GOD SHOWS COMPASSION
Know: God used a plant and a worm to teach Jonah a lesson about God’s love for lost sinners.
Think: Even the wicked are people God loves and wants to save.
Do: Seek to share the gospel with all people, praying they will come to repentance.
READ: LISTEN TO GOD
Read Jonah 4:1-11. God can use the simplest of items and stories to drive home a message in the minds of His people. In Jonah’s case, a worm and a plant taught him a lesson he would never get over.
PRAY: TALK TO GOD
Ask God to give you His heart for the lost. Pray that you and your family will view all people as objects of God’s love, even those who don’t seem to deserve it.
DO: WALK WITH GOD
OPTION 1: Satan is always looking for ways to deceive people. God has a heart for the lost because they have fallen into Satan’s deception, and He wants to rescue them from that darkness. Make a list with your child of people who need God’s salvation. Tell him to use this list during his devotion time to pray that these people will be open to God’s Word when someone shares it with them. Remind him to pray for opportunities to be the person to share God’s Word with them.
OPTION 2: Gather a tube of cheap toothpaste and small piece of cardboard. Ask for two volunteers. Squirt the toothpaste onto the cardboard, and ask your volunteers to put it back into the toothpaste tube. Obviously, no one can be completely successful at putting the toothpaste back in. This great lesson teaches some valuable truth about our words. Once our words have left our mouths, they can never be taken back. Also, our words always have an effect. Just as the toothpaste leaves a stain or residue on the cardboard, our words will have an effect, either good or bad.
Today your child learned the people of Nineveh listened to Jonah and repented of their wrong choices. They chose to follow God’s way and God forgave the people. God will forgive us when we repent of our sins and choose to go God’s way. I will choose God’s way because God’s Ways Are Best.
Today your student learned that even though Jonah obeyed God, he became angry when God showed compassion to the people of Nineveh. His heart was still hard toward them. We are to mirror God’s compassion to those around us. We are to love, forgive, and help others to show God’s compassion through our words and actions.
Instead of rejoicing at the work of God, Jonah’s prejudices made him respond with anger. God taught him a lesson about compassion using a vine. Teens often do not recognize their own prejudices; today’s lesson helps them see others through the lens of God’s compassionate response. Self-centered people have trouble with empathy for others (we sometimes care more about hungry dogs than hungry children). Remind your teen to be alert for un-Christian attitudes like these.