From Our Hearts to Yours
Give your servant a discerning heart…to distinguish between right and wrong.
1 Kings 3:9
You’ve probably been to a camp or retreat or youth meeting where there was a “sharing time,” a time when those who were brave enough recounted some of the choices they made in their past. Even though the teens who shared were no longer living back in their past, they could still see, remember, and taste the consequences of their choices — both the good and the bad. Their sharing may have included phrases like…
- I wandered off the path…
- I fell away from the Lord…
- I got sidetracked in sin…
- I lost my first love…
- I strayed from the truth…
- I made some wrong decisions…
- I got in with the wrong crowd…
Well, you know what happened, don’t you? Somehow, at some time, for some reason, they made a wrong choice. Maybe it was just a little lie. Just a little shading of what is right. Just a little bending of a rule. And eventually, as this happens again and again, there comes a day when making wrong choices becomes all too easy. By then, their life has become a mess.
I’m sure you already know your actions are a matter of choice. Sure, some choices are made for you. They are out of your control, and are made by those who are responsible for you…like your parents, your teachers, your coaches, and your youth leaders. But many choices each day — and almost each minute of the day — are yours to make. They are a matter of your will. You get to decide what you will or won’t do, how you will or won’t act. You make the choices, which means you can’t blame anyone else for what happens next.
As you prepare to make the tough choices, pray. Then make the choice God wants you to make—the one that leads you to living your life God’s way.
Drawn from A Young Man’s Guide to Making Right Choices by Jim George. Young men will enjoy Jim’s balance of biblical insight, personal anecdotes, and candid forthrightness. Plus, they’ll gain the skills they need to make right choices in response to all the challenges that come their way.
Jesus expects you to live for Him. The Christian faith isn’t about dying—it’s about living! If Jesus is your Savior, you are no longer alone, for He now lives in you. He is your power for living and your hope for the future. His Spirit in you empowers you moment by moment to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Jesus told His disciples that if they loved Him, they would keep His commandments.
Living for Jesus means you willingly choose to follow His commands. Where do you find those commands? Read through the Gospels on a regular basis. Take note of what Jesus said about living for God. Read about how Jesus responded to the pressures of daily life. In His Word, the Bible, Jesus has provided help for you to live the Christian life. It will guide you like a lamp shining in the darkest of nights.
Living for Jesus requires a willful effort on your part, and all the resources you need are available to you. Are you ready for the challenge?
Drawn from The 50 Most Important Teachings of the Bible by Jim George. This helpful resource highlights key teachings every believer should know. With great clarity and simplicity, this book focuses on the most essential elements of the faith that’ll strengthen and encourage you!
“I’d feel so much better if I knew the plan. I’d rest if I knew exactly what God had in mind for my life.”
How well do you manage when it comes to trusting God? Do you rest in Him to take care of your need for food and clothing? Or do you live in fear that perhaps He won’t? Do you trust God to supply instruction, encouragement, protection, love, and friendship? Or do you fret about some perceived inability on God’s part to care for you?
Psalm 23:1 begins with “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” When God oversees your days and nights, you will not be in need of anything. If you’re single, God will provide. If you’re childless, God will provide. If you’re a widow, God will provide. Trust in Him. Relax in Him. Rest in HIm. And enjoy the sweet rest that faith provides.
Lord, when I’m scared, tired, worried, or feeling aimless,
I know that You care about me and every aspect of my life.
You keep watch over Your flock night and day.
You are my shepherd.
I will never be in need.
Drawn from A Woman’s Daily Walk with God by Elizabeth George. This devotional is filled with practical wisdom and encouragement, sure to bring direction and stability to your day. These daily reminders will help you draw near to the Lord so that you find the strength, peace, and confidence you need for both the everyday moments and bigger challenges of life.
From the start of Abraham’s journey with God and throughout his life, Abraham built altars as he moved through the land God promised to him. He offered sacrifices on those altars and prayed to God (Genesis 12:8 and 13:4). Those altars of worship, set up in the midst of a pagan world, served as a public witness to Abraham’s commitment to the one true God.
Today prayer testifies to our faith in God. Building an altar and praying were to Abraham what “giving a blessing” over our food in a busy restaurant represents for us today. Everyone sees you pray! By this one act you make a statement: “I owe my food—and my life—to the providence and provision of God. I am one of His people. And I am acknowledging my dependence on Him, even down to the very food I eat.”
Have you publicly shown your devotion to God today?
Drawn from Knowing God Through Prayer by Jim George, in which he shares the keys to meaningful communion with God. We could all benefit from some guidance on how to pray with more fervor and faithfulness. And there are no better prayer mentors than the men and women of the Bible. They talked with God and touched His heart. Get to know them through this great resource!