The word holy means set apart, separate from sin. No one can be holy, without God. We don't deserve to spend eternity with God because of our sin. But when you are a Christian, he doesn't see your sin, he just sees the blood of Jesus which covers your sin. It's like throwing a blanket over a mess on the floor - you can't see the mess - just the blanket. Pretty crazy - right!
1 Peter 1:16 says, Be holy, because I am holy. Kids often look like their parents. I look a lot like my Mum. Because God is our Heavenly Father, we should look like him. We should be holy because he is holy. We should try to do the right thing, knowing that if we stuff up and do the wrong thing God will forgive us.
CHALLENGE: What is an area of your life that you need to be holy in? The kind of music you listen to, the tv shows you watch, the friends you hang around with?
To paraphrase John Gill, God's perfect nature, his creation, the blessings we have when he provides what we need, his grace, his reign over heaven and earth show how great he is. Sometimes we're a bit blasé or casual about God. It's good to take time to meditate on how great he is. King David understood the greatness of God and wrote about it in the Psalms. The Israelites often reflected on the greatness of God by remembering what God had done for them. Praise and worship songs often focus on the greatness of God.
In Deuteronomy chapter 7 Moses was reminding the Israelites that they were God's chosen people and that God would keep his promises to those who followed and obeyed him. We all know friends or family members who can't be relied on to do what they say but we can rely on God - he is faithful.
In Exodus 34:6 God said to Moses, I am the Lord God. I am merciful and very patient with my people. I show great love, and I can be trusted. So what does that mean? It means we shouldn't worry about things. Instead, we should pray about them and trust God because he is with us and loves us.
CHALLENGE: What have you been worrying about recently that you need to pray about and trust God with?
God is the God of both angels and men. He is higher than any earthly king or ruler. Sometimes we get a bit casual and forget that God is not just our heavenly father but he is GOD. He owns the universe and requires our respect, love and worship. Deuteronomy 10:17 is part of a speech of Moses to the Israelites when he gave them the Ten Commandments for the second time. (the first set of commandments he smashed when he saw that the Israelites had made a gold statue of a cow and were worshipping it). Deuteronomy 10: 12 says, "Now Israelites, listen! What does the Lord your God really want from you? The Lord God wants you to respect him and do what he says. He wants you to love him and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul."
CHALLENGE: Have you been a bit casual with God? Do you love and serve him with all your heart and soul? Write out your own Psalm or poem of praise telling God how great he is. If you need inspiration read Psalm 136.
There have been many religions and gods since Adam and Eve. Every country has their own creation stories and deities or gods - many of them worship idols and statues. But Christianity is about the one, true, living God (with a capital 'G.'
Holiness is the thing that makes God different to us. He is holy - set apart, sacred, sinless - but we are not. The word holy is mentioned over 600 times in the Bible so it is obviously pretty important. 1 Peter 1:15 says, Be holy in everything you do, just as God is holy. It's impossible for us to be holy in our own strength. We can only be holy through the work of the Holy Spirit in us, making us more like Jesus every day.
Jack Wellman said it well in his article, What is the Biblical definition of holiness - holiness is not the way to Jesus; Jesus is the way to holiness. We can’t get holy by our best efforts. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to make the children of God live holy lives. Read more at What Christians want to know.
This verse is part of a song David sang when God saved him from Saul and his enemies. God might have saved David from his enemies but he has saved us from our sin. No one is perfect (except Jesus) so no one can earn eternal life in heaven.
If you go to the shop to buy a chocolate bar, but you don't have enough money, you can't get it. Salvation is like that - we can't afford it. So Jesus bought it for us. That blows me away. That's like me going to Coles and paying for everyone else's groceries, except we're talking about living for eternity with God, not chocolate bars.
In this Psalm David was crying out to God about his enemies. He opens the Psalm with "God of my praise." David is saying to God, "you've given me a reason to praise you in the past, please give me reason to praise you now."
Praise is an important part of the Christian life. The word praise is used almost 300 times in the Old Testament alone - most of them are in the book of Psalms. What does it mean to praise God? The Oxford Dictionary defines praise as follows:
express warm approval or admiration of;
express one's respect and gratitude towards (a deity), especially in song.
If only we could show the same enthusiasm praising God as we do praising our favourite footy team, actor or music artist - shouting, clapping, cheering, jumping around, raising our hands.
And praise isn't just for Sundays - you can praise God when you're praying, you can sing praise and worship songs seven days a week.
In ancient Hebrew Mauzi means place of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a fortress is a large, strong building or group of buildings that can be defended from attack. What does that mean for us today?
The following verses tell us that God is near to the brokenhearted, to those who call on him and those who come near to him.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call on him.
James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.
We don't always feel near to God but the Bible says that he will never leave us. God is so close that he is living in us. 1 John 4:13 says, We know that we live in God and God lives in us. We know this because he gave us his Spirit.
We come near to God by spending time reading the Bible and talking to him in prayer.
CHALLENGE: Do you feel close to God right now? If not, what are you going to do about it?
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.