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 Gospel Project curriculum.

Bible Passages: Acts 1:4-8; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21

Discussion Question: What jumps to your mind when you hear the word missionary? What keeps you from thinking of yourself as a missionary?

Food for Thought:

Read Jonah 3 - 4.

Many of us are familiar with the story of Jonah being swallowed by a great fish. But how many of us have overlooked the background to this story? Jonah was told to go to the capital city of Israel's greatest enemy, the Assyrians. He was told to preach a message of impending destruction. Instead, Jonah ran in the opposite direction.

Surprisingly, the prospect of Israel's enemy being destroyed didn't sadden Jonah. He ran because he knew that if the people of Nineveh repented, then God would turn away His anger and forgive them for their evil deeds. He ran because he didn't want God to show His compassion toward the people of Nineveh. Jonah knew that God shows grace, mercy, and love to even the worst offenders of His law. Jonah displayed a selfish attitude toward people whom God loved. He wanted to keep God's grace for people like himself.

The story of Nineveh ended with a glorious picture of salvation, but Jonah's story ended with frustration. He was angry with God for being gracious to His enemies. He would rather have died than see the people of Nineveh escape the wrath of God. He cared more about a plant God graciously provided for him than for the souls of 120,000 people who were on the precipice of divine disaster.

The story of Jonah gives us a glimpse into the compassionate heart of God. Our God cares about people, and He lavishly pours out His grace upon any sinner who turns from sin and believes the good news of Jesus.

The Gospel Project

The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered curriculum that examines the grand narrative of Scripture and how the gospel transforms the lives of those it touches. Through a three-year study plan, participants are immersed in the gospel through stories, theological concepts, and calls to missions from Genesis to Revelation. Separate study plans for kids and students/adults ensure the proper focus and depth. The Gospel Project is designed to unify an entire church under a single Christ-centered curriculum. More information, free samples, and The Gospel Project blog can be found at gospelproject.com .

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at

LifeWay.com/SundaySchool .

Ken Braddy, manager of LifeWay's adult ongoing curriculum, regularly blogs about Sunday School and small groups at

sundayschoolguy.wordpress.com

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