Matthew 12:35-37 says, You can be sure that on the Judgment Day you will have to give account of every useless word you have ever spoken. Your words will be used to judge you—to declare you either innocent or guilty.
These verses massively challenge me every time I read them. Jesus said that we are accountable for every word we say, I repeat, EVERY WORD. I know that there are things that I say that I shouldn't, especially when I am angry, frustrated, tired, trying to be clever or funny. Be wise in what you let come out of your mouth. Will your words declare that you are guilty of being worldly, or will they declare that you are innocent and follower of Jesus?
The good news is that you can ask God to forgive you for the silly, hurtful, unkind and untrue things that you have said and he will forgive you.
Prayer has typically been portrayed as something you do on your knees with your hands fastened in front of you and your eyes closed but this isn't the only way you can pray. Kneeling is a symbol of respect but the attitude of respect is more important than your posture when you pray. No one is quite sure where the palms pressed together or hands clasped originated from, possibly to keep you from fiddling. There is no mention in the Bible about closing your eyes during prayer, though this too could prevent you from looking around and getting distracted. In John 17:1 it says, After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed. It's hard to look toward heaven with your eyes closed.
When you pray, kneeling, closing your eyes, bowing your head and clasping your hands are not important. God looks at your heart, not your physical posture.
I'm running with the boating theme this week. We're like boats and life is like the ocean. When a boat is on the water it is at the mercy of the wind and the waves. Sometimes we take our boat out to one of the local islands and pull up on the beach. We put the anchor out so the boat doesn't drift off out to sea. Even when the wind blows, the currents pull and the waves toss it about, the anchor holds it in place. Hebrews 6:18-19 says, These two things cannot change. God cannot lie when he makes a promise, and he cannot lie when he makes an oath. These things encourage us who came to God for safety. They give us strength to hold on to the hope we have been given. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and strong.
The fact that God keeps his promises gives us hope, especially when the storms of life hit. We can be confident that:
Life is like a boat - it's not living out its purpose unless it's on the water. We have a boat and get to enjoy going fishing, watching whales and dolphins, knee-boarding, and exploring islands - the kind of things that boats were designed to do. According to Mark chapter twelve, as Christians our purpose is to love Jesus and love others.
Mark 12: 29-31 (ICB)
The most important command is this... Love the Lord your God. Love him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second most important command is this: Love your neighbour as you love yourself.
Unless we love Jesus and love others, we're like a boat that hasn't made it off the boat trailer and into the water. To be fair, you don't get tossed about by the waves while you're on dry land, but you also don't get to watch Wales, catch fish, go skiing or knee-boarding or all the wonderful things you can do on a boat.
So, if your life is like a boat are you in the water living out your purpose, or are you still on dry land?
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.