Pastor Dale Thomas
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Pastor Thomas has served First Baptist since 1996. He participates in the Keokuk Christian Ministerial Association as well as the Mid-American Baptist Ministers Council.

Previous sermons in synopsis can be found on the Sermon Archive page (under Pastor)
Below is the most recent sermon synopsis for our Worship message.

Sunday March 25, 2018
Responding to God’s Will  (sixth in the Lent series)
      Jonah 1: 1 – 7

There are some interesting links from Jonah to Jesus, including the response of each to the Will of God.  We find that Jesus says: “Yes” to the desire and plan of God, but Jonah says: “No!” for the start.  That is what the will of God is about.  There is no maybe, or I’ll wait awhile after we hear from God. He wants our commitment now and into the future.
.   Abram responded to the will and command of God (Genesis 12: 1) by heading out from the land that he had called his home and where he buried his father and brother into places unknown to him.  Jonah was called (commanded) to go out to proclaim the Lord to the people of Nineveh, something that, according to the lack of reference in the Scriptures, he had never done before.  How many times has God called people to serve the Lord in ways and places that they did not know or had not experienced?  He does not send us into the familiar, but the unfamiliar, so that we will trust in Him alone, and faithfully carry out His plan.
.    It is in the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus faces the question of how He would respond to the impending betrayal, trial and death.  Remember that He is divine, coming from heaven to earth, and He had not experienced humanity or death before.  Yet, He prays and says, Your divine will is to be done. I will go to the death, leaving my Spirit with You (Lk. 23: 46).  As Jonah spent the three days in the belly of the fish, the disciples believed that Jesus was dead and buried.  But as Jonah, Jesus would spend (about)3 days in the tomb, to be resurrected to eternal life, completing the plan of God.  Jonah would receive a second chance in completing the will of God as he was spat out on the shore near Nineveh. He would complete God’s call as he proclaimed repentance throughout the city.
.     Jesus clearly said: “yes” to God’s plan as we look at His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  When God speaks to us will we be as clear about saying yes, or will we be like Jonah and try to flee from whatever God sets before us?