This quote easily sums up most of our lives. Many of us believe that we can manage things far better than God. It is in these moments that our own desires, plans, and ambitions begin to wage war against the desires and plans that God has for each of us. This was the problem with Jonah and this is the problem with us. We are Jonah, and like him, we are all on the run.
It may seem strange to pick Jonah as our first sermon series for the launch of Ekklesia, but I believe there are great truths we can learn about who we are and who God is through this brief historical story.
Here are a few reasons why we believe Jonah to be helpful:
1. The gospel message is clearly seen.
Jonah is running and God keeps pursuing. The gospel message is "that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) In the midst of running from the presence of God, God is relentlessly pursuing the heart of Jonah and inviting him into relationship. This book is more about God becoming known to a man named Jonah, than about God becoming known in a city named Nineveh.
2. It reveals the heart of God.
The book of Jonah reveals the relentless love of God in his pursuit after Jonah. God's love, mercy, grace, power and sovereignty cannot go unnoticed.
3. It reveals God's love for a city.
God is passionate about the gospel message reaching all people. God loves cities and He loves Salt Lake City. This book will help us learn how to love our city well.
4. It's a story we can all relate to.
We have all ran from God. We have all chosen our own paths and failed to trust God. We are all in need of repentance. We all need to wake up to the relentless love of God.
As we kick off our series on Jonah, we are praying that the next 4 weeks will have profound impact on how you view God and understand the gospel.