READ: Deuteronomy 29-30
THINK: Are you a patient person? Are you a persistent? Believe it or not, these two traits work together in another character trait called perseverance, which could be defined as "active patience." It's a "work-while-you-wait" and "keep pressing on" attitude that allows people to endure tough times for the sake of greater rewards. That's the kind of stamina Christ wants to develop in His followers as they become more like Him. After all, God demonstrates extraordinary patience with us when we persist in repeating our mistakes and neglecting our relationship with Him. Yet He also persists in His purposes and faithfulness. Above all, He persists in loving you, even when you may feel unlovable, and He will always works things out for your good if you humbly trust Him to lead you to your destiny.
RESPOND: What is a covenant, and what did God's covenant with the Israelites involve? (See article on God's Covenant with the Israelites, p. 268 in the FBSE.) Why did God repeatedly remind Israel of the terms and conditions of His covenant and the benefits and consequences of obeying or disobeying Him? In what way can an individual who turns from God become like a root "that produces bitter poison" (29:18)? What does a person forfeit by rejecting God? (See 29:18-21 note, subpoint 2.) How can some people think they are "safe" spiritually, even though they persist in going their own way? (See 29:19 note.) What effect can these people have on a church? How does God view defiant people, and what will ultimately happen if they don't repent and turn back to God? (See 29:19 note.) What happens if people who abandon God and suffer the consequences come to their senses, turn from their own ways and look to God for mercy? (See 30:3 note.) In what ways will God restore people who repent and return to Him? How did God's people have a distinct choice between "life and prosperity, death and destruction" (30:15-19)? How can people today choose life? In what way do people demonstrate true love for God? (See 30:20 note.)
PRAY: Pray for patience with others and thank the Lord for His patience with you. Pray that you won't feel "safe" if you ever defy God and go your own way. Ask God to search your life and expose any hidden rebellion so you can rid your life of destructive things and continue in His path of life. Thank Jesus that His Word is both near and clear.
ACT: If you've been disobedient or defiant toward God in any aspect of life lately, ask Him to forgive you and help you make an immediate change in that area. Also, strive to be exceptionally patient with every person and every situation you encounter today. Ask and trust God to teach you whatever He desires through all of this.
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