02/17/03 God's Call Accepted!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, February 18, 2013 Under: Sermon

Text: Jonah 2:1-3:10 (NKJV)

1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish's belly. 2 And he said: I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, And He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice. 3 For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me. 4 Then I said, 'I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.' 5 The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6 I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God. 7 “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. 8 “Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy. 9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD." 10 So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

1 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you." 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. 4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" 5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6 Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? 10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16 (NKJV)

Intro: Picture a man of God, a preacher, given a task, an assignment from God and instead of heeding this assignment, because of what it entailed the preacher doesn’t like what God has asked him to do and he chooses to run from the presence of God. God deals with this disobedient servant and the prophet cries out in prayer in a spirit of repentance and he is restored to a proper relationship with God!

Application: You can run but you can’t hide.

1. THE CRY: vs. 2:1-10

Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. Jonah prayed to the Lord from the stomach of the fish. When is the last time you did that? Sound a little farfetched? Or could it be you’re in the belly of a fish right now and you need to cry out? Jonah cries out “You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves.” Jonah prayed to the Lord from the stomach of the fish. Now he prays. Too often people wait until they get into trouble before they pray. Praying should be daily, Praying should be fixed. Praying should be dedicated.

The cry produces urgency on Jonah’s behalf to pray. Isn’t it a shame many of us wait for a problem to rear its ugly face before we pray. In chapter 2:4-8 Jonah confessed his disobedience and despair. Before prayer can be answered, one must confess his sin and wrong: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16) God cannot and does not answer prayer when there is sin in the heart. The Psalmist tells us “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.”

There is good news with this chapter; you could say this is a promise. The fish spit Jonah onto the dry ground. Surrender to God always brings deliverance. The text tells us: “Salvation is of the LORD." So the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” What’s the promise? I am glad you asked – Pray, give the Problem to God and He Promise’s deliverance! The Cry was Heard!

2. THE CONSECRATION: vs. 3:1-4

“Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” God called Jonah a second time. He wanted Nineveh to be reached and warned. God doesn't always give man the second chance. Consecration can be defined as dedication. Dedication to a special purpose or service. “Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6) Important to realize you must seek the Lord while He is near.

So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. 4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" Jonah now completely obeyed God. He preached God's Word to Nineveh. "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." The call to consecrate. As God called Moses, Jonah, and Paul, so He calls us. We are privileged to know and do God's will. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) The consecration is a dedication and acceptance of God’s calling for your life! Are you up to the challenge or are you going to continue to run?

3. THE CONVERSION: vs. 3:5-10

“So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.” Finally the conversion, the people were repentant, and turned from their sins. When God's Word is preached, it will bring repentance. It will also produce regeneration, it revival and brings back to life something that was dead. The people's lives were changed by God's power. Only God can bring about this kind of change.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Man may become religious, but only God can make him righteous. Then comes a Rededication: “Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.” These people gave their lives to God. Repentance plus regeneration will lead us to give our lives to God.

For you to accept your call there must be a genuine conversion that leads you to a Repentance, Regeneration and Rededication.

Maybe it is time you cry unto the Lord and consecrate yourself through a conversion of the blood of Christ!

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