body is well, you're not all of us can pass from food 100% as you all may know my pancreas is not developed all the way. So I have a real struggle with fasting from food all day. That's okay, but there's other things that I can pass from. All right. So lastly .3 here we have to rejoice in the Lord every Sunday. I ask people there in the prayer time. Where have you seen God this week. This was your cue to start thinking. Where have you seen God at work this week? Where is God at work in the world? Despite the nonsense going on in the world around us God's at work. Because our citizenship is in God. in Jesus Christ. In the world we have to see him at work. We have to Proclaim and rejoice that we have the honor to proclaim the good news that we have the opportunity to repent from our sins. And that we get to have humility. We get the rejoice and what God is doing in the world. Not this baptism this morning, for example. Is over 2000 years of the church tradition that we bring the children forward we baptize them in the name father son. Holy spirit. It's a proclamation to the world that God is real. That God claims us that doesn't matter what birth certificate we have that we are in the kingdom of God, right? So this morning as we have been talkin about visioning and mission for our church as we can talk in about choosing or being vomited this morning. There's a board out there when you walk into the church. And it says questions on it. How is God speaking to you? And what do you see for our future now, I believe and I believe through scripture that tells us in Ephesians 4 that in the body of Christ. All of us are giving gifts of the Spirit mean every single person here who has been baptized as been given a gift from the Holy Spirit to use for Ministry because we are called to Ministry at our baptism. We are called to Ministry at our baptism. All right, you can take that to the bank. We must listen to the voice of God. And if you haven't heard God's voice lately because you're not listening. It's because you haven't quiet at your head been alone with the Lord and ask God directly God. What are you calling me to do? How how can I be used for u s annual didn't last week scripture here. I am a servant of yours use me. So in 30 days 30 days, I want that bored out there filled up. 30 days that's quite a bit of time right before God and ask him. How is God speaking to you? And what do you see for our future at First Lutheran church, and then maybe crazy ideas that the Lord gives you but you know what you don't have to sign your name to it. You don't have to sign your name to it to fill that board up for me. That's our response this morning some Churches have altar calls after altar call this morning. a response to the Lord a response to God So, how is God placing this Vision to Proclaim to repentance and the Rejoice at what God is doing among the Earth among us as the children of the Lord. Let us pray. Almighty God. We thank you for your holy word for your profit jump. Getting them to repent and humility. That you are God. Help us do the same. Help us be your children that without compromise. Got that we lived out faithful lies for you. Help us. God in Jesus name we pray. Amen.