Listening to God

Posted by Karah

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How often do you really listen for God? Start your time with Him today in prayer, but also sit in silence before Him. Ask Him to help you hear Him speak through His Word.

Think about a time when you tried to warn someone about some danger, but that person wouldn’t listen to you. How did you feel? Jot down words or phrases that describe that moment.

Often, we treat God’s warnings the same way. Read Nehemiah 9:29-31 in your Bible, then re-read verse 30. Because of the Israelites’ continual disobedience to God, they were exiled to Babylon, leaving Jerusalem in ruins. Nehemiah served as the leader who worked to restore the city and lead the people.

“You were patient with them for many years, and Your Spirit warned them through Your prophets, but they would not listen. Therefore, You handed them over to the surrounding peoples.”

—Nehemiah 9:30

• Examine the Israelites’ responses to God’s actions. Why wouldn’t they listen? When has that described you?

• The prophets’ messages were inspired by the Holy Spirit, but the people ignored them. How receptive are you to the Holy Spirit’s leading? What causes you to ignore it?


Despite persistent and repeated failure, God doesn’t abandon His people. How has God been patient with you? Write a prayer of thanksgiving for His patience below, followed by a commitment to obey the Holy Spirit’s leading.

For further study, read Deuteronomy 30:11-20 to find out more about God’s commands for the Israelites.

Behind the Story

The Book of Nehemiah details the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls. The central character, Nehemiah, served as the cupbearer of King Artaxerxes of Persia. After hearing of the sad state of affairs in Jerusalem, Nehemiah asked the king for permission to return and rebuild the city and its fortifications. The king granted his request and granted access to resources to finish the job. The walls were completely rebuilt in 52 days (Neh. 6:15-16).

The Point

Even in light of Israel’s cycle of rebellion, God didn’t turn his back on them. He was patient with the Israelites, calling them back to Himself. He does the same for us.

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The Reason

Posted by Karah

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Before you begin today’s study, spend some time in prayer. Ask God to reveal Himself through His Word.

Write your own definition for the word patient. Include qualities and characteristics of patience.

Read and study 2 Peter 3:8-9 in your Bible.

“Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”

—2 Peter 3:8-9

Ask yourself:

• How does your definition of patience compare to the concept presented in these verses? Explain.

• There is a reason for God’s patience. (See v. 9). Why does His patience work to our benefit?

• Why is it important that God is a patient God?

PATIENT adj.= Long-suffering; steadfast; slow to anger, especially in response to sin


• Meditate on verse 9 of this passage. Praise God for being patient with you and offering salvation through His Son, Jesus.

• For further study on waiting patiently for Christ, read James 5:7-8.

Behind the Story

The word repentance (v. 9) doesn’t mean to just “tell God you are sorry.” It’s acknowledging and turning away from wrong behaviors. Jesus’ words in Luke 5:32 are a reminder of His mission on Earth—to call sinners to repentance. Repentance is essential to knowing God and experiencing His salvation.

The Point

God is not slow, as it sometimes seems. He is always patient toward sinners, giving us time to respond to His invitation.

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Be Like God

Posted by Karah


Spend a few minutes reviewing what you’ve learned about God’s character this week. Thank Him for being a God who loves to show compassion to His children!

Do people often comment that you’re “just like” one of your parents or another family member? Think about physical similarities, attitudes, or actions you often display that resemble that family member. Jot down a few of the things that come to mind.

Read Ephesians 4:32–5:1. As God’s children, our character should reflect that of our Father. Underline the character traits that should be on display in believers’ lives.

“And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children.”

—Ephesians 4:32-5:1

Ask yourself:

• Believers should be kind and compassionate to others because that is the example God has shown us. Does that describe you? Why or why not?

• We are to forgive others because God has forgiven us in Christ—who paid a great price so that our sin could be forgiven. Who in your life do you find it hard to forgive? Why?


• Look over the list of people you find it hard to forgive. Pray over the names one by one, asking God to help you to become more like Him and forgive so that the people on your list can come to know more about Him and His character through your obedience.

• Mull over this question: If the only way people had to learn about God’s compassion was your life, what would your life teach them? Would the way you live accurately represent God’s character?

Behind the Story

Chapters 4 and 5 of Ephesians were written to help believers understand how their lives should be different after salvation. In Ephesians 4:17-24, Paul described putting off the old self and putting on the new. Then, in Ephesians 4:25-31, he outlined particular sins that should no longer characterize a believer’s life. Ephesians 4:32–5:1 should be read in conjunction with these verses. If we are in Christ, then we should begin to exhibit His characteristics.

The Point

As dearly loved children of God, we should want to be like Him, showing compassion and extending forgiveness to others.


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