The Power of Obedience
Intro: Respect the Corners. What is it?
“We believe in doing everything with the utmost of integrity and humility, and never cutting corners… Our desire is to dethrone “safe”, “self-focused” living and exalt the name of Jesus in all we do!”
1 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.”
No cutting corners.
Doesn’t get off the hook.
Going around the mountain or up it?
Application: Am I ‘respecting’ the corners spiritually?
1. Spiritual stamina is built through obedience
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather,
train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:7-8
applies to physical strength and endurance (for this life)
and to spiritual. (the next life)
“Touch it once”
Ring analogy in the series, “Momentum”.
“What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” Jonah 2:9b
3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
Jonah obeyed… Ninevites believed…
- a country who was anti-Israel, anti-peace, and anti-Jonah… believed
- against all odds, Nineveh believed
- It says, “The Ninevites believed God”, not “The Ninevites believed Jonah.”
- His message was not eloquent, only,
“Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”
2. God’s power is released through obedience
Spirit vs. Flesh - Sarah and Hagar and Isaac vs. Ishmael
“For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise (or word).” Galatians 4:22-23
The difference between Tarshish and Nineveh was the flesh and the word.
“…Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord, Almighty.”
(Review) God’s power is released through obedience
6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
“By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.
9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
3:9, "Who knows…”
3. Obedience leaves the outcome is in God’s hand.
Let God decide.
Remember David and Bathsheba. (murder and adultery)
Nathan, the prophet, told David the child would die.
”He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:22
(review) The outcome is in God’s hand.
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
God told Jonah to say, “Forty more days and Nineveh WILL be overthrown.”
God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He is not willing that any should perish.
Virus or not, the message is still: “Salvation comes from the Lord.’