READ: Ezekiel 31-32
THINK: You've probably heard that "misery loves company." That's why people looking for trouble also look for others to join them. It's why people on their way down want to take others down with them. It's why those who love to complain attract other complainers. And it's why those who are dissatisfied with their lives aren't content to indulge in self-destructive behaviors by themselves. Instead, they drink, do drugs and party with others who are also trying to mask the misery in their lives. But misery is still misery, no matter how many people share it. Only one relationship spares people from the misery of being separated from God and missing out on His ultimate purpose. That relationship is with Jesus. Those who already know the peace, joy and fulfillment of that relationship, have the privilege and responsibility to share their hope and to take as many people as possible with them to heaven.
RESPOND: Why did Assyria eventually topple, and how was this a warning to Egypt and all other nations (31:10- 14)? (See 31:3 note.) What does Assyria's demise teach us about God's judgments? (See 31:11 note.) What message does the lament for Pharaoh (ch. 32) send to all world leaders? How would people react to Pharaoh's destruction (32:9-10), and how would this serve as an example and warning to others? What does 32:17-32 reveal about the fate of all individuals and nations that defy God and mistreat people? (See 32:18-31 note.)
PRAY: Give God thanks for the hope, joy, peace and purpose He provides. Pray for your government leaders, that they would be receptive and responsive to God's guidance. Also, ask God to help you become more sensitive to the needs and miseries of others and to be prepared to point them to Jesus so they too can find hope and life.
ACT: Make a deliberate effort to reflect the joy of Jesus in your life. Make sure this shows in your attitudes, conversations and actions. Be ready to reach out with words of encouragement and acts of kindness to anyone you encounter who seems to be hurting, miserable or in need. Also, be prepared to talk with anyone who may wonder about the hope and difference they see in your life.
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