The Bible, and NOT outside influence, must shape our world view. Our purpose is to fulfill the Great Commission.
What is your favorite secular song? Do you feel more “at home” when you hear it?
We come to Jesus lost and dirty. Once we are saved, whole, and clean, it’s easy for us to look at the lost and see them as dirty. We must love them the way Christ loves us. It’s natural for us to migrate from “prodigal son” to “elder brother” mentality. Pastor shared a quote from Tim Keller, “If our churches aren’t appealing to younger brothers, they must be more full of the elder brother than we’d care to think.” In a way, we often think like Jonah. Jonah would rather have let the people of Nineveh die in their sins than reach out to them. Does the church today care for the lost, the broken, and the hurting? Our actions should be more influenced by love of God and love of others than by fear, pride, or self-preservation.
ENCOUNTERING GOD THROUGH BIBLE STUDY:
Read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
1. To whom was it Paul’s ambition to minister?
2. What is a Gentile? Think of the meaning in Paul’s day, as well as whom we might consider a gentile today.
3. Did the Jews in Paul’s day care about the Gentiles? Do we care about gentiles today? See Acts 10-11, Acts 13:44-52, and Acts 15.
Read Jonah 1:1-17.
4. Why did Jonah disobey God (verse 3)?
5. Consider verses 12-13. How did the men on the ship show compassion? Have you ever seen someone show such compassion to a potentially dangerous person?
Read Jonah 3-4.
6. Why was Jonah angry about Nineveh? Have you ever been angry when someone received something that they did not deserve?
7. Reread Jonah 4:10-11. Jonah cared more about the plant that shaded his head than about 120,000 souls in Nineveh. We also can easily become selfish and care more about ourselves than others. How can we guard against this?
8. Pastor Chris said, “We can’t correct people until we connect with people.” Explain what you think he meant. Can you think of a way you or your small group can expand your reach to those who don’t know Christ?
1. In this passage, Paul declares that he became all things to all people that by doing so he might save some. However, Paul considered himself called specifically to minister to the Gentiles. See also Acts 9:15 and Romans 15:16.
2. In Paul’s day, a Gentile would be a person outside of the Jewish faith. Today, Christ-followers might consider those outside of the Christian faith gentiles.
3. There was some division in the early church regarding whether it was necessary to convert to Judaism to come to Christ. See Acts 15 in particular. The Jerusalem Council decided that Gentiles did not have to convert to Judaism to follow Christ. There were Jews who did not believe in Christ who were upset by Paul ministering to them (see Acts 13:47-52).
4. Jonah did not have compassion or care about the people in Nineveh that God might destroy.
5. The men on the ship tried to save Jonah instead of throwing him overboard.
6. Again, Jonah did not care about the people living or dying. He may also have had pride. He could have been angry that he foretold that God would destroy the city and then it did not happen.
7. One way might be to try to put oneself in the shoes of others and ask God to help you understand how they might feel.
8. It’s like the saying that says “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” We need to first make people feel welcome and loved. They will see Jesus in us and want to follow our example. The way of the Pharisees didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. We have to love people as they are and where they are. We have to show an all-inclusive love because Jesus died for all. The world is full of dark. There are lots of ways to shine your light. If you are struggling for ideas reach out to FP Missions and they will help you find a place to connect. There are opportunities for both global and local missions.