Message from Jonah

By Pastor Kathy Nunn

I. Historical Background

     A. Jonah a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the reign of Jeroboam II (788-772 BC)
          1. Jonah means “dove”; his father’s name meant “my truth”
          2. God sent him to Nineveh to preach repentance

     B. Nineveh, the Assyrian capitol
          1. Located on eastern bank of Tigris R. east of Mosul
          2. Built by Nimrod; location of Tower of Babel
          3. Large city, center of trade, 30 + miles across
          4. Center of worship of Ishtar
          5. Violent, war-like people-took pride in causing fear

II. Jonah’s Disobedience – Jonah Chapter 1

     A. God asks hard things of us to test and teach
     B. Jonah doesn’t pray; jumps and runs away from God
     C. Jonah’s plan was to go as far west as he could; to Tarshish where there are silver and gold mines
     D. God brings an obstacle; a violent storm
     E. When God deals with us, it effects others
     F. Jonah was hiding and doing nothing
     G. Jonah is not honest and suffers consequences; the big fish

III. God’s Actions – Jonah 1:14-17; 2:1-3

     A. Hears and answers unbelievers prayers – they are changed
     B. God saves and protects Jonah – miraculously
     C. God still answers Jonah’s prayers
     D. God planned trouble to deal with disobedience and character flaws

IV. Our Response – Jonah Chapter 2

     A. Cry out to God – DON’T GIVE UP!
     B. Don’t commit and not do
     C. Be faithful in small things
     D. No matter what – TRUST GOD!
     E. PRAISE HIM!!

V. God Has Compassion – Jonah Chapter 3

     A. God needs a voice – He had prepared the hearts of the Ninevites.
     B. God has compassion – Why?? 2 Peter 3:9b
     C. God relents – “regrets; grieves; is sorry”

VI. We Need the Compassion of God

     A. Be a fool for God
     B. Don’t be afraid of what others think or how you look
     C. Get rid of anger – roots of disappointment; injustice; pride; bitterness
     D. Be thankful
     E. Accept the bad as testing or trial; patience, endurance, hope, no shame

VII. Don’t Have Compassion Only for What Affects You

     A. Compassion without selfishness
     B. Compassion without personal benefit
     C. Compassion as God directs – IT IS FOR HIM! (Colossians 3:12-14)

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Reasons for Fearing God

(Message given June 6, 2012)

Deuteronomy 10:12-22  (KJV) And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul to keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens [is] the LORD’S thy God, the earth [also], with all that therein [is].

For Christians, the fear of God should be a part of our love for Him.  Unfortunately we live in a society where respect of authority is scoffed at and the worship of SELF, as in SELF awareness, SELF motivation, SELF actualization, SELF esteem, SELF control, SELF promotion, and SELF righteousness are the respected  attitudes.  There is little respect for parents, employers, law enforcement, leaders, people with different opinions or faith than ours, and the list goes on.

As a child of the 60’s, we took great pride in finding wrong and demonstrating against it.  Rebellion against injustice, deception, racism, and anything else that didn’t rise to our level of “enlightenment” was the call of the times.  I can’t say that those times were particularly wrong because many things were changed because some were brave enough to stand up for the right; but unfortunately a “spirit of rebellion” began to take over in many, simply personal attitudes.  We became skeptical of all leaders and those in positions of authority.  And as a result became very SELF righteous, forgetting that we were just as imperfect as those we assailed.

When we accepted Christ as Savior, we were forgiven but unfortunately still carry the dead, ineffectual ways of the past.  Many of us have had parents, employers, teachers, law enforcement and others in positions of authority that have proven untrustworthy and undeserving of respect.  BUT, we cannot walk in this same distrust when it comes to relationship with God.

WHY SHOULD WE FEAR GOD?

  • God created all things, including us, so He is the ultimate authority on everything.  Who can find fault with Him or His word?  Psalm 33:6-9
  • He alone can bring order not chaos if we will seek His face. Romans 13:1-7
  • God opposes sin and separates Himself from unrighteousness. Exodus 19:20-22
  • God will judge all. Hebrews 10:26-31
  • God will bless those who fear Him. Psalm 34:9; Psalm 111:5

Christians should be examples of those who fear God.  Do we obey His Word, or pick and choose the scriptures we will obey?  Do we diligently search the scriptures to make sure we are pleasing in His sight or do we only feed on the Word of God on Sundays, knowing that the pastor is as fallible as we are?  Have we purposed to be holy as He is because He commanded it?  (1 Peter 1:14-16)  Do we attend our local church regularly as God has ordained (Hebrews 10:25) or do we just drop in when we feel like it? Do we tithe regularly or do we steal from God? (Malachi 3:8:10) Do we truly love our brothers and sisters in Christ or do we have hidden jealousy, hatred, bitterness or ulterior motives?

Disobedience is rebellion and according to God’s word, it is like witchcraft.  We should consider our lives and allow the Holy Spirit to “search us and know our ways”.  We must purpose DAILY to live under God’s authority.  That is the true way to show love for the Father.

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Temperance/Self-control

Message by: K. Nunn given June 6

To avoid confusion, let me explain that in the King James Bible temperance is used in the place of self-control (which is used in the NIV translation).  Both come from the same Greek word that  means: strong in a thing; masterful.  The definition of temperance would include:  “one who masters his desires and passions; especially sensual appetites”.

Galatians 5:23 states that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit.  In other words, if we are filled with God’s Spirit, then we should be developing and living with more self-control.  We often focus on the other fruits of the Spirit such as:  love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, and faithfulness, but forget the importance of self-control.

“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)

If we lack self-control, we are always opening doors of temptation that enable the enemy of our soul to catch us up in the sin cycle.  Self-control covers every appetite including eating, drinking, sex, entertainment, and money.  Every one of these in excess can lead to destruction.  But it also covers your thought life and the words you speak.  We must endeavor to “be Holy as He is Holy” and He has provided us with the ability.

“But if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”  Romans 6:13-14 (NIV)

God has been gracious enough to us to give us His Spirit to dwell in us and help us to live holy.  But……we must listen to the voice of the Spirit and obey God’s Word.  It is not enough to just go to church regularly, you must develop the ability to hear God and obey.  Too many of us are self-willed (Greek word “hedone” which is the root word for hedonistic, meaning living for pleasure; desire; lust.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)

If you have ever competed in a sport, you understand the importance of commitment and discipline.  We admire Olympic participants and champions, but probably don’t really know the work and sacrifice it takes.  I had opportunity to watch my sons as they perfected their sport of wrestling.  They practiced long hours, ran miles, restricted their diets, and stretched their bodies to the limit.  As Christians we should be as committed.  The church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14) referred to as the end time church, is caught up in complacency and compromise.

We need to allow the Holy Spirit to search us and reveal where we may be lacking the self-control (by the Spirit) to live successful lives in a testimony for Christ.

Message by:  A. Willis

“Keep silence before Me, O coastlands, and let the people renew [their] strength! Let them come near, then let them speak; Let us come near together for judgment.” Isaiah 41:1

Day after day we call ourselves setting aside time to pray, read the word, and worship the Lord. During this time we are often focused on what WE think we should pray about; singing the song WE are interested in, or even reading the word WE think is good. Within all this time we fail to realize that this so called “time for the Lord” is actually time doing what we want or fulfilling a religious routine.

Jesus desires a relationship. Time spent with the Lord should not be filled with us merely babbling the entire time. When does He have opportunity to speak? When is he able to tell you the desires of His heart, what’s hurting Him, or even how you are hurting him?

In Isaiah 41:1, God is speaking to Israel to come be silent, draw near to Him, speak with Him, and let Him judge. In this same way, we have to be self-controlled and put everything on silent; not only our voice but our mind as well. Then we have to come empty of ourselves, go into his presence, and speak with Him about everything troubling our hearts. Then the tricky part, we have to be SILENT. During this silent time we have to allow God to search us and reveal our true motives. This is often tough but God desires oneness. To be one with the Father we have to die to ourselves in order that Jesus may live fully within us.

Remember, spend time with the Father BUT allow Him to have time to speak with you.

What is the truth about yourself?

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.”      I Corinthians 6:19-20

We often take life for granted, living without any real responsibility for our bodies.  We live self-willed lives, doing whatever we feel like doing, eating whatever we desire, indulging in every new and different fad, and never really considering the eventual results on our bodies. Exercise and proper diet are on the fringe of our priorities, but never THE PRIORITY of our lives.  Yet, as Christians, the scripture above makes it clear that God is concerned about your temple!  He bought your house, and you are expected to be a good caretaker of it.

Four years ago, my doctor’s tests showed I was moving towards  type 2 diabetes.  My first reaction was, “This can’t be true.  No one in my family has diabetes. I’ll just watch what I eat a little more closely.”  I then avoided going to the doctor because I felt I was okay.  Then two years ago, I began to have a sleepy, tingling feeling in my feet and hands.  So I decided to return to the doctor and test results showed that I definitely had diabetes along with neuropathy that was causing loss of function of the nerves in my feet and hands (side effects of diabetes).  I was upset with myself because I knew that I hadn’t done all that I could have done.  I still had my sweet tea more often than not and other sugary drinks and foods.

My doctor put me on pills to help my body process insulin.  Then within a month, I suddenly had high blood pressure and swelling of my feet.  Now I was put on high blood pressure pills.  Then the doctor decided I needed to take metformin to help the insulin pills to work and if that didn’t work, I would have to take insulin shots.  In the midst of all this good news, I was battling infections and was not feeling like my body was blessed.  Well, contemplating have to jab myself twice a day and/or taking 7 pills a day hit me hard.  As a Christian who believes in healing and divine health provided by Christ and a pastor who teaches the same , I said to myself, “SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE!”  I did not want to live my life taking pills, shots,etc. and not feeling blessed in my body.

I began research on type 2 diabetes and natural cures.  Was I surprised!  First, the greatest recommendation is not to immediately take pills as they generally result in high blood pressure!  Secondly, metformin has adverse effects on your body.  But most importantly, you must make proper decision about nutrition and exercise to avoid this chronic disease! In other words, this means HONOR GOD WITH YOUR BODY!  Eat to live; not live to eat!!!

I had to repent before God.  I had been praying that He would heal and deliver me from sickness and He was trying to tell me to honor Him and seek His advise about the stewardship of His temple.  So He has placed in my heart that I will not depend on pills and shots, but obedience to His ways.  I have purposed to honor him with this temple, to work towards eliminating all medications, and to eat those natural God given things.

This part of my blog will keep you up-to-date about my progress and provide a forum to discuss Christian perspectives regarding living healthy,  dealing with issues of chronic diseases in yourself and in others, and any other questions regarding God’s word and health.  Please join me in help the body of Christ know the truth regarding good health.