As teenagers, it’s crucial for you to grow in your faith and understand the depths of God’s compassion. The story of Jonah and the psalmist’s praise in Psalm 145 provide us with valuable insights into God’s character and how His compassion impacts our lives. In this Sunday school lesson, we will explore Jonah 3:10-4:11 and Psalm 145:1-8 to discover the importance of embracing God’s compassion in our own lives.
Bible Reading: Jonah 3:10-4:11
- Jonah 3:10-11 (NIV): “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. But to Jonah, this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.”
- Jonah 4:1-3 (NIV): “But to Jonah, this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 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. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
- Jonah was angry because God showed compassion to the people of Nineveh who turned away from their evil ways.
- Jonah had initially resisted God’s call to go to Nineveh and had expected destruction upon the city.
- He couldn’t comprehend God’s compassion and mercy towards those whom he considered undeserving.
- Jonah’s anger stemmed from his lack of understanding and unwillingness to align himself with God’s heart.
- Have you ever struggled to understand or accept God’s compassion towards someone you deemed undeserving? Share your experience.
- Why do you think Jonah was so angry when God showed mercy to the people of Nineveh?
- How does Jonah’s reaction reflect our own tendencies to withhold compassion from others?
Bible Reading: Psalm 145:1-8
- Psalm 145:1-2 (NIV): “I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.”
- Psalm 145:8 (NIV): “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”
- The psalmist begins by expressing their intention to praise and exalt God continually.
- They acknowledge God as the King and recognize His attributes of being gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love.
- This psalm emphasizes God’s character and the consistency of His compassion towards humanity.
- How does God’s character, as described in Psalm 145, bring comfort and assurance to you personally?
- In what ways can we actively praise and exalt God in our daily lives, just as the psalmist did?
- How does understanding God’s compassion impact our relationships with others?
Youth Group Game: “Compassion Relay”
Objective: To encourage teamwork and understanding of compassion through a fun and interactive game.
- Divide the group into teams of 4-6 members.
- Set up a relay race course with stations representing different acts of compassion (e.g., helping someone in need, showing forgiveness, comforting a friend).
- Each team member takes turns completing a task at each station before passing the baton to the next teammate.
- The first team to complete all the stations wins the game.
Dear God, Thank you for revealing your compassionate nature to us through your Word. Help us to grow in our understanding and acceptance of your compassion, especially when it doesn’t align with our human perspective. Teach us to extend compassion to others as you have shown it to us, trusting in your sovereignty and wisdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Remember, as teenagers, you have the opportunity to embrace and reflect God’s compassion to those around you. Let His love transform your heart and inspire you to be agents of compassion and grace in your schools, families, and communities.