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Philippians 3:20 says, But our citizenship is in heaven. This life on earth is just part of the journey. Heaven is where we really belong. Being a citizen of a country gives you special privileges such as:
Being a citizen of a country also comes with responsibilities such as:
No matter what you have done, if you are a Christian and have asked God to forgive your sins, they are forgiven. Full stop. End of story. When I was a teenager, I knew this to be true but I kept getting stuck in guilt and shame. I battled thoughts like:
I'm not good enough
If I'm a 'real' Christian I shouldn't keep committing the same sins
I might as well give up.
But 1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And even more that that, Hebrews 8:12 says that God forgets our sin. And I will forgive the wrongs they have done, and I will not remember their sins.
God is not sitting in heaven wagging his finger at you and shaking his head in disgust. The minute you ask for forgiveness he has forgiven and forgotten your sin. So don't let the lies of Satan keep you stuck in a cycle of guilt and shame. Hold your head up because YOU ARE FORGIVEN!
CHALLENGE: Are there some sins that you need to confess to God? James 5:16 says, Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other. There is great freedom when you confess your sins to someone else too - it's like the power of that sin over you is released. It's not easy, but it's Biblical.
I know that kids who have been adopted have a pretty hard time dealing with the fact that their birth parents didn't want them. But I think it's pretty amazing that someone else would want you in their family so much that they would go to all the time and effort and cost of adopting you. That's exactly what God did for us - he paid the price of sacrificing his only son so that he could adopt us into his family.
It might be pretty awesome to have rich or famous parents, but I am a child of the God who made the universe, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is better than any celebrity or superhero. And my inheritance is eternal life in heaven!!!
When I go shopping I choose what I want to buy carefully because I'm parting with my hard-earned cash. I wanted to buy a new beanie yesterday (it's the middle of winter at the moment). I visited every shop that sold beanies (and some that didn't) until I found one I loved at a price I was willing to pay. I'm happy to report that I found a super-cute navy beanie with a furry pom-pom. You're not a beanie, but God chose you because he loves you. He didn't choose you because you were cheap - the price he paid for you was the life of his son, Jesus.
It's painful when you feel left out, ignored, invisible, alone. When these feelings overwhelm you remember that God chose you. You are not insignificant - you matter. Memorise this verse and meditate on it when you feel worthless.
We have all felt like we are useless at one time in our lives. We've all felt like we're not enough - not young enough, not old enough, not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not popular enough, not confident enough, not intelligent enough, not brave enough etc. I have struggled with feeling insignificant my whole life. I struggled with all the insecurities listed above and felt like God couldn't use me. But the Bible says that he prepared good works for me to do. That's why I'm writing this post - in the hope that even one person might be encouraged. God has good works for you to do too. You don't have to be a famous preacher or musician to be used by God. He is looking for people to work in your school, neighbourhood and street. Ask him how he wants to use you!
PRAYER: Lord, thank you that the Bible says that you prepared good works for me to do. Show me what you want me to do in my family, school and community. Help me to listen to the prompting of your Holy Spirit and to be brave and obedient to do what you ask. Thank you that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in me and helps me. Amen.
Challenge: What good works do you think God is asking you to do?
If you are a Christian - you are saved. Full stop. Your salvation doesn't rely on you being good (thank goodness, because none of us are good enough). We are saved because Jesus paid the price for our sin with his death and resurrection. When I was a young Christian, I felt like I had to earn God's love even though I knew I was saved by grace. I also felt condemned, guilty and ashamed. These are lies are from the evil one. I couldn't understand how God could love me because of my sin. I heard someone say that when God looks at me, he doesn't see my sin, just the blood of Christ. It blew me away!
Prayer: Thank you Father that Jesus died to forgive my sins and that you have forgiven and forgotten them. Help me not to listen to the enemy when he tries to make me feel guilty and ashamed. Thank you that I have been saved by grace. Transform me to be more like Christ. Amen
Psalm 139:14 says, I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way (International Children's Bible).
Here is verse 14 in some different translations.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about (The Living Bible)
Body and soul, I am marvellously made! (The Message paraphrase).
I am fearfully and wonderfully made (New International Versions). Fearfully in this context means that you are in awe of something, not terrified of it.
No matter what version you read it in, the message is the same - God made you in an awesome, amazing, wonderful way. Have you ever thought about how incredible your body is? Here are some amazing facts from National Geographic Kids*:
CHALLENGE: Look up some other amazing facts about your body. Thank God for the amazing and wonderful way you are created.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.