“The lessons from the book of prophet Jonah or the return ticket” — that was the title of minister Rustam Nasyrov’s sermon at the Sunday meeting of the church “Philadelphia” on 14 November 2010. “Do you consider yourselves to be happy?” — he asked the audience. He followed the life story of a “Hebrew who worshipped the Lord” who got a calling from his Lord to sail to Nineveh full of sin. Jonah as the majority of believers was a person who was ready to pay the price, but was it the full price? He disobeyed God and went to the opposite direction.
Why do we sometimes decide in our hearts to run away from the face of God? “It is the answers from God that make us happy” — Rustam pointed out. Are we willing to pay the full price for God’s dream? Sometimes our disobedience results in serious problems, as it happened to Jonah. In the end he found himself inside a big fish. Only from there he prayed to the Lord with repentance. Sometimes we also have to be outboard to feel the results of our disobedience. From the rest of this story we know that Jonah went to Nineveh at last and preached there and the whole city repented. God let Nineveh live.
Though it is not the end of the book. Having got tired Jonah lied down not far from the city and while he was asleep a bush grew that sheltered him from the sun. Next day the vine withered. The prophet was very upset: “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 not be concerned about that great city?” (Jonah 4:10-11).
Mustn’t we, experiencing pain in the daily routine things, understand God’s pain because of the death of His creation — man?
Do we put limits for the Holy Spirit action in us? That was dean Yuri Baburin’s sermon. He told about the value of Christ’s gift for us, His church — about the presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever” (John 14:16). Who is this personality who Jesus tells about like that: “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away” (John 16:7)? Every adult and child wants to have consolation, support and encouragement in their work. Yuri Baburin called the church to seek all this in the Counselor of God: “The Holy Spirit is not limited, only our faith can prevent Him from revealing His might”.
The minister also reminded the church that on Wednesdays all the churches from Privolzhskyj federal area in the Russian church of the Christians of Evangelical faith pray with fasting about evangelism, spiritual growth and other important questions.