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Friday, February 8, 2008

A Whale of a Tale!

Perhaps one of the best known stories in all of Scripture is the story of Jonah. If nothing else, we all know the basic elements to the story. God calls Jonah to preach to a city, Jonah has other plans and flees from God, and Jonah ends up in the belly of a whale. Of course, he gets out of the whale's belly after three days (!) and then goes and preaches as God had called him to do.

As I read and think about this story, I wonder if Jonah doesn't reflect the way we often think about God's call for us to spread his Gospel. Though for different reasons than Jonah had, often times our response to God's desire for us to share our faith is one where we flee just like Jonah! We know the right thing to do is to talk about Jesus, but we come up with a lot of reasons why we won't or why we can't. I think for a lot of us, the reasons have to do with the fact that we don't feel very well equipped to share our faith. We don't know how to start the conversation, we don't know how to answer the objections, we don't feel comfortable telling someone they are in need of forgiveness, and so on.

As disciples we know that we are to sit, study, and serve. Over the next few weeks in our worship we are going to examine the life and ministry of Jonah more closely and see how we can learn from this book how to overcome our fears of talking about Jesus (sit) . I am going to be encouraging you all to be daily reading through the very short book of Jonah and praying while you do for God to help you feel more equipped to share your faith (study). Then, it is my prayer that you will be ready to have those Jesus talks with those who may not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ (serve). I realize that in the worship service we cannot cover the scope of all of what we deal with in the world when we discuss our faith. So, I am going to be putting in articles and recommending books in our newsletter to help equip you to talk about Christ. Please take time to look through our new section called "Speaking of Jesus." We live in a world that needs to hear the gospel. This is urgent stuff. Please prayerfully join us as we "set sail" in our study of Jonah and evangelism!

Pastor Bob

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