The purpose of Jesus (his coming to earth, his death and resurrection) was to bring us close to God. In the Old Testament, the Israelites couldn't come near to God because his presence was so powerful that it would kill them. Moses had to cover his face when he approached God to collect the Ten Commandments, the High Priests had to purify and cleanse themselves when they came into the Holy of Holies in the temple, where God's presence resided. But, because the blood of Jesus has wiped away every sin, we can come into the presence of God without fear or shame. We were once far away, but Jesus has brought us near to God. How amazing is that!
Ephesians 2:10 says, God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do.
God made us what we are - forgiven, cleansed, worthy to be in God's presence. He also prepared good things for us to do. Some versions say good works. These things don't have to be big things. He might have blessed you with great musical ability so that you can write songs and sing for him. He might have gifted you with great culinary skills so that you can be hospitable and cook for people. He might have gifted you with the gift of evangelism so that you are very good at explaining the good news about Jesus to people. He might have blessed you with an optimistic outlook so that you can encourage others.
What good things do you think God has prepared for you to do?
THIS IS IMPORTANT! There is nothing you can do to earn salvation! No amount of being good and resisting temptation will ever be enough. One sin is enough to disqualify you from spending eternity with Jesus. I don't know about you, but I have sinned A LOT (and I consider myself a fairly 'good' person). The good news is that we're not saved by what we do, but what we believe, or rather, who we believe.
This isn't a license to sin. We don't do good works to be saved, but because we're saved. When you love someone, you do things to please them. It's the same with God. We don't do good works so that God will love us, he already does. We do good works because he loves us, and we love him.
Note: I would recommend using double sided tape. It's easier to cut them out if you fold them in half before cutting the curved corners.
We're going to look at happiness from a Biblical viewpoint, starting at Matthew. I'm using the Easy to Read Version but will look at other translations as well.
Matthew 2:10 is talking about the wise men when it says, They were very happy and excited to see the star. The New King James Version says that they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. The Wise Men were probably astronomers who were familiar with the prophecy that the appearance of this star signified the birth of the King of Kings. When it stopped over the place where Jesus lay they were very happy because they had found the Saviour. If you have found Jesus you can be happy because you know the Saviour of the world who has forgiven your sins.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.