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Breaking the Silence

Carissa McSherry


Carissa McSherry

Student at Loma Linda University.



  • July 20, 2019
    10:00 AM
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Howley Father God Lord we again are so thankful for your Sabbath day for this think Sherry of time that you have blessed us with and God We come to you today because you are worthy we come to you today because of your grace. And Father we want to thank you for who you are and who you have shown yourself to be father not by my nor by power but by your spirit is my prayer in Christ's name when you wake up with a start it thoughts are racing your heart is pounding you have John just received a dream a dream that you know was clearly sense by God you have received a calling to go and serve over thieve as a missionary called to enter the war torn country of Syria know not to minister to the sweet orphans there or to help in the after it's fighting terrorism or to work with the refugees no god has in fact called you to go and work in the heart of an ISIS camp and it is there that you will preach and evangelists Dick Siri. How many of you are signing up for this avenue Hope Mission trip. And. How will your kind cheery response when you tried to gain re-entry will they view you as a spot i will they see you as a terrorist or recruiter by chance maybe you've seen the videos or maybe you've heard about them the B. headings that are frequently experience and you question Will I even serve on. You see this story this dream is actually quite similar to one that was given to a man named Jonah a story which we know a man who was called to go to the heart of Nineveh and there to preach a story of redemption now and then of located today and volatile Iraq was the capital of the of fear Ian Kingdom Now if you don't know too much about the Assyrians let me introduce you to who your neighbors would have ben when you approach Nineveh you are going to see if it is that is a 3 days' journey across its walls are 40 feet that. And 60 feet high certainly it was in Senator Ball at best and there he is called to enter into this is Syrian capital and his book Extreme violence in the visuals and text of antiquity by Martin Zimmerman professor of ancient history in Munich Zimmerman lists the Assyrians as in the masters of brutality try putting that on your resume a Masters of brutality slashing open the stomachs of opponents hacking up their flash and displaying it as a trophy these are just a few of the barbaric acts which they frequently and act in fact when they were in March captive across the desert rather than using ropes or handcuffs of sorts they chose to you could use a more sinister math it the Assyrians would take something like a fish hook. And they would hook it into the room above the captive hooking it into the prisoner in front of them when you die they would simply unhook you and kick you to the side now this is possibly a gruesome way to get a Sabbath worship service. But my point here is we think about these or old stories the like Joe know where was your faith why are you running Why are you hiding but do we see why he might have been I mean I certainly would have then these are not people you want to invite over for dinner and yet these are the people that Jonah was called to serve and yet had this story unfolds we are going to find that strangely enough it was not dad it was not torture it was not a strange moment from the country of his birth that Jonah feared most Rather it was a fear that I believe all of us have experienced at one time or another a fear that is far more relatable. Mean your Bibles to the Book of Jonah We'll begin in Jonah chapter 3 and verse 5 Jonah chapter 3 and verse 5 Jonah chapter 3 and verse 5 you're struggling to find it I don't blame you it's a minor prophets an area I put a bookmark just so I want to get stuck here Jonah chapter 3 and we're going to be again in verse 5. So the people of Nineveh believe gong proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to believed. Then word came to the king of then of on heroes from his throne and he laid aside his robe covered himself with sack cloth and sat in ashen verse 7 he caused to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his noble saying Let neither man nor beast turned nor flock taste anything do not let them eat or even drink water but let a man and beast be covered with sackcloth and cry mightily to God Yes Let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his pants who can tell if God will turn and relents and turn away his fierce anger so that we may not pair and then God saw their works that they turned from their evil way and God relented from the disaster that he said he would bring upon them but he did not do it in verse chapter 4 in verse one we read but it displeased Jonah exceedingly and he became angry and the New International Version to translate that as but to Jonah this seemed very wrong and he became angry here you see a gospel prevent Taishan given to the people of Nineveh they respond appropriately their hearts are broken before this God who they likely had never heard of before they turn to him in fact cloth and ashes and repentance even the king Fame don't eat don't drink and the response given by Jonah and he was angry imagine with me that Mark Finley a renowned Adventist evangelist. It was to come to this area to the Inland Empire area or let's just say San Bernardino and he was going to preach a city wide prophecy seminar he had spent much time in preparation all the Flyers had gone out to the community all the by workers are going door to door and for 40 days and nights there Mark family is preaching his heart out at the end of the seminar you go to Marks and lean you begin to inquire what were the results how did the people of San Bernardino respond. And Mark Finley turns to you and he says it was horrible every single person in that city gave their life to do those cries and every single person was converted it was horrible Would he still keep his job. Probably not right thankfully he would it ever say that but just by point of illustration here you're thinking how ludicrous is that if you were called to preach a series you give those series you have an incredibly overwhelmingly positive response and then you say how dare you how could you do that continuing are in a moment through the Book of Jonah we see this is exactly how he responded just for background information and Jonah tapped or one Jonah again receive this call from God to go to none of us we have been exploring He even got on a boat and he headed for the southern part of Spain but after what you might call a whale of a time. Jonah is spit out on the beach and he finds himself traveling once again and then of and that's where of course the story picks up in Daniel Chapter 3 after 40 days of boldly preaching this message to the heart of the Enemy Territory Jonah goes to the hillside and he sits down and he waits to see the fireworks show but instead of God does something that infuriates him God will his plans once again bind choosing instead to accept their repentance and can you believe it to forget. Jonah chapter 4 and verse 2 Jonah chapter 4 and verse 2 again we might initially attribute John as anger to his damage pride and a prophet who gives a prophecy and yet it doesn't come true but we're going to find there is actually a deeper reason Jonah chapter 4 beginning in verse 2. So Keith speaking of John I prayed to the Lord and said Lord whether or not this is what I said to you when I was still in my country therefore I fled previously to Tarsus OK So why did he fleet here is the answer for I know that you are a gracious and merciful God slow to anger an abundant in loving kindness one who really lends from doing harm therefore who now Lord please take my life for it is better for me to die than to live in verse 4 then the Lord that is it right for you to be angry. I can't help but picture the intimation in God's voice dear is it right for you to be angry Jonah do you remember where you were just 40 days ago there in the belly of a whale because you ran from a god that you have heard of from your childhood of a god that you stand as the representative all of you are his prophet and you re have and yet here is a nation of people who don't know their left hand from their right a nation of people that have never heard of the true God and when they hear the story of redemption and forgiveness and healing and graze then mediately repent and turn their lives to me Jonah is it right for you to be angry god. But God don't you know how bad the Ninevites are God don't you know that there are sworn enemy of God Haven't you heard about the fishhooks Haven't you heard about the torture Haven't you heard about the captives killed God they unlike me are not worthy of your grace and Acts Chapter 15 we see that Peter had a very similar experience as he is trying to work with the Jewish and the gentile believer there is a battle about Grace and who can receive vets and Peter continually had to say it doesn't matter what your genealogy is it doesn't matter if your father is Abraham he can raise up stones that come from Abraham. The point is the Jews the Greeks are saved by the exact same grain it's no different it's no different. Whether you're Adventist or whatever it is we're all things 6 generation 20 a generation we're all favored by the exact same great. Yet how easy it is to embrace the grace of God when it showered upon us but to grow better when that same grace is bestowed upon those that have hurt us. The bitterness of Jonah can so easily become our own what does it mean to forgive in Greek the word that is commonly translated into English as forgiven the New Testament means to give graciously to give freely to be still to give freely in other words there is no limit there is no boundary and giving freely to someone else but I believe that sometimes we hold we protect against forgiveness because we have a misconception of what it says so I want to share briefly 3 points of the what forgiveness is not 1st Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation forgiveness and reconciliation is not necessarily synonymous it takes 2 to reconcile but how many to forget takes one to forget yes reconciliation should be our desire and our goal but there are certainly times such as an instance of of some forms of abuse where reconciliation may not be possible or may not be healthy reconciliation takes to the forgiveness only takes one secondarily forgiven if it's quite often not a feeling. At least not initially. Forgiveness is often not a feeling but it is a choice and 3rd Forgiveness does not mean that what happened was OK Forgiveness does not justify the action it's one of my favorite Bible character is a man by the name of Joe. When I think of a word that describes Joseph I think of the word honor Joseph was a man of honor a man of integrity and for his honor and for his integrity he suffered did he not he went to prison because he was a man of honor and integrity and yet he chose to live his life as a life of faithful and Genesis Chapter 50 roles are reversed and instead of him at the feet of his brothers begging to be set free now in Genesis Chapter 50 his brothers are at his feet. And they now are the ones begging for protection Joseph turns to his brothers and again he could have allowed this bitterness to grow over the decades that he had been a slaying the decades that he had been a prisoner the decade that he had been separated from his father wondering whether he was still alive or going to an early grave suffering the loss of his beloved son. And yet instead of bitterness Joseph chose honor and in Genesis Chapter 50 verse 20 he confronts his brothers and he says what you did you meant it for evil but God I love those 2 words right vodka all turned in for good. There may be a situation in our life that we look at least say hey this wasn't good and possibly it was intended for evil by God. By God And when Joe that is at the end of his life story and his looking vacuum looks back with back with nothing but gratitude because it was because of his slavery that he could save his people it was because of those years in Egypt that he could set them free Romans 8 verse 28 is frequently quoted and is a verse that we certainly hold dear and we know that all things work together for good to those that love God to those that are called according to His purpose and I believe that the special beautiful promise that leads to can claim but notice of the passage does not say it does not say all things are good because of a back and as we've gone through life and for many of us here that I spent time working in the hospital and you see these situations you see the woman who is shot in the face with a shotgun by a man who once said I love you you see the car accident passengers killed by a drunk driver and you look at these situations you say no this isn't good this is not how it was meant to be and yet even in the midst of pain even in the midst of suffering God can say I didn't cause this but if you give it to me I can bring beauty out of. This is not good but God But God to those that love and are called according to His purpose. I spent 5 or 6 years in full time ministry travel Enon Bible studies and sharing seminars and I found that it was so easy to preach on the topic A forget such an easy topic to put together a beautiful sermon and then be able to convey it to another but it wasn't until a life hit home for me and suddenly I was the one that was struggling with bitterness and. I was the one struggling to forgive when your own theory begins to crumble in the face of reality. And you find yourself saying God I need to learn this lesson because I clearly haven't learned yet God How to me to forget and I remember as part of that journey praying to God being like God I want to forgive but I can't. And in that moment feeling the assurance from God that no you can't but I can in you know humanly speaking it's impossible but that's why it's divine you can't but I can. You can but God God can a word the miracle of forgiveness and healing in our lives I am incredibly inspired by a woman named Cory 10 room if anyone here read any of her work the hiding place quite a few people so you may be familiar with her story Cory's him can and was living during the Nazi occupation and Holland if I'm not mistaken and her family was hiding Jews and their home. And at one point her family was again captured by the Nazis they were taken to a concentration camp shortly thereafter her beloved father dies and towards the end of her time in this concentration camp her sister who was just so close and dear to her heart a prayer warrior a warm woman of faith and honor shapes to passed away without Cory being able to be at her side they faced incredible atrocity is barbaric experiences and yet Corey decided or she felt a calling even while in the concentration camp that once I leave this place I'm going to travel all around Germany around Europe and I'm going to share the message of forgiveness and reconciliation this is why she's still behind bars because she has made this commitment it's and when she indeed was set free that was her calling and her mission as she began to travel the world preaching the message of forgiveness and healing after one of her presentations that Knights a gentle man approached her out the door he was clearly touched and shook up by the message that he had just heard and the moment that she saw him she says that shivers went down her spine. She immediately recognized it him as a guard that had been particularly cruel to her sister I don't know about about you but I'm a very phlegmatic person anger is not anger is not an emotion I often experience but if you were to touch my little sister. Of a whole another story and here Corey is same in that moment nothing but hatred filled her heart as she saw this man. Here she had just preached a sermon on forgiveness but all she feel that hatred How could you how dare you and she razzle wave in her heart God what do I do and in that moment she chose by faith to reach out and to offer her hand to the man and she says in that moment that she reached out suddenly this incredible weight was lifted from her own soul and she felt forgiveness and healing in her own I see often forgiveness is not a feeling or at least not at all times but the by the grace of God It can be a choice. As are willing to reach out God can heal and do the right it's a woman of great faith how can we have to experience this forgiveness Christ object lessons page 251 puts it this way the ground of all forgiveness is found in the on Marion and the law of God ground of all forgiveness is found in the unmerited love of God by our attitude towards others we show whether or not we have made the law our. Favorite spend our time considering what they have done to us it's difficult if not impossible to experience the healing power for again. But forgiveness instead is found in looking on to geve us and looking at what he has offered how he has saved us how he has healed our souls turning our Bibles to collage and Chapter 3. Kolache and Chapter 3. Glacial Philippians kolache ans chapter 3. We're looking at verse 13 the Bible says bury him with one another in law and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another even as Christ for a gave you so you also must forgiving one another according to what they deserve how much should we forgive another by what is the standard set here as Christ has forgiven and. You know we think about all the horrible things that you can imagine being done to you or maybe that you've experienced and yet if we stop and we reflect on the ways that we have done those same things to God suddenly the whole picture changes. We don't forgive according to what they deserve or what we think of it is or by the grace of God We can forgive we can offer it to one another by the same level to the same standard which Christ has forgiven. In Jonah chapter 4 we continue this story. Jonah chapter 4 it will begin in verse 9. Jonah chapter 4 beginning in verse 9 the Bible says that God said to Jonah is it right for you to be angry about the plants remember God again had a plant come up to provide shade for Jonah and then it withered and died and Jonah was so mad he said Just let me die let me die I'm glad I don't say that every time I kill a plant because. God said to Jonah is it right for you to be a agree about the plan. And he said it is right for me to be angry even to death but the Lord said. You. Don't think in anger management classes but the Lord said You have had pity on the planet for which you have not labored nor made it grow which came up in a 9 and perished in and and should I not pitting then of that great city in which there are more than 120000 persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left and much livestock to you had pity over a little plant should I not pity this massive group of people and in the Bible in response how to Jonah were sparked in verse 12 there is no 1st. How did John ever respond we don't know now I have a pet peeve that I'm about to share with you and it's one that I hope you promptly forgets and do not use against me i hate on unfinished story. In tribes in the crazy when a preacher begins the seminar message with a story and does not finish it until the end of the service I have heard not being in between not. All I want to know is what have been and or want is the end of the story and so this story recall in the Book of Jonah drive me bonkers I want to know how did it end how to finish how did Jonah respond. And pushes every single one of my buttons one side. But on the other hand I wonder if maybe the story wasn't retold this way for a reason maybe in fact it's. Because this story is truly our own we all have our own life stories maybe of bitterness maybe of hatred maybe it's accumulated throughout the years in various relationships that we have why is life so hard for us but full of laughter promotions and grace to those that have heard us moan. How do we respond to the mercy of God when the intoxicated driver survives but you stand behind your son looking at his lifeless body and hearing the physician Sam sorry man we did all that we could how do we respond to the grace of God when it enters into our living room when it's your wife and your best friend and your broken home how do we respond to the grace of God. When our theory crumble in face of reality or perhaps you can easily easily share the story of God's grace with another and preach a story like Jonah did of repentance and healing and Grace and then you find yourself wondering whether that can be your own perhaps questioning whether you are the one. Who can receive grace you see I believe the silence of Jonah actually speaks volumes like this prophet of all old we all have our own life journey we all have our own paths is that not true I don't know all of your stories and I hope you tell them to make them will drive me crazy right now I don't know all of your story but I know there's been areas that haven't been easy I know there been parts of that journey of that have been rocky or than others and I know there are areas where God is seeking for even deeper healing and today I believe that we have the opportunity. To exchange the cup of bitterness and pain for the cup of grace and healing we have the opportunity to not only take it for ourselves but to extend it to another we have the opportunity to finish the story told in Jonah chapter 4. But the question for us today through the grace of Jesus Christ how will we choose to finish the story and my prayer is that truly there will be nothing between us and our Savior and that we will open our hearts to day that by faith by Corey timber we will reach out and we will thank God I trust in you and I choose to look to the one that has set me free of the one who have forgiven me the one who continues to post so Grace that I don't desire and God through that grace may it flow through me that I may extend to another if that's your desire that you stand with me how many Father Lord I want to bank you as the song reminded us that your Grace will never never fail throughout eternity how we Father Lord today there may be a son of us some of us here that as we have lived to listen to your word through your prophet John and today we are recognizing that we need to experience that forgiveness and that healing in our own line so that we want to throw away that cup of bitterness and that we want to receive the cup of grace and of healing and we are willing through your mercy to Pistole it to another and father I want to pray in a special way of this is the desire of every close and had as valid to just raise your hand as again a sign before God alone thank God I'm committing my heart to you nothing between me and my Savior. I know there's nothing in our lives that you can't hear and no place to dark for your light. And Father we are praying for that forgive and healing. Your hands Heavenly Father. Thank you for your grace and for your love and compassion. As we began. We thank you we pray for this blessing because you are the one who can only. Thank you I mean pray and then name the one who you love so much and have your Son Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


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