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Take Advantage of the Opportunities that God’s Grace Provides

3 truths that can help us wisely use God’s grace

I. ____________________ that God is a God of Many Opportunities

A. God has a long history of ________________ second, third, …, chances

Romans 6:1-2 - What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

B. God cannot be ________________ to offer continual chances

1. Sometimes God __________ giving opportunities

2. Sometimes God gives another opportunity, but it is not the ________ opportunity

3. Sometimes God gives another opportunity, but it is not without ________________________

II. ___________________ that God sometimes calls us to the same task we refused earlier

A. Despite our previous _________________ and rebellion

B. Despite our ________________________

 

Jonah 1:1-2

Jonah 3:1-2

The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”

Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.”

C. Because there is important _________________ to occur

III. We must _________ God’s assignment

 

Jonah 1:3

Jonah 3:3

But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days’ walk.

A. Choosing to ____________ God’s grace in Christ

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Romans 2:4 - Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

B. Choosing to __________ by the strength of God’s grace

Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

C. Choosing to ________

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God’s Surprising and Prevailing Grace after Falling

  • Great—This is a “great” story. It has a “great” city. It has a “great” storm. It has a “great” fish. It has “great” disobedience. It has “great” grace.
  • Arise/get up—God’s commands to Jonah”
  • Evil/wickedness/calamity

2 Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.

3 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city (literally—“a great city to God”), a three days’ walk. Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

What does “forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown” mean?

  1. “Overthrown” could mean “judgment”

Deuteronomy 29:23 - All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah . . .which the overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.

  1. “Overthrown” could mean “deliverance”

Deuteronomy 23:5 - Nevertheless, the Lord your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you.

Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.  When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said,

“In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water.  But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”

When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

4 But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. [lit. This was calamitous, a great calamity.] He prayed to the Lord and said…

In God’s interaction with Jonah in Jonah 3, we see three surprising characteristics of God’s prevailing grace in response to Jonah’s fall.

1) God’s Word of Grace Will ______________

a. Despite his servant’s unwillingness to obey and complete willingness to disobey

b. Despite his servant’s attempt to alter the message

c. Yet in our lack of giving grace to others thinking others should suffer, it is we who suffer because we have “fallen from grace”

Jonah’s attitude “They deserve wrath…but I deserve grace”

What is wrong with this attitude?

Do you understand that grudge holding which consumes a person is evidence that you believe you deserve God’s grace but another doesn’t?

And you are destined to be a joyless Christian because you have to keep working to be better than others as opposed to resting in God’s grace and simply loving others.

2) God is __________________ to Shepherding His People to More Fully Understand His Prevailing Grace

a. God grants multiple opportunities to respond—up to a point that He determines

b. God allows us to get back up where we have fallen—up to a point that He determines

c. God allows us to be involved in seeing the prevailing grace that He is working out with others to continue our growth in grace

3) God’s ________________ to the “Most Wicked” is Prevailing Grace

Nineveh was a “great city to God”

Romans 2:4 - Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Titus 3:3-7 - For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

2 Peter 3:18 - …but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Ephesians 1:5-6 - He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.