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Getting Your Attention

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Bottomline: God will deliver you from the depths when you repent and refocus.

Intro- have you ever had something happen to you that you felt like was a punishment but upon further reflection was prov

No matter how far you run and how deep you sink, God’s Grace will find you.

The New International Version (Chapter 1)
17 Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Tell the story of the summer of freshman year of college…not getting the job at the city…getting the job at the styrofoam factory...

Sometimes mercy feels like punishment when we don’t have proper perspective and we aren’t following God’s plan.

Mercy can look like punishment when you are not following God’s way.

The New International Version (Chapter 2)
From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:“In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.3 You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me.4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’5 The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever.But you, LORD my God, brought my life up from the pit.7 “When my life was ebbing away,I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.

“You never know God is all you need until God is all you have.”

-Rick Warren

We must acknowledge not only our sin but our inability to change or fix things on our own.

8 “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you.What I have vowed I will make good.I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’ ”

Sin makes you build a prison that only God can release you from when you are ready to get out of it.

Only God can release you from the prison that sin has built around you. But He can only do it when you are ready to ask Him to.

The New International Version (Chapter 2)
10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Grace is messy.

Mercy is not getting what you deserve and grace is getting what you don’t deserve.

Mercy was providing the fish, grace was spitting him out.

Three things we learn...

God’s grace isn’t given to merely change our situations but rather to change our hearts.

healing the paralytic in mark 2…Jesus tell him first that his sins are forgiven

God is more concerned with the condition of our heart than the circumstances of our life.

Rebirth can only happen after death. You can only experience new life when you let go of your old life.

2 Corinthians
The New International Version (Chapter 5)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Our God is the God of second chances.

The New International Version (Chapter 3)
Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”3 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh.

“Jonah is swallowed by a fish. On the outside it looks like the the end for him. But he is actually being carried by God. Sometimes life can swallow us whole. It looks and feels like the end. But the mystery of faith is that God uses all of this to carry us toward his purpose for us. “

-Rich Villodas

Today might be a great day to stop trying to do things on your own. To stop run from God. To turn from worthless idols and step into God’s grace that is deeper than the ocean, higher than the stars in the sky.
God wants to have our hearts changed more than our situations.
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