Desperation: Being called by God leads to desperation.

Pastor Jon leads this weeks sermon with “Desperation: Being called by God leads to desperation.”, from Matthew 4:18-22

Matthew 4:18-22 (ESV)

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Being called by God doesn’t remove us from a fallen world.

Negative Desperation

  1. Desperate to simplify evil.
  2. Desperate to explain pain.

Positive Desperation

  1. Desperate for God to have glory in our adversities.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Share about a time when God has worked through difficulty in your life.
  • Why doesn’t God choose to remove us from this fallen world?
  • In what ways does God use us to reach this sinful world with His truth?
  • How can God have all of the glory even in our difficulties?

Desperation

Pastor Jon leads this weeks sermon with “Desperation”, from John 6:66-68

John 6:66-68 (ESV)

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Who we are truly desperate for determines our foundation.

Negative Desperation

  1. Desperate to avoid the true nature of Christ’s character.
  2. Desperate to have “nice” be a regular part of life.

Positive Desperation

  1. Desperate for an all-powerful God.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • When has it been hard for you to want to follow someone?
  • Why was it hard for you to want to follow that person?
  • What did the disciples do when other people stopped following Jesus?
  • Why did the disciples choose to continue following Jesus?

Compassion Deficit Disorder

Pastor Jonathan leads this weeks sermon with “Compassion Deficit Disorder”, from Jonah 4:1-11

Jonah 4:1-11 (ESV)

Jonah’s Anger and the Lord’s Compassion

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”

Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”

Check your heart for the symptoms of spiritual compassion deficit disorder.

  • Selfish with grace.
  • Eager for judgment.
  • Attached to blessing.
  • Misplaced affections.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Share about a time when it was difficult to forgive someone.
  • How has God shown forgiveness and grace to you?
  • Why did God show forgiveness and grace to Nineveh?
  • What can we learn from the compassion that God showed to Nineveh in this passage?

Hear, Repent, Obey

Pastor Jonathan leads this weeks sermon with “Hear, Repent, Obey”, from Jonah 2-3

Jonah 2-3 (ESV)

Jonah’s Prayer

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying,

“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,and he answered me;out of the belly of Sheol I cried,and you heard my voice.For you cast me into the deep,into the heart of the seas,and the flood surrounded me;all your waves and your billows passed over me.Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight;yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’The waters closed in over me to take my life;the deep surrounded me;weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains.I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever;yet you brought up my life from the pit,O Lord my God.When my life was fainting away,I remembered the Lord,and my prayer came to you,into your holy temple.Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you;what I have vowed I will pay.Salvation belongs to the Lord!”And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

The People of Nineveh Repent

The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Following God is a call to hear, to repent, and to obey.

  • The experience of Jonah.
  • The experience of Nineveh.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Who do you know who needs to hear about Jesus?
  • What does it mean to turn away from sin?
  • How is God calling you to obey his word?

Sovereign Rescue

Pastor Jonathan leads this weeks sermon with “Sovereign Rescue”, from Jonah 1:4-17

Jonah 1:4-17 (ESV)

But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”

Jonah Is Thrown into the Sea

And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.

Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

A Great Fish Swallows Jonah

And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Even in what seems like a hopeless situation, trust in God’s sovereign compassion.

  • Jonah flees, God pursues.
  • Jonah is silent, God reveals.
  • Jonah despairs, God saves.
  • Jonah sinks, God restores.

Parent Connection Questions:

  • Share about a time in your life when you felt hopeless.
  • Why did God pursue you at that time?
  • How did God reveal Himself to you at that time?
  • What has God taught you during times of despair or hopelessness?