Encouragement for Teens

Everyday Beauty

 

Beauty

It’s true. Beauty on the inside counts with God! However, there are a few additional steps we can take to represent Jesus Christ well so that what others see in us honors Him (Titus 2:5).

Dress up—Queen Esther, chose to wear her royal robes into the presence of her husband, the king (Esther 5:1). The Proverbs 31 woman wore silk and purple (Proverbs 31:22). These women dressed with a touch of class, wearing what was right for the occasion and proper in her day and time.

Fix up—You can make an effort to create a pleasing appearance. Think about the people who fill your day. What will they see? Fresh face, hair, and makeup? Clean, wrinkle-free, spot-free, odor-free clothes? A bright smile and a little color here and there?

Clean up—You’ve heard that cleanliness is next to godliness. Plus Proverbs teaches that “ointment and perfume delight the heart” (27:9). Both are pleasant and heartwarming and indicate that someone has gone to the trouble to spruce up.

Look up—Throughout your day look up to the Lord. Pray to Him, think on Him, serve Him, worship Him, do all unto Him, obey Him, and love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). As you are consciously aware of His presence, His beauty will shine through your efforts. And then He is glorified (Matthew 5:16)!

In Beautiful in God’s EyesElizabeth George guides women through the popular Bible verses in Proverbs 31 to show how God defines beauty and reveals His plan for a woman’s success.

Teen Tuesday—Being Friendly Like Jesus

Friendly

Being friendly and approachable is a Jesus quality. You may think, Of course anyone could talk to me or ask something of me. But you may also be sending a message that says you already have enough friends, thank you very much, or you’re too busy to be bothered. Or maybe you’re sending the message that you don’t want any friends.

Stop and think about Jesus’ friendliness. Jesus meant it when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Are you sure you are friendly and approachable? To your family at home? To the people at school, at church, or next door? Is your heart tuned in to those who are new, lonely, not a part of the in crowd—the outsiders?

Ask God to look into your heart. Pray for an approachable spirit that will reflect the heart of Jesus. Be like the One who never refused the cries of anyone who needed a friend and help … including you.

Lord Jesus, thank You that You are always available to me when I’m alone or lonely. I know how good it feels to have a friend like You. I want to reflect Your heart and be a Jesus kind of friend to others. Help me be open and available to others who need Your help through me. Amen.

A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices takes teens through the step–by–step process of making decisions that are life-affirming, godly, and wise in areas that include improving relationships.

Teen Tuesday—The Best Way to Make Decisions

Decisions

Decisions. How many times have you said “Yes!” to something or someone and later wondered, “What was I thinking? Why did I do that?” Was it peer pressure? Or to please others? Maybe to be seen with a special group? Were you afraid to say, “Let me check with my parents” or “I’ll let you know tomorrow”? Did you not have the nerve to say “No”?

We’ve all been there and done that. But God comes to our rescue with examples of how others in the Bible made decisions—the right way and for the right reasons!

  • King Solomon prayed for wisdom … and rose up from prayer to become the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 3:5-12).
  • Nehemiah spent time praying “before the God of heaven” after hearing some very bad news … and rose up knowing exactly what action to take (Nehemiah 1:4-11).
  • Queen Esther fasted three days and nights to prepare to follow God’s will in a life-threatening situation (Esther 4:16… and rose up to do the right thing and boldly made her request to the king.
  • The Lord Jesus sought His Father’s direction as He prayed all night … and rose up and chose the twelve disciples (Luke 6:12-13).

Why not make a new prayer commitment? “From now on, No decision made without prayer!” This prayer principle will guide your life and help you find God’s will for every decision you must make. Prepare yourself each day—and before each decision—so that you, too, rise up and do what’s right and what’s wise.

In A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices, Elizabeth takes teens through the step–by–step process of making decisions that are life–affirming, godly, and wise. Learn more here.

Teen Tuesday—2 Ways to Create Time to Pray

As a growing young woman, you need your rest! But you also need to pray. Two simple acts will help you move forward in beating laziness …and creating time to pray.

time to pray
  1. “Head for bed.” As soon as dinner is over start thinking about getting ready for bed. Finish your work—and homework. Wash your face and brush your teeth. Decide what you’ll wear tomorrow. Get into your pjs and set out your prayer notebook and Bible. Then set your alarm. As a young woman after God’s own heart you are on a mission—to get to bed so you can get up in the morning and meet with God for some precious minutes with Him in prayer—before your super-busy day begins.
  2. “Something is better than nothing.” Yes, the old beloved hymn speaks of the “sweet hour of prayer.” But for you, try for something more realistic. Start with “a sweet five minutes of prayer.” Then, in time, as you began to relish your time spent with your loving heavenly Father in prayer, you will naturally graduate, little by little, to greater lengths of time spent with Him.

Take all your problems to God when you pray—your exams, papers, and schoolwork. Pray about your friends or the lack of friends, your worries about your looks, your relationship with your parents and brothers and sisters—and boys, your dreams for your future. Through prayer, place all things in God’s lap. Ask Him for His help and guidance. Then live your day to the hilt!

A Young Woman’s Guide to Prayer gives step-by-step guidance for experiencing an enthusiastic prayer life.

How You Can be Confident in Christ

Are you confident in Christ? Are you placing your full trust in Jesus or have you lost sight of your identity with Christ? Are you confidently serving your family, raising your children, ministering your spiritual gifts, and being a bold witness with the authority of Christ? There is absolutely no reason for self-doubt or timidity.

confident

Direct your focus on Jesus. You can be confident in His absolute and unlimited authority. He is all you need for a bold, confident life. Why? Because, as He explained to the disciples after His resurrection, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Go with confidence!

Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You protect, sustain, and empower me for my many roles and responsibilities. Thank You that I can live and serve with confidence, knowing You are with me. Great are You, Lord, and greatly to be praised! Amen.

One-Minute Inspirations for Women is full of uplifting devotions with practical everyday wisdom to give busy women …

  • The courage to face every circumstance.
  • Biblical guidelines for setting goals and making important decisions.
  • Experience the reward of a close walk with God.

Teen Tuesday—Handling Anger

Handling Anger

Has anyone ever said you have a short fuse? God’s power and strength will help you hold back your anger and emotions. There are ways to develop your muscles of patience, to lengthen your fuse.

  • Don’t give in to venting your anger. Instead pray on the spot and ask God to give you His patience.
  • Avoid conflicts as much as possible. When things heat up, excuse yourself and walk away.
  • Don’t be the cause of an argument. Think before you speak your responses and react to others.
  • Follow Jesus’ example. First Peter 2:22-23 tells us that Jesus “‘committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.”

God will help you respond like Jesus. When you’re injured by others or flat out annoyed by them, turn your bad temper and your hurt feelings heavenward. With God’s help you’ll have the power of patience. Memorize this verse to help you along:

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
(Proverbs 19:11)

Dear Lord, lead me away from my first response when people are slow, unfair, unjust, or unkind. I need your help to be more like Jesus. Amen.

A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart is an exciting and practical book that will help young women walk in Jesus’ footsteps by cultivating godly attitudes and conduct, following Jesus and His example with confidence, and counting on God’s strength as they grow in Christlike character.

Teen Tuesday—Stop Worrying, Start Praying

replace-worry-with-prayer

Question: What do we worry about most? Answer: About our relationships with our parents, brothers and sisters, friends and acquaintances. And we can’t stop there! Oh no, we’ve also got to worry about relationships with our enemies, about the mean girls—and about knowing what to do and how to handle problem people.

And as if that’s not enough, we worry about what others think of us, what we look like—if we are too fat or too thin, if we are pretty enough. And don’t leave out worrying about boyfriends, dating, the future … nicely topped off with worrying about our school­work and grades, about getting up in front of others, about an upcoming social event.

 So how do you stop worrying? You start praying!

Present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, 
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Present your requests to God. Pray from your heart … and with all your heart! Pray, pray, pray! Keep nothing back, great or small. God wants to hear your every concern! So present them to Him. Leave them in the lap of the Almighty. Let Him wrap you up in the comforting truth that He cares for you and will take care of you..

Check out A Young Woman’s Guide to Prayer for help to stop worrying and start praying!

Teen Tuesday: 12 Encouraging Reasons To Go To Church

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
(Psalm 27:4)

8 teen corner church Elizabeth_George Jim_George blog bp

David—the man who wrote these words—was a man of extreme passion. He loved God. He loved God’s Word. He loved praying to God. And he loved praising God. And he had still another profound passion: going to “the house of the Lord.” In fact, he longed to worship God.

I’m sure your life it filled and overflowing with activities and responsibilities. You’ve got friends to see and talk (or text!) with, places to go, and things galore to do. But, like David, you should want to worship, to go to church, to be with God’s people. It’s a natural response for anyone who loves the Lord with all their heart (Luke 10:27). Weekly worship and fellowship with other believers can—and should—be the highlight of all your activities throughout any week. Think about it—when you go to church, you…

… hear God’s Word—taught and explained
… grow—in your knowledge of the key truths of the Christian faith
… join—together with others in corporate prayer
… worship—God through music
… focus—on others as you pray for those in need around the world
… interact—with other believers
… participate—in something that is 100 percent pure and good
… bond—with others who belong to the Lord
… establish—friendships based on a mutual love for the Lord Jesus
… study God’s Word—for better understanding
… receive wisdom—for the decisions you must make and any problems you face
… learn—how to apply the Word of God to the everyday issues of your life

Where else can you receive all of this… and more? And think about this: Being a young person committed to worship serves as an example to others. When you go to church, your commitment to Christ shows. It’s right out there for your friends and family and everyone to see… and they will be influenced for Christ by it. What a witness!

Teen Tuesday: You Can Always Talk to God!

In many ways prayer is like a cell phone. You can pray anytime you want, anywhere you want, for as long as you want. But unlike a cell, prayer has no fees or roaming charges. Plus you have a direct line to the God of the universe 24/7-24 hours a day, 7 days a week! How’s that for technology? Divine technology, that is! If you’re not praying-or not praying very much-or unsure about how to pray, run through this checklist:

  1. Check your relationship with God. Is there something that’s caused a barrier between you and God? If so, bow your heart and admit it to God. Ask Him to help you do whatever it takes to deal with the obstacles that stand between you and a loving, open relationship with Him—one that enables you to talk to Him about anything and everything.
  1. Check your lifestyle. What… or who… is influencing you? Are you being influenced positively for the things of God? If not, it’s out! Nothing and no one is important enough to endanger your relationship with God and your willingness to talk to Him in prayer.
  1. Check your desire. Prayer will never become a prized habit or spiritual discipline if the main ingredient-desire-is missing. You can know what to do and why to do it, but if you don’t want to do it, it won’t become real in your life.
7 21 teens you-can-talk-to-god prayer Elizabeth_George Jim_George blog b

To grow a heart that prays, start with a choice to pray a few minutes each morning. Graduate little by little to spending more of your 24/7 talking to God. Don’t loose heart. Big things begin small.

Source title: A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices, by Elizabeth George

Be Purposeful in Every Season

The Memorial Day weekend often heralds the beginning of summer. And most importantly to students, it begins the single-digit countdown to – summer vacation!  Oftentimes, summer schedules are hectic with family members shooting like fire-works in every direction for sports, camps, social activities, or college preparation. But, don’t let your summer get away from you!

Whether you stay at home or plan a vacation, set aside a special time for your family to slow down, reflect, and connect. Give everyone plenty of notice, especially if teens are involved. If you’re not a parent, get friends together. When the time comes around, prepare a festive meal, cook-out, go out to dinner, or order in!

Later, gather around and have everyone share what they’ve done in the past three months that was fun and meaningful. Share what plans they have for the next three months.  Encourage each person to share a goal or a dream… and be supportive. Dreams aren’t always based on current reality.

Talk about the childhood antics of the kids, how you grew up and spent your summers. Share your faith experience… and let others share theirs. End your time together by drawing people’s names out of a hat and committing to doing two nice things for that person this summer.

Time keeps on ticking, and seasons seem to go by in an instant! Be purposeful to pause and develop the relationships that will last a lifetime!

A Prayer to Pray:

Lord, You’ve given me a wonderful family and awesome friends. I delight in being with these people You’ve given me to cherish…and I especially delight in You. Amen.

To discover more insights into experiencing the peace and purpose of a committed and enduring faith, pick up a copy of my One-Minute Inspirations for Women.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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