Ephesians 1:11 says, In Christ we were chosen to be God's people. Being a Christian involves you choosing God, and God choosing you. It's a bit like getting married—the bride and groom choose each other.
1 Peter 2:9 says, But you are his chosen people, the King’s priests. You are a holy nation, people who belong to God. He chose you to tell about the wonderful things he has done. He brought you out of the darkness of sin into his wonderful light.
You are chosen for a purpose. The verse above says that you are chosen to be:
God has chosen you for a purpose and a plan. In general, it is to love God and to love others. I believe he also has specific things for you to do. He will reveal these to you at the right time—you just need to be ready to listen. How can you love God today? How can you love others today? What else has God chosen you to do?
Right after Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world and make disciples he said, Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. And remember that I am always with you until the end of time. He was about to leave the earth physically, but he said that he was always going to be with them. That's like someone says 'I'll never leave you' as they walk out the door. Jesus didn't mean that he would always physically be with them, but that his Holy Spirit would always be with them. John 14:16-17 says, I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn’t see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you.
God loves you so much that he sent his Son to be a man and die in your place. When Jesus returned to his Father God sent his Holy Spirit. Jesus lived with us, but his Holy Spirit lives in us. The Holy Spirit comforts, guides, convicts and intercedes for us.
We have forgiveness of sins because of God's rich grace.
God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. His Son paid the price to free us, which means that our sins are forgiven.
Even though humankind has been rebellious and sinful since creation, God loves us so much that he has forgiven us. It cost him dearly though—his son, Jesus, died in our place so that we could be forgiven.
It's like when your dog escapes and is caught by the ranger who takes it to the pound. You have to pay a fee to have him released. Spiritually we were stuck in the pound, but God came and paid the fee so that we could be released.
Matthew 28:19 is known as the Great Commission. Jesus told his disciples, 'Go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit'. The NIV says, go and make disciples of all nations. A disciple is a student or a learner. Jesus was commanding his disciples to tell people about him so that they would follow him too. This instruction wasn't just for the disciples but for all Christians.
God calls some people to other countries to share the good news—we refer to them as missionaries. However, you don't have to go to the other side of the world to make disciples, you can start right where you are. You can share the good news about what Jesus did with your friends and family. In John 13:34-35 Jesus said, 'I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other just as I loved you. All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.' Sometimes the best way that we can make disciples is to love people.
In Ephesians 1:7 Paul said, In Christ, we are made free by his blood sacrifice. He is referring to the fact that we are free from the consequence of sin, which is death. Instead we are free to spend eternity with God, because Jesus paid the price for us. Galatians 5:13-14 says, You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself." This freedom is not so that we can do anything we like, because we know God will forgive us.
Many people view Christianity as legalistic and full of rules and commandments to obey. Paul is saying there is only one rule, and that is to love others. We are free from the Old Testament rules and regulations. If you want an insight into these, take a look at the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. We are free from the punishment we deserved—separation from God. We are free from pleasing others because we only need to please God. We are free from trying to live by the world's standards—we are simply called to love God and love others. We are free from the fear of an uncertain future because we know that we will spend eternity with God. We are free from guilt and shame, because the blood of Jesus covers all our sin.
So, be free.
Matthew 26:36-39 says, Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. Grief and anguish came over him, and he said to them, “The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went a little farther on, threw himself face downward on the ground, and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want.”
Jesus had just shared the passover supper with his disciples and gone to Gesthemane to pray. He knew that he was going to be crucified shortly and he was overcome with grief. You know that kind of anxiety where your guts turn to liquid? It was like that but worse, because he wasn't about to speak in front of the whole school or sit an exam—he was about to take the sin of the whole world! He didn't want to suffer but he prayed that God's will would be done, not his.
This is a principle we can apply to our prayer. We can ask God for what we want, but we should pray that God's will would be done. In the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:10 Jesus said we should pray, Let your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Try it this week.
Ephesians 1:5 says, And before the world was made, God decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. Before God made the world, he knew that we would sin and need rescuing. Yet he still made us—even though he knew he would need to sacrifice his Son Jesus to adopt us.
John 1:12 says, But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. All we have to do to become a child of God is to believe in him and accept him.
Romans 8:14-17 says, For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
There's a lot to unpack in these three verses but in summary:
Regardless of your earthly family, you are a child of God!
In Matthew 25 Jesus was telling the parable of the sheep and the goats. The sheep represent those who follow Jesus and the goats represent everyone else. Matthew 25:35-40 says:
When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me.” Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, “When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?” The king will answer, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.”
Basically he is saying that every time you helped or served someone else it was as if you helped God himself. You may not be able to visit someone in hospital or in jail but there are other things that you can do to help others. You can give some of your clothes to charity (check with your parents first), buy some groceries to contribute to hampers for the poor (even if it's just a pack of biscuits), write someone a get well card.
Challenge: think of some ways that you can help and serve others this week, especially those in need.
You may feel as though you are one hot mess, but the Bible says that when God looks at you, he sees you as faultless and without sin. That is because the blood of Jesus has cleansed your sin and taken it away. Ephesians 1:4 says, In Christ, he chose us before the world was made. He chose us in love to be his holy people—people who could stand before him without any fault. Other translations of the Bible say 'blameless' or 'innocent.' John the Baptist referred to Jesus as 'the Lamb of God. He takes away the sins of the world!' in John 1:29.
Your life is like a pre-paid phone plan and sin is the data, calls and texts you make each month. When Jesus died and rose again it's like he spent a million dollars on your pre-paid plan. He died to forgive your sins even before you committed them.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.