August 1

Ezekiel 2:4-7

They won’t listen

Ezekiel was God’s prophet to the Jews, who had been taken captive by the Babylonians. God had allowed them to be taken as slaves to a distant country so that their sinful hearts would turn back to Him.

However, the hearts of the people were hard, and it would take years for the people to turn back to God.

So God encouraged Ezekiel and told him, “Do not be afraid of the people, though their threats surround you like thorns and their taunts sting like scorpions. Just keep telling the people whatever I tell you,” God said, “whether they listen, or not.”

What if my friends won’t listen when I tell them about Jesus?

The Lord does not expect you to convince your unbelieving friends about the truth of the Bible, but simply to tell them that Jesus loves them and wants to be their Savior and friend.

Avoid getting into an argument with friends who don’t believe what the Bible says. Instead, tell them what you know about God—His love and forgiveness, and about our sinfulness. But be careful that your friends don’t feel judged. Tell them that everyone has sinned and needs Jesus to save them from sin. Also, let your life be an example they will want to follow as they see your love in action.

Pray for your friends before you speak to them and keep praying for them afterwards. By doing that, you will be planting the seed of God’s Word in their hearts and watering it with prayer. The Holy Spirit will carry on working in the hearts of your friends to make the seed grow.

You should never feel guilty if someone doesn’t listen to you. You are not responsible for someone else’s decision. Remember, your friend may need time to think about what you said. So be patient—you may not see a change straight away.

Verse for today

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2