If you are a Christian, your eternal address is the new heaven and earth, not this one. That's why you might feel like a foreigner here sometimes. If you have ever visited another country you might have felt unfamiliar with the food, smells, clothing, language, and customs there. The culture, values and customs of this world are different to those of the Spirit. In fact, they are the complete opposite. Galatians 5: 16-17 says, If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should.
Galatians 5:19-21 lists the customs of this world.
People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well.
Galatians 5:22-23 lists the customs of those of faith.
God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, 23 gentle, and self-controlled.
As you can see - they are the complete opposite. We need to be careful that we don't start following the customs of the world. Instead we need to be radically different to the world. The main thing that should set us apart is our love. John 13:35 says, All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.
When people look at you can they tell that you're a spiritual foreigner?
John 15:15 says, I don’t call you servants now. A servant does not know what his master is doing. But now I call you friends because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father.
It is so amazing that the God who made the universe, who hung the stars in the sky and created the mountains and oceans, wants to be friends with me. He doesn't choose his friends based on how attractive they are, or how much money they earn. In John 15:14 Jesus says, You are my friends if you do what I command you.
Romans 5:10-11 says, We were God's enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God's friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ's life! But that is not all; we rejoice because of what God has done through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God's friends.
Before you become a Christian you are God's enemy because you do what you want, not what God wants. When you become a Christian, you do what God wants, because you love him. You are counted as God's friend because Jesus died for you.
When we decide to follow Jesus we become a new creation. God's Holy Spirit moves in and helps transform us. This process is both immediate and lifelong all at the same time. We immediately become children of God but our transformation into the likeness of Christ takes a lifetime.
Romans 8:5 says, Those who live following their sinful selves think only about things that their sinful selves want. But those who live following the Spirit are thinking about the things that the Spirit wants them to do.
This new creature that we become thinks less about our sinful selves and more about what God wants us to do. And what does God want us to do, you ask? Here is a very simplified list:
Is there a particular area of your life that you think God is challenging to you transform to be more like Jesus?
Psalm 139:14 in the International Children's Bible says, I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
Here are some different translations of Psalm 139:14
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! (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.
Humans are incredibly amazing beings—made up of a spirit, soul and body. Here are four fun facts about the body from https://brightside.me:
God made you in an awesome, wonderful, complex, marvellous way. You can sing, dance, run, jump, think, create, love and so many other things. God created you like this to love him and love others. How will you use all the amazing things you're capable of to do this?
Genesis 1:27 says, So God created humans in his own image. He created them to be like himself.
Unfortunately, since sin entered the world through Adam and Eve's disobedience, we have been torn between our sinful nature and our spiritual nature.
Colossians 3:9-10 says, You have given up your old way of life with its habits. Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand him better.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
We were made like God, but our sin has deformed and distorted our God-likeness. Thankfully, because Jesus died and rose again to take our sin, we are being transformed to be like our creator again. Transformation often takes time and effort. How are we transformed to be more like Christ? We read and study the Bible, we pray, we fast, we worship, etc.
Ephesians 2:5 says, You have been saved by God’s grace. When Adam and Eve sinned, humankind was condemned to a life of separation from God. Romans 5:19 says, One man disobeyed God, and many became sinners. But in the same way, one man obeyed God, and many will be made right. That one man was Jesus. He died and rose again so that we could be saved. We cannot save ourselves. Romans 3:23 says, All people have sinned and are not good enough for God’s glory. Praise God that chapter doesn't end there. Verse 24 says, People are made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. Grace is getting what we don't deserve. What we deserve is death but what we get is eternal life with God—how awesome is that!
Ephesians 2:4 says that, God is rich in mercy, and he loved us very much.
Here are some Bible verses that tell us how much God loves us:
His love is so great it can't be understood
And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love. I pray that you can understand how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than any person can ever know. But I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.
We can't be separated from his love
Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from the love God has for us. Not death, not life, not angels, not ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us, nothing below us, or anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He gave us hope and comfort
2 Thessalonians 2:17
God loved us. Through his grace he gave us a good hope and comfort that continues forever.
He adopted us as children
1 John 3:1
The Father has loved us so much! He loved us so much that we are called children of God.
He sent Jesus to die for us
1 John 4:9
This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his only Son into the world to give us life through him.
His love takes away fear
1 John 4:18
Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear.
God loves us unconditionally. There is nothing that you can do to make him love you more, and nothing you can do that will make him love you less. You are loved—full stop!
Ephesians 1:11 says, In Christ we were chosen to be God's people. Being a Christian involves you choosing God, and God choosing you. It's a bit like getting married—the bride and groom choose each other.
1 Peter 2:9 says, But you are his chosen people, the King’s priests. You are a holy nation, people who belong to God. He chose you to tell about the wonderful things he has done. He brought you out of the darkness of sin into his wonderful light.
You are chosen for a purpose. The verse above says that you are chosen to be:
God has chosen you for a purpose and a plan. In general, it is to love God and to love others. I believe he also has specific things for you to do. He will reveal these to you at the right time—you just need to be ready to listen. How can you love God today? How can you love others today? What else has God chosen you to do?
We have forgiveness of sins because of God's rich grace.
God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. His Son paid the price to free us, which means that our sins are forgiven.
Even though humankind has been rebellious and sinful since creation, God loves us so much that he has forgiven us. It cost him dearly though—his son, Jesus, died in our place so that we could be forgiven.
It's like when your dog escapes and is caught by the ranger who takes it to the pound. You have to pay a fee to have him released. Spiritually we were stuck in the pound, but God came and paid the fee so that we could be released.
In Ephesians 1:7 Paul said, In Christ, we are made free by his blood sacrifice. He is referring to the fact that we are free from the consequence of sin, which is death. Instead we are free to spend eternity with God, because Jesus paid the price for us. Galatians 5:13-14 says, You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself." This freedom is not so that we can do anything we like, because we know God will forgive us.
Many people view Christianity as legalistic and full of rules and commandments to obey. Paul is saying there is only one rule, and that is to love others. We are free from the Old Testament rules and regulations. If you want an insight into these, take a look at the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. We are free from the punishment we deserved—separation from God. We are free from pleasing others because we only need to please God. We are free from trying to live by the world's standards—we are simply called to love God and love others. We are free from the fear of an uncertain future because we know that we will spend eternity with God. We are free from guilt and shame, because the blood of Jesus covers all our sin.
So, be free.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.