This is a way that I read the Bible…Going verse by verse through the text then drawing out what the lesson to learn is. Think about this…
- If you want inspiration – just read the Bible
- If you want information – study the Bible
- If you want integration (God’s word inside of you) – apply the Bible
10 Lessons from Jonah…
Jonah 1:1 “The word of the Lord came to Jonah…”
LESSON #1 – God SPEAKS to us
God speaks, but are we listening? Are you seeking God’s direction? The word of the Lord came to Jonah…because God had something to say. God has something to say to you, but you have to make yourself available to receive it.
Jonah 1:2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
LESSON #2 – We have a specific PURPOSE
You were created with a mission. What is your dream? What is your mission? You have to understand your “why” in life. If you don’t understand your “why” you will never know the “how”. Jonah was called to specifically go to Nineveh. You are called by God to do something very meaningful in life, never lose sight of that meaning.
Jonah 1:3 “But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed to Tarshish.”
LESSON #3 – Don’t RUN from your purpose
Jonah held something bitter against Nineveh. It was possibly judgment, offense, anger, etc… Understand that historically Nineveh was an extremely brutal place. He didn’t want to go. What keeps you from running after your WHY? Don’t let fear sabatoge the mission God has planted in your heart. You have to much to offer this world.
Jonah 1:3b “He wend to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”
LESSON #4 – Don’t WASTE your resources
Jonah wasted his precious money on the wrong voyage. Where your treasure is there is your heart also. We only have so much time don’t waste – invest it. It usually isn’t a matter of not having enough time, it’s a matter of not having enough discipline. God will give you exactly what you need, but don’t waste it by killing time. Remember, when you kill time, you’re murdering opportunity.
Jonah 1:4-5 “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm aros that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep.”
LESSON #5 – Don’t get COMFORTABLE with sin
Children of Israel missed the Promise Land because they got comfortable at base camp and didn’t keep moving forward. We can’t justify our sin. Sin only distracts us from God’s best. Jonah fell asleep while running from God…he got comfortable enough with his sin that he was in a deep sleep. Apparently he wasn’t too bothered by his disobedience. Sleeping while we should be serving will cause us to miss opportunities.
Jonah 1:6-12 “The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.” Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?” He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land. ” This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.) The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.
LESSON #6 – Your CHOICES will dictate the life you live
Coach John Wooden said, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind, that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.” What you do today determines your tomorrow. Jonah finally willingly surrendered to God. He recognized his sin and turned away. We must die to restrictive pride in order to come alive in redemptive humility.
Jonah 1:15-17 “Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
LESSON #7 – God will always PROVIDE a way
What seems to be impossible to us is easily possible to God. God calls us to accomplish the impossible. Your mission in life will seem impossible at times. The road ahead will seem insurmountable. But God will call you to something impossible to show you what’s actually possible. God will never call you to something you can’t accomplish.
Jonah 3:10 “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.”
LESSON #8 – FORGIVENESS is for everyone
God forgave Jonah and the city of Nineveh. God is a God of love. He does not just have love…HE IS LOVE!!! It is NEVER too late to turn to God. Jonah, with his last breath, cried out to God and He heard him. No matter how far you go the love of God is already there.
Jonah 4:1-4 “But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
LESSON #9 – Don’t live a life of COMPLAINING
Complaining only contaminates life. There is NO FRUIT in complaining. To complain about what you DON’T have is to WASTE what you do have. One day Charlie Brown was complaining to Linus that every day his lunch is the same. When Linus asks him who makes his lunch, Charlie said “I DO. Don’t be Charlie Brown. Live a life of gratitude and you’ll always be full of joy.
The Book of Jonah…
LESSON #10 – Though you may have started wrong, you can always finish STRONG
I love the old statement that states, “Though you can’t go back and make a brand new start my friend, you can start now and make a brand new end.” Lift up your head, God is the glory and lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3). Shake off the dust and get going in the plans God has for you. It’s never too late to be all that God has called you to be.
Here is a message I did years ago about the 10 Lessons from Jonah…check it out…