From Our Hearts to Yours

A Friend in Jesus – Teen Tuesday

jesus

It’s always good to know the person who says he or she wants to be your friend. So let’s take a few minutes and have some fun in God’s Word as we get to know J-E-S-U-S.

J esus is the Son of God.

Many kids—and adults too— get confused when Jesus is called “the Son of God.” They think this means that He was not God, but was only God’s Son, which makes them think that He is someone less than God. But read the verse below and answer this question:

According to John 20:31, what is the purpose of the book of John? “These [things—the words and messages in the Gospel of John] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.”  According to the rest of John 20:31, what is the result of believing Jesus is the Son of God? “…that by believing you may have life in his name.” Jesus, who was God in human flesh, wants to be your friend. That’s pretty cool, right? Actually, that’s epic! What else did Jesus do? Read on to discover that He…

E ntered this world as a baby.

You [Mary] will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus (Luke 1:31). Once Jesus was born, He was a human person, like you and me. But He was also God, which means Jesus possessed a perfect, sinless nature. He was and is 100 percent God and 100 percent man. Jesus also…

S acrificed Himself for His friends.

It takes a very special friend to be willing to die for another person. And yet that is what Jesus said He was willing to do. How did He demonstrate His love for His friends—and you—according to Romans 5:8? God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

U nites His friends with God’s heavenly family.

Jesus wants to be your friend, but with that friendship comes an additional relationship. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure (Ephesians 1:5). When He becomes your friend, He comes to live in your heart!

S ecures eternal life for His friends.

Jesus offers His friends eternal life. Eternal means lasting forever. What do you need to do to receive this life that has no ending? God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him [Jesus] shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Do you believe that Jesus is God and that He died for your sins? If so, God the Father wants you as a friend for His Son!

RESPOND

Dear Lord, it’s hard to make a friend and to be a friend. Thank You for wanting to be my friend. I’m so glad that I can receive You into my heart and be Your friend even before we meet in heaven. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Girl After God’s Own Heart Coloring Book: As your daughter adds her own creative touches to these beautifully designed quotes, she’ll also meditate on powerful Scripture verses included on each page.

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REFLECT

Write out one thing you liked, learned, or want to do after discovering that Jesus wants to be your forever friend.

REMEMBER

Being a Godly Father

Dad

If you are a dad, you are part of an exciting exclusive club. However you came to be your children’s dad and whatever the circumstances, you are their dad. Being a father is one of the greatest privileges God extends to you. But this role also bears the greatest of responsibilities

Influencing Your Kid’s Heart

Your children are yours to influence for good or evil. Your example will mark them for life. Maybe you need to get down on your knees and ask God to give you His wisdom to do whatever is necessary to be a dad after God’s own heart. And even better is to do this every day.

Influencing Your Father Heart

Additionally, here are 4 small steps that make a big difference in helping you become a godly father—a father after God’s own heart.

  1. Love your wife. The most important step you can take as a dad is to love your wife. This may not be your easiest step. But it will be the one that goes the farthest in modeling God the Father’s love for His children.
  2. Affirm in your heart that you are in the faith—that you are in Christ. If you are, you have access to all the help you will ever need to be God’s kind of dad.
  3. Make sure you are growing spiritually. God wants you to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Because spiritual growth is a command, that means you have a choice. If you want to be a dad after God’s own heart, you will want to choose to grow spiritually. So carve out some time each day to spend with your heavenly Father.
  4. Don’t make excuses for not reading your Bible. Getting into God’s Word is an obvious step for all things spiritual—including being a dad. I’ve heard a lot of men say, “I have to be at work really early.” Or “I don’t understand the Bible.” Or “I don’t know where to start.” Yet if something is truly important to you, you’ll find a way to fit it into your busy schedule, and you’ll take time to learn how to do it. Not only does a Christian man, husband, and father need to spend time with God daily, but he should want to.

RESPOND

Dear Lord, help me represent You, our heavenly Father, to my children—I want to display Your love, devotion, discipline, and caring well. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Man After God’s Own Heart-Devotional: These quick devotionals by Jim George will spur the dads in your life on to be men after God’s own heart!

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REFLECT

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

In what ways do I need to grow in the Lord to grow as a godly father?

REMEMBER

How to Make Good Choices

Choices

Who is the most important guest you have ever had in your home for dinner? Well, just imagine what a stir was caused when Jesus and His disciples showed up for dinner at the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Martha went immediately into high gear and tore into preparing food for her VIP guests. At some point Martha became frustrated. Without thinking, she complained to Jesus because Mary, her sister and helper, was sitting at His feet listening to Him while He taught instead of assisting with the serving.

The Good Stuff

Sure, preparations for dinner needed to be made. And 12 guests for dinner is a houseful! But this is how Jesus evaluated Mary’s choice to stop her busy serving, sit at His feet, and listen to Him: “Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (verse 42). It’s sort of like Jesus was saying, “Listen, Martha, you have all your life to fix and serve food, but today you have Me. Don’t berate your sister. Mary made a most excellent choice.”

I’m sure you already know your actions are a matter of choice. You also know that some choices are made for you because they are out of your control. But multitudes of choices arrive with each new day which are yours to make. And these choices, my friend, are a matter of your will. You get to decide what you will or won’t do, how you will or won’t act.

Guidelines to Make Right Choices

The following guidelines will help you proceed through your day, confident that you are seeking to make the right choices.

  • Treat each day as being important. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
  • Acknowledge your need for wisdom—and ask for it! “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
  • Develop a deep respect for God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
  • Maintain a vital relationship with Jesus. “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Ephesians 1:17).
  • Pay any price for the truth. “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23).

RESPOND

Dear Lord, please help make the decision-making process clearer for me. When I am faced with a choice to make, help me know to either do it or don’t do it. Thank You for Your wisdom. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

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REFLECT

“Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)
How often do I carve out time in my schedule to sit with the Lord and with others?

REMEMBER

3 Easy Ways to Help Your Marriage

marriage

I tried to learn how to play golf several times in my twenties, but I was never good at it. But I have often talked to real—and good—golfers who have said that whenever they start playing badly, they go back to the fundamentals of the game. Somewhere along the way, their swing or their putting had altered from how they were trained.

Marriage is likely no different. Getting back to those early days in your relationship with your husband may be all that’s needed to solve any problems you might be having. You started out as friends, became best friend, then finally committed to being best friends forever! So beyond praying, what can you do to rekindle your best-friends-forever status with your husband?

Some of these suggestions won’t be possible if your husband is not a Christian or strong in his beliefs. Don’t let that deter you! Keep praying for your husband whether he is a Christian or not.

Pray Together

Suggest to your husband that the two of your start small with brief prayers together. Jim and I keep a short list of people who need prayer. Maybe you can start in this simple way and see what happens.

Work on Common Interests

When you were dating, there was so much you enjoyed doing together. But with marriage, unless you both work at it, you can easily drift apart. Make an effort to do something together that you both enjoy.

Spend Time Alone Together

When our marriage hit the ten-year mark, Jima and I attended a marriage conference. One of the suggestions was that we date every week. We had a ton of excuses—money, time, babysitters, jobs. But we made time together—alone—a priority. Give it a try with your husband.

Your marriage was founded on friendship. Make a plan with your husband to rekindle that bond. There comes a time in every marriage when we need to nurture that friendship “love” spoken of in Titus 2:4.

RESPOND

Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of my husband and our marriage. At times, it feels like we’re just going through the mundane routine of life and that we’ve lost touch with each other. Please help us rekindle our friendship with one another. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband —Discover key Bible passages you can use as a springboard for lifting your husband up to God. Praying the Scriptures brings deeper unity to your marriage relationship and spiritually enriches you as you make it a habit to ask for God’s guidance in your partner’s life.  https://jegeorge.co/2kNdJLm

REFLECT

“…admonish the young women to love their husbands ….” (Titus 2:4)

What is one thing I can do today to rekindle my friendship with my husband?

REMEMBER

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Elizabeth & Jim George


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