There is nothing and no one higher or more important than God. Not the Prime Minister or President, not your parents, your boyfriend, not money, or fame, or success, or happiness - he is God most high. He created the earth and the universe, he made the sun, moon and stars, he controls the wind and the rain, he created all creatures great and small, and he created you.
The first of the Ten Commandments says, You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). We think of Gods as golden statues or idols but according to Timothy Keller in his book, Counterfeit Gods, an idol is anything more important to you than God.
Challenge: Do you have something or some things in your life that you are obsessed with, that you can't live without, that you devote a lot of time or energy to? Are they more important than God?
I've had this cactus for about 40 years. I love that it is impossible to kill. In summer it gets very little water and in winter it gets saturated with rain but it just keeps on going and growing. It's what we call resilient.
There will be difficult days and even difficult seasons in life. The good news is that God helps us in the tough times - we don't have to do it alone. The apostle Paul encountered some hardships in his life - he was put in prison multiple times for preaching the Good News. In 2 Timothy 3:11 says, You know all that happened to me ... the terrible persecutions I endured! But the Lord rescued me from them all.
How does God help us?
John 11:5 says, "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus." He was clearly friends with them. Lazarus was ill so Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus. However, he didn't come straight away and Lazarus died. Verse 35 is the shortest verse in the Bible but it is so full of meaning. It says, "Jesus wept." I love this demonstration of Jesus' humanity and compassion. When he commanded them to open the tomb Martha said, "But, Lord, it has been four days since Lazarus died. There will be a bad smell." They did open the tomb and Jesus told Lazarus to come out, which he did. The life lesson is that it is never too late for a miracle.
God's forgiveness is one of the key themes of the Bible. In fact, the whole point of the Bible is to show how Christ died and rose again so that our sins could be forgiven.
Elohay Selichot is used three times in the Old Testament.
Nehemiah 9:17 But you are a God who forgives; you are gracious and loving, slow to be angry.
Psalm 130:4 But you forgive us, and so we will worship you.
Daniel 9:9 Lord God, you are merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against you.
In the New Testament Jesus and the disciples teach us that we are to forgive like God does. Ephesians 4:32 says, Be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.
Challenge: who do you need to forgive today? Ask God to help you forgive them.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.