These questions are meant to be a choose-your-own-adventure. That is, use what you like. Skip what you don’t. And add to it in any way you see fit.
Intro Questions (A fair warning – These first questions have nothing to do with rest.)
- How many states have you been to?
- What’s the longest flight you’ve ever taken?
- If you had an extra hour of free time in a day, how would you spend it?
I Am So Angry
Read Jonah 4
But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”
10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
- After his encounter with the giant fish, Jonah makes it to Ninevah (reluctantly). After a half-hearted attempt by Jonah to convince them to change their ways, the whole city repents. It’s an amazing turn of events, and yet, Jonah still has a rather sour mindset. He is angry and not afraid to tell God all about it. Why? What’s happening here?
- It’s safe to say that Jonah did not agree with God’s willingness to show mercy to the Ninevites. Have you ever thought of yourself (or perhaps others) as beyond God’s grace?
Read Matthew 4.17
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
And Acts 2.38
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Here are two of many places in the Bible where we are admonished to repent. When you think about repentance, what comes to mind?
- At a deep, soul level, what type of change is happening when we acknowledge our sin and decide to live differently? Another way to ask this is, why is repentance so powerful?
- “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” How have you discovered the Holy Spirit to be helpful in the practice of repentance?
Grace & Kindness
Read Ephesians 2.6-9
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
- God is described here as showing incomparable riches of grace and expressing his kindness. How have you experienced the riches of his grace and kindness? How has your life changed as a result of God’s invitation to repent?