Friday, May 21, 2010

Jonah 2

We have been looking at the familiar story of Jonah and the big fish. It is funny how most think the big fish was a whale, probably because we think it is the only sea creature large enough to swallow Jonah whole and sustain his life. Others argue that it could not be a whale, because the scripture uses the word, "fish," and a whale is a mammal. The problem with both these views is that it removes the obvious; God is all powerful and can provide any environment he chooses to do his bidding. The word for “fish” is the Hebrew word, "dag," is usually translated as "Leviathan" which is used to refer to a large sea creature. We don’t know what kind of sea creature seized Jonah, but we know that something did, and that God sent it.

It seemed like Jonah was doomed. No sailor was about to retrieve him from the sea and risk the recreation of the crisis. Jonah thought he was about to die. By running from God, Jonah found himself in the greatest crisis of his life. However, God intervened. God caused the “Big fish” to swallow him. One important thing to note here is that God was in complete control of the situation. When we think that things are getting critical we often will remain oblivious to God’s sovereignty. I would imagine that if you were to tell Jonah at this moment that God was in control he would not quite agree.

Here’s a lesson for us today: God seeks to save and he may use means that are not very comfortable. When God places events in our path that are intended on turning us back toward Him, the experiences may not always be pleasant. More often than not, the difficult experiences are of our own making, and directly related to our rebellion. The best thing we can do is to surrender, which requires us to recognize God is god and we are not (Not an easy thing to do).

Where do we start? On our knees.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Who is God?

"If someone proved to me that Christ is outside the truth and that in reality the truth were outside of Christ, then I should prefer to remain with Christ rather than with the truth...Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardor of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ."

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


This week I am starting a four week sermon series on the Old Testament book of Jonah. I think this picture sums it up well. ;)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Religious people

Oswald Chambers is best known for his book, My Utmost for His Highest. Oswald died in 1917, at the age of 43, in Egypt while serving as a YMCA chaplain to Australian troops during World War I.
Here’s a quote of his that made me think, “Of the many haphazard incidents that occur, one today is very characteristic. Two Tommies lounged up to the Items Hut counter and began chatting in their fine way and landed almost at once on to religion. One said that he could not stand religious people, and I said, ‘Niether can I,” explaining that, to me, spiritual reality was everything.” - June, 1917

It made me think that not much has changed. You ask the person on the street what they think of religious people and they will tell you they can’t stand them. You ask them what they think of Jesus and it is positive. Hmm…Can’t stand religious people, like Jesus…

Maybe the problem in the world is religious people who are not very Jesus like?