Thursday, August 6, 2009

Selfishness and the Gospel (Jonah 4)

Short Summary of Jonah:
chapter one -- God tells Jonah to go preach to Ninevah. Jonah boards a ship headed the opposite direction. The ship encounters a storm and Jonah ends up in the belly of a fish.
chapter two -- Jonah repents, and the fish vomits him onto the dry land.
chapter three -- Jonah goes to Ninevah and preaches. The whole city including the king repent.
Read Jonah 4:1-4. Count how many times Jonah uses words like "I", "me", or "my".

Why do you think Jonah was so focused on himself instead of the great spiritual victory he had just witnessed?

Why do you think people tend to focus on themselves so often?

Talk about a time you have been so self-centered that you missed out on something good.

Read Jonah 4:5-8. Notice the swing of emotions Jonah has regarding the life and death of a plant.

Why do you think God grew and then destroyed this plant? What was he trying to teach Jonah?

Read Jonah 4:9-11.

How would you describe God's feelings toward Ninevah?

Talk about how Jonah's self-centeredness might have kept him from sharing God's affection toward Ninevah.

Based on this, how do you think God feels about your neighbors (or co-workers, or others in your circles of influence)?

How should you feel about (and act toward these people)?

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