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Bible Study: Aug. 30, 2015

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.

Bible Passages: Jonah 3:1–4:2; Romans 9:3, 15:20

Discussion Questions: Why do you think Jonah ran in the opposite direction from which God sent him? Have you ever been guilty of running the opposite direction when God called you to witness to a lost person? If so, why did you flee? What does it take for God to convince you to follow through obediently on His call? On a scale of 1 (absolutely like Jonah) to 10 (nothing like Jonah), how reluctant are you as a missionary?

Food for Thought:

It would make a great comedy if it weren’t so serious — a man running from an unwanted assignment, finding himself in greater trouble than had he undertaken the task head on, receiving more compassion from those who were the enemies of his God than he was willing to show to enemies. You know the story — swallowed by a huge fish, three days cramped in the confines of the fish and his rebellion, then unceremoniously vomited onto the shore. He was free of the restraints of the fish’s belly, but not of his own hatred. His stay in the underwater accommodations did persuade him to obey, however; Jonah became a reluctant missionary and much to his displeasure, an effective one.

We find it easy to fault Jonah for thinking he could run away from God and hide. We marvel at how he could take more interest in a vine than in the salvation of thousands of people. We cringe as he justifies his anger to the omniscient God of the universe. But before we begin casting the mental stones we have picked up, let’s ask ourselves a question: When was the last time I hurried on my way rather than witness to the person God put in my path? God took a reluctant witness and made a remarkable difference in a major city as people believed the message and repented. Reluctant or not, Jonah at least heeded God’s call to proclaim His word. Can we say the same?


MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at www.lifeway.com/masterwork.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.

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  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources