This week Jonah’s anger took center stage as he grappled with shifting circumstances, the loss of creature comforts, and disappointment in God. If you haven’t had a chance to catch the online worship experience this week, you can do so here.
Pastor Mike compared Jonah’s selfishness to the selfless character of Jesus, seen in Philippians 2:1-11. Let’s dig a little deeper into that passage.
Read Philippians 2:1-4
Draw a line down a sheet of paper or in your journal and label one side “Do Not” and the other side “Do.” Fill in the chart based on Paul’s exhortation in verses 1-4.
Prayerfully consider the “Do Not” column. List specific ways you have acted in vain conceit, selfish ambition, or solely for your own interests. Confess these sins to God.
Reread the “Do” column. Confess to God the ways in which you have failed to live in obedience to His will. List one or two practical next steps you could take this week to grow in one of these areas.
Read Philippians 2:5-11
Pray through this passage aloud, thanking Jesus for everything He has done. Take your time to branch off into specific prayers as the Holy Spirit leads, whether prayers for growth in humility and obedience, praise over the implications of His sacrifice, or anything else God brings to mind.
Meditate on the phrase “taking on the likeness of humanity” in verse 7. This is speaking of the incarnation, the act of God the Son becoming human. Read John 1:14. Pause and consider the implications of Jesus becoming flesh and living among us. The incarnation means Jesus can relate to the pain, mundanity, and struggle of humanity. He understands exhaustion, betrayal, sacrifice, and suffering. Pray or journal about the things you’re struggling with lately, acknowledging and resting in the fact that Jesus can truly empathize.
Grace Communities: Sermon Discussion Questions
Read Jonah 4:4-8. Would anyone like to share a story about a time when (like Jonah) you had a complete meltdown over a seemingly small inconvenience?
What are some of the primary emotions you’ve been feeling or witnessing in the world around you in the past several weeks? How can we determine whether these emotions are righteous or unrighteous?
Jonah saw himself as the center of the narrative. He did not want to submit to God’s wisdom, mercy, or authority. In discussing the American virtue of independence, Matt Hopkins writes: “To be self-reliant and independent is a necessary attribute for survival when you are a frontier nation as America has been for most of its history.” What are the spiritual challenges of living in a culture where independence and self-reliance is highly valued?
The book of Job tells the story of a cosmic wager between God and Satan. Satan suggests that Job only honors God because of His blessing, and if God were to allow calamity in his life, Job would curse God to His face. God allows Job to endure testing. Read Job 1:13-19 to see the extent of Job’s suffering. Ultimately, Job responds with an attitude that says: “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him” (Job 13:15). As a group, compare and contrast Job and Jonah. What is similar and dissimilar about their stories?
In light of shifting circumstances and personal suffering, how can we resist the temptation to respond like Jonah? What practical steps can we take to cultivate hearts like Job’s heart?
GraceStudents 5th/6th Grade
Word of the Week—Righteous
Do you see a word inside of the word “righteous”? You got it — “right”! To be righteous is to be morally right or good. You can add different prefixes to the word righteous to change its meaning. For example:
- “Unrighteous” means the opposite of righteous. It means wicked.
- “Self-Righteous” means someone who thinks they are totally right or superior. They believe they are good in and of themselves.
True Christians recognize that we are all unrighteous. Romans 3:10 says, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” We don’t try to be good in and of ourselves; that would make us self-righteous. Rather, we put our faith in Jesus and we receive His righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Thank God for making you right and pure in Jesus!
GraceStudents (7-12 Grades)
GraceStudents Sunday Nights are back on at the Orlando and Oviedo campuses. Orlando, you gather at 5pm on Sunday at the Grace Church building (2300 Pembrook Drive, Orlando). Oviedo, you come together during your 3:45pm service on Sunday evenings at our temporary location at East Coast Believers Church. Winter Garden, watch for fun student events this summer.