WEEK 2: The Storm
Read this overview
Over the next 5 weeks we are going to walk through the Old Testament prophetic book, Jonah, and dive deeper into understanding God’s relentless mercy for his people and for us, as revealed in this part of Jonah’s life.
You may know nothing about Jonah or you may be familiar with this story. If you are someone with this kind of familiarity, it can be helpful but can also pull us back a bit. As a result we read ideas and thoughts into the story that have not been revealed yet. Like watching a movie and judging the characters actions in the beginning while knowing the outcome at the end. During this study, together we can read Jonah with fresh eyes and allow the text to speak for itself, allow God to speak for himself.
Begin with silence and prayer
Gather together as a LifeGroup, as a family or find time alone in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of a living room, etc.). Invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time. Then spend a few minutes in silence.
Why silence, even while together? Because we live in a busy, noisy world, under a non-stop assault of distraction. In the midst of all the chaos, it’s hard at times to hear the voice of God, and that of our brothers and sisters. As we gather together as a family, we want to hear what the Father is saying to and through each of us, and respond in turn. A great way to do that is to begin each time with silence and prayer.
Reflection on Sunday’s Sermon
If you are in a LifeGroup of 10 or more, divide into small groups of 5 – 7 people each (ideally same gender). Spend a few minutes catching up on life. Then talk about the following debrief questions:
1. What thoughts or reflections do you have about the sermon?
2. What have you discovered during these weeks of studying Jonah?
3. Were there any specific things you heard from God?
Open to the Bible together
Have somebody read Jonah 1:4-16
Talk about the following questions:
1. What are the evidences in Jonah’s life of the effects of his drifting away from the Lord?
2. What is significant about Jonah’s sleeping at the inner part of the ship?
3. Read Mark 4:35-41, what are the parallels between Jonah and Jesus and what separates them to where we see Jesus as the greater Jonah and faithful Israel?
4. While Jonah’s flight has left him in a place of spiritual separation from the Lord, what spiritual fruit did God still cultivate?
Work through these discussion questions
1. Sin and separation from God anesthetize us to God and others. How does this effect in Jonah’s spiritual life ring true for you?
2. In the sermon, a major point focused on the way God is bigger than our spiritual sleepiness. How serious is spiritual sleep and what can cause us to fall spiritually asleep?
3. Read Ephesians 5:11-21. What does Paul say about spiritual sleep and the remedy for awakening? Have you experienced this kind of awakening from sleep.
4. Is there a part of your life that is being lulled into spiritual sleep? Share what is comfortable. Vulnerability is encouraged and trust is emphasized for these smaller group moments.
Close in prayer: Break into smaller groups of 3-4 to pray and allow another chance for sharing about needs for spiritual awakening.Pray for one another in these areas of life and any other prayer requests.