Bible: Read the book of Jonah with your family.
God gave Jonah an unthinkable task: taking the gospel to the Assyrians! The Assyrians were more wicked than any other people during that time and an enemy of the Jews. At first, Jonah was unwilling to go to Nineveh. He wasn’t afraid. Jonah just didn’t want the Assyrians to come to know and worship God. Jonah finally obeyed, went to Assyria, and shared about the true God. The Assyrian people heard the message of the Lord and accepted it! After their repentance, Jonah became depressed to the point of death, saying that was why he didn’t want to go to Nineveh in the first place! He knew God was gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love (Jonah 4:2). At the end of the story, Jonah was more upset over a dead vine than over thousands of Assyrian people who did not know God. Jonah’s story shows how God continues to demonstrate to His people the greatness of His love and concern for the unreached peoples of the world.
Teaching Time: 15 minutes
Materials: vase, colander/strainer, water
Allow one child to pour water into the vase. What happened to the water once you poured it? (Allow responses.) It stayed in the vase. Like this vase that keeps water in, Jonah wanted to keep God to himself. He didn’t want the Assyrians to come to know and worship God.
But God had a different plan in mind. Allow one child to pour water into the colander/strainer over the sink. What happened to the water this time? (Allow responses.) It flowed through the colander/strainer. Instead of keeping God to himself, God wanted Jonah to share Him with the Assyrian people. It is the same for us as believers. God want us to share Him with others so they can know and worship Him, too!
- Have you had a time when you wanted to keep God to yourself?
- Who are some people in your family’s life that God may want you to share Him with? What are some ways you can share God with these people?
Pray that God would show you new ways to share God with others.