God used Jonah to change a whole city. But Pastor Colin explains why Jonah wasn’t beyond the struggles that ordinary Christians experience. Discover the struggles he faced and how God helped him.
How to Avoid a God-Centered Life
A highly respected prophet tells how he spent much of his life—running from the God he professed to serve. Here’s what the elderly Jonah writes, looking back on his life: “God knew how to deal with me in my rebellion. God knew how to deal with me in my anger. I ran from God, and he brought me back! You don’t have to spend the rest of your life running from God.” God knew how to turn Jonah around, and he can do the same for you!
From this Series
Our culture says, “Live your dream!” So, what happens when God’s “wake-up call” interrupts your dream? Pastor Colin talks about the story of Jonah and how nothing is more disturbing to a comfortable faith or to a comfortable church than this. Find out why.
When you’re running from the Lord, your circumstances are not a reliable guide. Pastor Colin explains that there will always be opportunities to make your sin and rebellion worse. Find out why.
This is the single most important question in the Bible: If God himself is against you, and you have no hope and no future, what should you do? Pastor Colin talks about the answer from the story of Jonah.
God never wastes a thing. He even uses your failures and shame to advance the gospel. Pastor Colin talks about how God will use what he’s doing in your life as a means of reaching others.
There are all kinds of strategies out there for impacting culture. Pastor Colin helps us discover, from the story of Jonah, the simple strategy that God uses to change a city.
You would think that a man who’s just seen God’s grace at work in his life would be praising God, but he’s angry instead. Pastor Colin explains why—from the story of Jonah.
God’s grace will either make you angry, or it will make you worship. Pastor Colin explains why no one remains neutral when they finally understand what “grace” is.
It’s easy to see why God gives us good gifts. But why does he bring sorrow and pain into our lives? Pastor Colin explains why.
Jonah was angry with God, but then his circumstances changed, and he was happy. His anger seemed to go away, but it didn’t actually. Pastor Colin explains what happened to it.
Every atheist is sustained every moment by the mercy of God. Isn’t that an amazing thought? Pastor Colin helps us learn how to show kindness to all people, especially those whose beliefs may be different than yours, or whose behavior may repulse you.
Think about someone who really annoys you. When you’re with them, you can feel your temperature rising or your patience wearing thin. Would you like to have more compassion for them? Pastor Colin talks about how.
When the book of Jonah ends, he is still angry with God. But we know God’s grace eventually triumphed in Jonah’s life. How do we know that? Pastor Colin explains how God turned Jonah around and how we know this.
What happens when a person believes? Well, after Jonah believed, his problems got worse—not better. Pastor Colin explains why.
It’s a great thing to know that God is love. But it’s a far greater thing to know that God loves you. Pastor Colin explains how understanding what Jesus did on the cross bridges the gap between these two things.
What if “Salvation belongs to the Lord” means more than just “God makes salvation possible”? Pastor Colin explains what difference this teaching can make in your life.
“The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.’ But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. […]
“Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up… 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 word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.’” Jonah 3:1 (NIV) The book of Jonah ends in an argument with God. I don’t think Jonah wrote the book in the middle of that argument. We can […]
“But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry.” Jonah 4:1 (NIV) You would think that a man who had seen miracles of grace in his own life, and miracles of grace in his ministry would be full of praise and thanksgiving to God. But to our surprise we find something different. Remember Jonah was a mature […]
“Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. When the sun rose, God […]
“But the LORD said, ‘You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I […]
“Salvation comes from the Lord.” Jonah 2:9 (NIV) If you want to emphasize something that is really important, there are three ways of doing it: Put it at the beginning—that is what newspapers do. The headlines tell you the things that really matter. Put it at the end—so that it is the final thing you […]
“Salvation comes from the Lord.” Jonah 2:9 (NIV) Jonah is our case study for “How to Avoid a God-Centered Life,” teaching us that it is possible, even as a mature believer, to spend much of your time avoiding the God that you serve. We have been praying like this: “Lord, make me less like Jonah […]