Jonah II: Tempestuous Mercy - Jonah 1:4-16

The central question driving the book of Jonah is about how we respond to the mercy that God has for sinners. When Jonah rejects his prophetic commission, God hurls a violent wind after His runaway prophet, hiding mercy in the disguise of a great tempest. This powerful storm is God’s merciful reply to Jonah’s sin, and in what follows, we see four wrong responses to God’s mercy before Jonah finally responds the right way.The first wrong response is on the part of the sailors. The storm is threatening to break the ship apart, and so each sailor cries out to…

Posted on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 by CJ Bowen

Jonah I: Away From the Presence of the Lord - Jonah 1:1-3

How do you respond to the grace and mercy of God? Jonah has to face that question on the smallest level when he considers the mercy of God in causing shady plants to grow, and on the biggest level when at the end of the book God turns back and doesn’t destroy the most wicked nation on the earth. Along the way he encounters the sovereignty of God over the natural world, widespread true repentance, and grudgingly embraces the task of evangelism, but most of all, whales and worms and cattle and angry prophets teach us to respond to the graceAs…

Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 by CJ Bowen

Planting, Watering, and Growth - 1 Cor. 3:6-9

Extending the agricultural metaphor of 1 Cor. 3:6-9, after a season of rapid growth a few years ago, we can describe the last couple years for our congregation as a season of pruning, in which we’ve been trimmed back significantly. But our hope and desire for the future is that this congregation will grow and flourish, both in spiritual maturity and in numbers, so that Jesus will receive more glory through our worship, and so that more people in our community will hear the good news and be saved. That’s where this passage from 1 Corinthians 3 comes in, as PaulOur…

Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2019 by CJ Bowen