Complaining About God’s Grace?

Complaining About God’s Grace?

People love, they just absolutely love, to make the entire book of Jonah about that big fish. And, it’s not. It’s all about big forgiveness. And I’ve been showing you that. Throughout these videos so far. We’ve seen big forgiveness in how God treated the other
sailors on the ship with Jonah. Easily, God could have
had that ship go down. But he didn’t. He miraculously calmed that storm and all those sailors that were there gave praise to God. God brought them into an understanding of his power. There’s big forgiveness there. There’s big forgiveness
in how God treated Jonah. That even though Jonah defied God and God had every right
to destroy him for that, God went after him to restore him. And he sent that big fish
that swallowed up Jonah. And I mentioned yesterday how that fish vomited him back up on the shoreline. Yes, that’s exactly the word the Bible uses. It vomited him up on the shore. And, basically now, God has pushed the reset button. He showed big forgiveness to Jonah. Big forgiveness to those sailors. And now God is refocusing,
once again Jonah, on Nineveh. So that God can bring, you guessed it, big forgiveness to them. The problem is Jonah still doesn’t want to
do it. He doesn’t. He’s refocused, but he’s resistant. Resistant of going, but he knows
he can’t fight against God. And so Jonah makes the trip. The 500 so mile trip up to Nineveh. Gets in the city and spends an entire day preaching and proclaiming, “If you don’t repent, Nineveh,
if you don’t change, God’s going to bring it. He’s going to bring his
destruction down on you.” And what’s incredible is that everyone in the city, from
the oldest to the youngest, from the richest to the poorest to those who are lifelong Ninevites
to those who just moved there. They all confessed their sins. They all repented of what they had done wrong. And it’s amazing. It’s another miracle that happens. And it makes you wonder, how did that happen? Did God preplan this out and send, maybe, another missionary into Nineveh and he planted the seed of God’s Word and Jonah goes and waters it. And then God made it grow. Maybe there was a massive drought
that ended up happening. Or a calamity that happened. And it kind of prepared their hearts. And now Jonah worked on that
and God worked the miracle. Was Jonah’s skin discolored from three days of being in
that stomach bile of the fish? And they heard his story
and the power of God and, and God used that to move hearts? We don’t know. But we know that God worked
that miracle of repentance. And then God did this. We hear this in Jonah, chapter 3. “When God saw what they did…” And what they did, is everyone inside the
city put on sack cloths, they wouldn’t eat, they wouldn’t drink, praying, hoping
that God would relent. When God saw what they did, and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. Decades and decades of
defiance from these people. Decades and decades of disobedience
from these people. And yet God, as soon as they repented, he forgave them. That is big, huge, God-sized forgiveness that’s there. It’s incredible. And that’s the God that you love. That’s the God that you serve. And, even greater, that’s
the God who loves you. Who provides big forgiveness to you. It doesn’t matter how big your sin is. Your Savior is bigger and he’s stronger. The sad part is though, Jonah didn’t see this as a good thing. His heart was not in the right place at this. When he saw that God was going to change and then God was going
to bring big forgiveness, we read this now. This is chapter four. But Jonah was greatly displeased. Became angry, angry that God would show forgiveness. He prayed to the Lord, “Oh Lord, Is this not what I said
when I was still at home? That is why I was so
quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God. This is good. Slow to anger and abounding in love. Again, this is good. A God who relents from sin and calamity. Now oh Lord take away my life. For it is better for me to die than to live. Jonah is so upset that God would give the people of
Nineveh, the same big forgiveness that God gave to Jonah. Jonah had this out of whack. Wrong in his mind. But let’s actually try to put ourselves
into Jonah’s place here for a second. Doesn’t it sometimes happen for us too? We go, why would God treat the super faithful, the super dedicated Christian believer their entire life, the exact
same as this person who defied God their entire life? I think about that a little bit. This week, at the recording of this video, it’s Vacation Bible School week for my kids. So we pick them up from VBS and
they’re singing Jesus songs in the car and they’re putting on the doors of their bedroom
all their Jesus VBS crafts and they’re just living joy and living love. And if we’re driving down the road, and we see an ambulance
go by or a big accident, my daughters, my little daughters
will pray in the van and say, “Jesus please heal this person. Help them.” And God’s going to give
my daughters the same exact big forgiveness that he’s going to give to a murderous rapist. Hmm. Now we’re thinking like Jonah. Or you’ve got your grandma. Maybe you have a sweet,
beautiful, loving grandma who just loves Jesus and is in church all the time. And has her Bible and she just speaks words of Christ’s love
into your heart and into your life. And God’s going to give the same big forgiveness over to her as God is going to give this whole wicked, wicked city of Nineveh. Or, the worst parts of this world that defy God. And if they repent, God gives that big forgiveness. Sometimes we slip in and be like Jonah. And I have totally done it too. I have done it too. And we have this thing in our mind that it’s as if God is lessening
or devaluing his grace if he’ll give it freely to everybody. He’s not. In fact, in fact, that shows just how powerful, just how long-lasting, just how far reaching, just how universal God’s grace is. And God gives freely to you and freely to everyone else the same truth. When you love Christ, when you confess your sins, God will rescue and God will come in and God will bring you big forgiveness. Jonah had it wrong. We have it wrong sometimes in our lives. When God gives grace to
all who trust in Christ, it doesn’t devalue his grace. He shows the power of his grace. Grace that he’s given to you. So where in your life have you encountered God’s big forgiveness? I know there’s a story, a big,
beautiful story that’s there. And I would love for you to
leave it in the comments below. Because this is a neat thing in this
community of believers that we can see God, his power, his love, his
working in all of our lives to bring encouragement and strength for those who are waiting for God to reveal himself
in a powerful way to them. So please leave your story. And then could you share this? Share this video with someone you know who just is struggling, struggling with understanding
God’s big forgiveness so that they know the truth, that God loves them. And God cherishes them. And then join me tomorrow. We’ll finish up the Book of Jonah. I’m going to keep that under wraps until then. But I can’t wait for you to join me soon. It’s a big ending and God’s big forgiveness. I’ll see you then.

5 thoughts on “Complaining About God’s Grace?”

  1. Thank you Lord for your abundant love and mercy upon us. Thank you Lord Jesus for the way you using your servant to teach us your word Lord. You are Highly anointed and favor keep up the good job in Jesus Might name

  2. Way back when after I had lost my children and I was drinking, I met a Woman who was about to lose her Son if she didn't get Married and settle down. That's just the way it was for her. So I decided I would Marry her so she wouldn't lose her Son. However, I knew she wouldn't remain faithful to me because she was already at that time seeing a married man (although she claimed they were just friends). I was going to Marry her anyway and if things didn't work out I figured I would just get the Marriage nullified. Before we could get Married though I had to meet all her family and when doing so, I met with her Brother In Law who Preached to me about Jesus and during that conversation or afterwards, I accepted Christ as My personal Savior. My life changed at that moment and even though I kept going down the road of destruction for many many years, I did end up coming back to Christ and when I did He changed my life for the better forever. That's how I know that God has accepted me back with Love and Forgiveness.

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