The girls from Girl Defined tackle the tricky topic of pornography in this video.
This might seem like a random title for a devotion but I was found a dead bird on the footpath while I was walking my dog this week. It made me think of Matthew 10:29. which says, "not one sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it." Verse 31 goes on to say, "So don’t worry! You are more valuable to him than many sparrows." God cared about that bird but cares about us more. Sometimes I don't think we truly understand how much God loves and cares for us. We think that he is too busy with the other 7.8 billion people on the planet to care about us. The Bible makes it quite clear that he does care for us.
Here are a couple of more Bible verses if you're not convinced yet:
1 Peter 5:7
Give all your worries to him, because he cares for you.
For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father.
To the lonely, the oppressed, the sick, the hurting, those who are afraid, the depressed, the defeated, the tired, the lost - God cares about you. Don't give up. Tell him your worries. He won't leave you. He will sustain you.
God is omnipresent, that means that he is everywhere at the same time. It's a pretty crazy concept to wrap your brain around but he is God and not confined to human limitations.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
This concept is both encouraging and disconcerting. It is a great comfort knowing that God is with me through the good times and the bad. He is not just with me, but his Holy Spirit is in me and helps me. Helps me to be more patient, kind, gentle and loving, helps me to persevere when life is hard, gives me wisdom, helps me to be more like Jesus. It means I can talk to him at any time of the day or night.
The fact that God is always with me also helps me to be more careful how I act and what I say. It helps me to decide whether to watch that movie, listen to that song, read that article... because God is watching, listening or reading over my shoulder.
Imagine Jesus walking beside you today. Are there some things that you would do or say differently knowing that he is with you always?
This was obviously recorded pre-Covid19 but has just been released.
When I was a teenager I was overwhelmed with guilt and shame. I didn't murder anyone or anything, but I felt like I was a lousy Christian and that I must be a disappointment to God. It wasn't until I was much older that I found out that guilt and shame are two of Satan's favourite tools to keep us from being effective for Jesus.
Dan DeWitt has an interesting article on guilt and shame on www.thegospelcoalition.org.
We need to deal with our sin and shame so that it does not keep us from the amazing things that God has planned for us to do. Here's what the Bible says about it:
He has taken our sins away from us as far as the east is from west.
There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus.
These two verses make it clear that when God looks at us, he says, "not guilty" because Jesus took the punishment for our sin.
To deal with our shame we need to consider our identity in Christ.
But God is rich in mercy, and he loved us very much. GOD LOVES YOU!
It is by God's grace that you have been saved. YOU ARE SAVED!
He has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do. HE HAS GOOD PLANS FOR YOU!
I could go on but you get the idea. Next time the voices of guilt and shame are loud in your head, refute them with Bible verses about your forgiveness through Jesus and who you are in him.
Ok, technically this is five words, not one. The new heaven and new earth is the place that God is preparing for his followers. When Jesus comes again he will take us to live there for eternity. We don't know a lot about the new heaven and new earth but here is what we do know:
You can find out more about the new heavens and the new earth by reading the rest of Revelation 21 and 22. This new home is the reason we have hope in the middle of heartache, distress, depression, pain and trials because there will be no more of these things when Jesus comes again. When you get dragged down by the cares of this world, remember that they are temporary and won't be around in the next one!
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.