Issues of the Heart (Jonah 3:10-4:3)

Sermon Outline

 

 

  1. A Confession: I am Jonah!
    1. My heart is just like Jonah’s heart
    2. Do you identify?
  2. 4 Problems with Jonah’s heart
    1. Mistaken priorities (Jonah 3:10-4:1)
      1. Confused repentance for being evil (Lk 15:7)
      2. Jonah thinks that God’s grace to Nineveh is unfortunate.
        1. Why? Any number of reasons:
          1. Maybe Jonah is more concerned about his reputation than about God’s work in the world.
          2. Might Jonah be upset that he will look like a liar to the Ninevites? (Jonah 3:4)
          3. Maybe Jonah is upset b/c Israel/Judah are now in imminent danger?
      3. Our hearts mistaken priorities (Mt 5:39-40, 44, Lk 14:28, Mt 16:24)
    2. Full of anger (Jonah 4:2)
      1. The wicked aren’t being destroyed (Nahum 1:11, 14, 2:9, 3:1-4, 19, Zeph 2:13-15)
      2. Jonah’s anger gives us a peak into the heart of a every human being
      3. Do you know your brokenness?
      4. The next time to want to be angry at someone, ask yourself
        1. What are you angry at?
        2. Have I ever done the same thing?
        3. When you find the place where you have done the same thing as they, then you have found the way to grace.
    3. Spiritually Blind – Justifying his prior sin Jonah 4:2)
      1. Shifting the blame (Gen 3, Jer 17:9)
      2. Why do justify our sin? – Psychology’s “escalation of commitment.” [1]
      3. The need to Confess and Repent
    4. Hopeless (Jonah 4:3)
      1. The wages of sin are: death (Rom 6:23)
      2. Irony of the Situation (Joel 2:14)
      3. Confession brings life (Psalm 32:1-5, Acts 3:19-20)
  3. The Gospel
    1. A New Heart (Ezek. 36:26)
    2. Rest (Mt 11:28)
    3. New life

 

 

[1] Researcher Barry Staw, in his 1976 paper Knee-Deep in the Big Muddy: A Study of Escalating Commitment to a Chosen Course of Action describes it as follows:

 

Specifically, when a person’s behavior leads to negative consequences, we may find that the individual will, instead of changing his behavior, cognitively distort the negative consequences to more positively valenced outcomes…The phenomenon underlying this biasing of behavioral outcomes is often said to be a self-justification process in which individuals seek to rationalize their previous behavior or psychologically defend themselves against adverse consequences.

 

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