Encouragement for Teens

How to Slow Down – Teen Tuesday

Slow down

 

Moms and Grandmothers, today’s devo is designed for you to share with your daughter to have a conversation about how to slow down to spend time with God.

Have you ever felt nervous…fidgety…on edge… cranky? And even though you didn’t want to act the way you were, you kept on stomping through your day, lashing out at everybody who crossed your path? Well, take heart! You’re not alone!

This happened to Martha, a woman in the Bible. She got too involved in the activities of her life. In all her busyness, Martha didn’t take time to enjoy Jesus and worship Him when He came to visit.

Are you thinking, I would never ignore Jesus if He came to my house! But imagine how easy it is to go about your day without lifting up a prayer, without doing devotions, without serving Jesus, without thanking Him. You’re missing out!

Put aside the busyness and chaos of school, pressures, and worries. Totally enjoy time with the Lord.

RESPOND

Lord, I love You. I want to hang out with You. Life gets crazy sometimes. I want the peace of Your love. I want the joy of being in Your presence. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

A Girl After God’s Own Heart Coloring Book – NEW RELEASE! This beautiful and fun coloring book will help your daughter meditate on powerful Scripture verses included on each page.

REFLECT

“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things,  but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:41-42)

What can you say no to today so you can say yes to time with God?

REMEMBER

All our time is better spent when some of our time is spent in God’s Word.

God Will Lead You – Tween Tuesday

lead

Moms and Grandmothers, today’s devotional is as a tool for you to share with your tween girl to have a conversation about God & His Word.

Did you know that God has a treasure for those who choose to follow Him? Matthew 6:21 says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

When it comes to treasure, you have a choice to make. You can choose to look for the things you want and think are important, or you can let God direct you to the treasure He has for you—a life of fabulous blessings especially for you. What’s really neat is that God’s treasure isn’t hidden. And it’s not hard to find.

As you go through each day and follow God’s path, He will lead you step by step to discover the many treasures He has just for you along the way!

RESPOND

God, please help me to make Your treasure my treasure, to focus the wants, dreams, and desires of my heart on You. I want You to be the most valuable prize in my life. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES
A Girl After God’s Own Heart Coloring Book
NEW RELEASE! This beautiful and fun coloring book will help your daughter meditate on powerful Scripture verses included on each page.

You Always Have a Friend in Jesus (50% off when you order the Coloring Book!) – Your daughter will grow in confidence, faithfulness, and joy as she discovers her friendship with Jesus.

REFLECT

Memorize Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

REMEMBER

God’s treasure isn’t hidden. And it’s not hard to find.

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

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.

Add You Always Have a Friend in Jesus for Girls for 50% OFF when you PRE-ORDER this wonderful coloring book today!

REFLECT

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

REMEMBER

Playing Favorites – Teen Tuesday

favorites

You probably already know about favoritism from your experiences at school, in your neighborhood, and maybe even in your family. You can tell when someone is clearly the teacher’s pet! Or when someone is treated with great respect—or just a little.

Judging Others

I just love this true confession written by a teen who looked inside his heart and learned to accept others and not play favorites or show partiality. As you read it, ask yourself, “Am I an unfair judge?”

A new kid came to our school last year, and he was a little on the heavy side.
No one gave him a chance to show what kind of person he was;
instead, everyone judged him by his weight. Unfortunately, I did too.
Later in the year, many of us got to know him better, and he turned out to be really cool.
I felt so guilty about the way we acted earlier, and I wish we hadn’t judged him because of his appearance.

I’m sure everybody has treated someone unfairly at one time or another.
And most of us can be kind of shallow and sometimes judge people by how they look. But God is never shallow.
He cares about all of us—not because of what we look like, but because of who we are… 

You can thank God for the unique way he’s made you and for the way he’s made other people too. —Spencer  1

Accepting Others

There’s no doubt that playing favorites causes mountains of problems, hurt feelings, and broken friendships. It’s no wonder that James boldly says in James 2, verse 1, “Believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” It’s like James is saying, “Do not show partiality! Do not play favorites!” In plain language, he is telling us, “Stop it!”

Instead, be kind and compassionate. Your acts of mercy and your kindness are proof that you follow Christ. As a child of God and a believer in Christ, you have experienced God’s mercy. Therefore you can and should be merciful toward others.

RESPOND

Jesus, thank You that You love me—yes, me!—just as I am. Thank You for helping me to love all people the same and to be merciful to those who need some help. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Living Your Faith (NEW RELEASE!) will help your tween daughter, age 8-12, understand what God’s Word is saying and how it applies to everyday life.

REFLECT

“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.” (James 2:8)

Why is showing favoritism wrong?

  • It is the opposite of what Jesus told us to do.
  • It results from evil thoughts.
  • It insults people made in God’s image.
  • It comes from selfish motives.
  • It goes against the Bible’s definition of love.
  • It shows a lack of mercy to those less fortunate. It is sin.  2

REMEMBER

 

 1 “Unfair Judges” in God’s Words of Life for Teens (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000), p. 15.
2 Grant R. Osborne, ed., James (Life Application Bible Commentary) (Wheaton; Tyndale House, 1992), p. 52.

Managing Your Money – Teen Tuesday

money

Have you ever saved any money in a piggy bank at home or a savings account at a bank? Maybe your parents give you an allowance. Maybe you sell crafts or jewelry you’ve made. Maybe you even get birthday or Christmas money from your grandparents… Sweet!

Where’s Your Heart?

There are a lot of ways you can earn money. Jesus wants us to focus our hearts on heaven, not on earth, where our worldly treasures are. He wants us to know that everything we have on earth will one day be gone, and those earthly things cannot do anything for us in eternity, in heaven. The truth is, we won’t even need those earthly treasures in heaven!

Jesus gives us a principle to live by in Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In other words, if your treasure is in heaven, that’s where your heart will be!

Just a note: It’s not wrong to make or have money. In fact, there are many commands in the Bible that tell us to work hard, take care of our family’s needs, earn money, use it wisely, and give to the poor. But we are definitely not to love money.

Where to Spend & Save

Whatever money you have, you are responsible for its use. You have decisions to make about what to do with your money. The Bible says, you need to…

  • Manage it—know where your money comes from and where it goes.
  • Give some of it at church.
  • Keep your eyes, ears, and heart open to good causes and to people in need.
  • Save some of it.
  • Spend some of it—for gifts, for something special you’ve saved up for.
  • Include your parents in your plans and decisions. They have years of wisdom and experience in managing money. They have probably even learned a few things the hard way and will be happy to guide and guard you.

In your heart, focus instead on what you already have. Give thanks from your heart to God for how He has blessed you. Pray from your heart each day—and often through the day—for your challenges and for others. And open your heart as you live in a world where most people have less than you have.

RESPOND

Jesus, thank You for teaching me that what money I have, I must take care of and use carefully. Help me to think—and pray—before I spend. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Living Your Faith (NEW RELEASE!) will help your tween daughter, age 8-12, understand what God’s Word is saying and how it applies to everyday life.

REFLECT

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

Do I pray about saving and spending in a wise way?

REMEMBER

Teen Tuesday – Growing Your Girl In God’s Wisdom

wisdom

If you’re like most people, you need wisdom just about every time you turn around! When someone says or does something that hurts you, you need wisdom to know what to do or say— or what not to do or say! When you are invited to go somewhere or do something that your parents would not approve of, or when you’re not sure what to do, you need wisdom to know how to answer. You need wisdom for so many things—and you always will.

Happy to Hear It

Well, you’ll be happy to hear that James has some lessons and great advice for dealing with your tough times and trials. (And don’t forget, you can always ask your parents what to do about your problems.)  Read James 1:5 and fill in the blanks below.

“If any of you lacks __________________, you should ask __________,

who gives generously to _________ without finding _________,

and it will be _________ to ________.”

Help is on The Way

When you ask, your blessing will be wisdom that comes from God—which is always perfect. God knows you need help, and He enjoys giving it to you. As verse 5 tells you, all you have to do is ___________!

RESPOND

Lord Jesus, when I’m confused and worried about what to do, please remind me to pray—to just ASK You for wisdom! I love You, Jesus! Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Living Your Faith (NEW RELEASE!) will help your tween daughter, age 8-12, understand what God’s Word is saying and how it applies to everyday life.

REFLECT

What exciting truth do you learn in verse 5 about God’s response to your prayers?

REMEMBER

Teen Tuesday – Counting Our Blessings

blessings

One reason I love the book of James is that it has a lot of lists that help us with our daily trials and challenges. In James 1:3-12 you’ll see a list of benefits or blessings or lessons that come from going through trials. Let’s look at two (look up these verses and fill in the blanks below)!

Blessing #1 (verse 3) Perseverance

“…you know that the ____________ of ____________ __________ produces [or develops] _______________.”

“Perseverance” is a long word that describes the strength God is building in you when you face tough times. God is right there with you to help you! Perseverance gives you what you need to hang in there until you make it through your problem, until you make it to the end.

Do you know the children’s story called The Little Engine That Could? You probably remember that the engine had a tough time pulling the train up steep hills. But he persevered. As he chugged along, he kept saying, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

My friend, God gives you His power and grace so you can say, “I know I can make it through this problem”—because He is producing perseverance in you.

Blessing #2 (verse 4) Spiritual Growth

“Let perseverance _______________ its __________ so that you may be ____________ and ____________, not lacking _________________.”

Has anyone—maybe a parent or older brother or sister— ever said to you, “Why don’t you just grow up?”  Well, James is telling us that when we let perseverance finish its work in us, we grow up spiritually. When you do your work chores or when you practice your instrument or sport over and over, you are experiencing the blessing of becoming “mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

God does not ask you or any of His people to understand our trials. But He does want us to trust Him and His wisdom and His plan for us. When you do this—when you trust God with your problems—you will find joy in Him, joy in His promises, and joy in His perfect will for your wonderful, special, unique life!

RESPOND

Lord Jesus, You already know I’ve got problems! Help me to face them and to persevere through them. I want to grow up in my love for You and my family. I love You, Jesus! Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Living Your Faith (NEW RELEASE!) will help your tween daughter, age 8-12, understand what God’s Word is saying and how it applies to everyday life.

REFLECT

After reading James 1:1-12, how can these verses help me live out your faith?

REMEMBER

Teen Tuesday – Taming My Tongue

Taming My Tongue

I can never read James 3 without laughing out loud. That’s because of a super crazy lesson about taming the tongue my two daughters experienced in their Sunday school class at church. Pastor Eric was leading the kids in his class through James, chapter 3, and he especially wanted them to learn how awful the words they speak can be.

So off Pastor Eric went to the supermarket, where he made a curious purchase in the fresh meat department. He bought a huge, slimy, bloodred, five-pound cow tongue!

Ewww!

And sure enough, at church on Sunday, Pastor Eric unwrapped the cow tongue and passed it around to everyone in the class. He told the kids to look at it. To smell it. To touch it!

I’m sure you can image the responses. “Ugh!” “Gross!” “Nasty!” A few kids even said, “I’m going to throw up!”

I’m guessing Pastor Eric was smiling and fist-pumping in his heart, thinking, “Yes! Point made!” Then he had the group open their Bibles, and they all read and discussed how terrible the tongue is—and the damage their words can do to others without taming their tongue.

Every Word

The Bible teaches us that every person alive has a big problem with their mouth and their words. “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing…this should not be.” (James 3:10) But God’s Word also tells us what do to about our tongue—and how to tame it (see the Respond section below).

Every day when you wake up, ask God to help you live in a way the blesses Him and helps people. One sure way to do this is with your words! These three steps will help you in taming your tongue:

Think before you speak.
Better yet, pray before you speak!
And if you get angry, don’t say a word.

Lord, I know how it feels to be hurt by something someone says, and I don’t want to do that anymore. Please give me words that are kind and encouraging to others. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Living Your Faith: will help your tween daughter, age 8-12, understand what God’s Word is saying and how it applies to everyday life. Pre-order a copy today (coming out in April) and receive 3 FREE GIFTS for your girl!

RESPOND

Here are two instructions from God’s heart to yours. Underline what these verses tell you to say—and not say—with your tongue.

  • “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
  • “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.” (1 Peter 3:10)

REMEMBER

Ignoring Instagram – Teen Tuesday

Ignoring Phone

The mind is an amazing thing. It can carry on thousands of functions at the same time. Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes that’s not so good. For instance, when you check your phone while your parent is talking to you … that’s bad! There you are, right in front of them, and yet you’re thinking about something totally different.

Checking Out

What’s even more amazing than the mind’s capacity to wander is that your mom can tell when you’re not listening. How do they do that?! We think we’re clever. We nod at what we think is the right moment … yet they still catch us checking our phone.

Staying Focused 

Why is it so hard for us to focus? Here are just a few reasons. One is that we’re bombarded with entertainment, things, stuff. Phones have 100 different apps, games, and texting. Another is busyness. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against being busy. But we have to make time for others between extracurricular activities, practices, and hobbies.

Ignoring Instagram

When you’re with your family or hanging out with friends, the loving thing to do is be all there, both mentally and physically. This will take some concentration and effort on your part. But we’ll follow God’s Word—“Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10)—when we train ourselves to ignore Instagram (at least for our conversations with others) and devote our full attention on others when we’re with them.

RESPOND

Dear Lord, please help me put real energy toward giving my full attention to the people I’m with. I want to honor them. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES
A Young Woman’s Walk with God offers wisdom for teens on how to develop godly qualities and please God in the midst of peer pressure, school activities, and physical changes.

Print out this FREE Prayer for Living After God’s Own Heart PDF!

REFLECT
“Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10)

How often do I check my phone when I’m in the middle of a face-to-face conversation with my family or friends? Is this honoring the person I’m speaking with?

REMEMBER

Teen Tuesday: Dating “A-List”

dating

The choices you make about dating will be some of the most important ones you make in your life. That’s why you should make plans now for when you may date in the future. Wait to date until you’re ready to look for a life partner. But until then, let’s do some homework.

Make a list of ideal qualities for your future spouse.
You can find these in the Bible. God’s Word has a lot to say about a godly woman’s character (see Proverbs 31).
And about a godly guy’s character (1 Timothy 6:11). Take your time to read and study these biblical standards.

Next, ask for God’s help to allow you to spot these qualities
in the lives of the girls or guys in your church or youth group.

And last, remember to ask for your parents’ advice.
Then, with all this input, make your “A list” of things you’d like in a person you will date.

Keep your list handy when you’re ready to date. Refer back to your list when you start the dating process, when you meet someone, and when you think you’re in love. These godly standards will be a useful guide for choosing the right person to date.

Meanwhile, while you are waiting and looking, prepare yourself to match the qualities on your list. Allow God to work on your godly characteristics. And remember to be patient …some qualities take years to develop.

A PRAYER TO PRAY
Dear Lord, please help me control my personal purity. Give me wisdom to do what is necessary to keep myself pure in body, soul, mind, and spirit. I will wait patiently wait for Your best to arrive. Amen.

MORE ENCOURAGEMENT
If you wish to encourage your son or daughter about additional teen-life issues, you will find a great resource in A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices or A Young Man’s Guide to Making Right Choices.

REFLECTION
“… pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11b)

Teens: What’s on my “A-List” of dating qualities?
Parents: What qualities do I desire the most in the person my teen will date? Have I shared these qualities with my teen?

REMEMBER
Godly standards are a useful guide for choosing the right person to date.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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