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"The Prodigal Missionary"

How God Chooses and Uses Us In Spite of Ourselves
(From the Book of Jonah)

Some stories are childhood favorites; Jonah’s story is one of those. Its fantastic elements — like being swallowed by a big fish — grab our attention. To some, these elements also raise questions and doubts. However, Jonah's story is more than a fish tale.

The underlying story confronts and challenges us all. Jonah was a missionary, in spite of himself. Reluctant to follow the call of God, he proved to be more of a prodigal son than a prophet. Yet, despite his reluctance, his rebellion, his bad attitudes, and his prejudice, God somehow used him to accomplish something amazing.

Like Jonah, we too are often reluctant to follow our God-given calling and dreams: We're sometimes too caught up by our prejudices to love our enemies; sometimes, like Jonah, we get disappointed with God and his actions; like Jonah, we sometimes become self-focused and filled with despair. Yet, somehow, God chooses and uses imperfect people such as Jonah, you, and me.

Perhaps God has a dream, a call, or a mission for you to fulfill. Jonah reminds us that God can use each of us to bring good news to others — often in spite of our weakness, our fears, and our failures. Indeed, we're all missionaries, sometimes even in spite of ourselves.

    †  Sunday, January 13:
        "Running from God and His Call" (Jonah 1:1–3)

    †  Sunday, January 20:
        “Relentless Faithfulness in Spite of Reluctance and Rebellion" (Jonah 1:4–16)

    †  Sunday, January 27:
        "The Surprising Intervention of God" (Jonah 1:7–2:10)

    †  Sunday, February 3:
        "Lament from the Belly of a Fish" (Jonah 2:2–9)

[Pastor Jeff and Malou will be on a missions trip in Kenya for two weeks in February. No services will be held on February 10 and 17.]

    †  Sunday, February 24:
        "A Second Chance, Unbelievable Results" (Jonah 3:1–10)

    †  Sunday, March 3:
        "When God Changes His Mind" (Jonah 3:10)

    †  Sunday, March 10:
        "An Angry Response" (Jonah 4:1–11)

    †  Sunday, March 17:
        "A Merciful God and Magnificent Mission" (Jonah 4:10–11)

See Pastor Jeff's five previous message videos on this page.