Teen Devotional

//Teen Devotional
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Jesus Came to Testify to the Truth

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18:36-37

Why did Jesus come into this world?  One reason was to speak the truth.

We live in a world ignorant about God, ignorant about righteousness and sin, ignorant about successful living. Jesus came into this world to speak truth. His kingdom is established, not by arms, but by truth.

In […]

Scorning the Shame

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:2

The world is attempting to press us into a mold. One of the strategies people use is shame. The Bible was written in an honor/shame culture. Shame is a commodity given by a group to enforce certain behavior. We should feel shame when we are guilty before God. But there are things for which we should not feel shame. Indeed peer pressure by other kids often attempts to shame our young people into doing non-Christian activities. “You don’t drink? You don’t do drugs? Don’t […]

Teen Devotional|

Painful Love and Forgiveness

Blessed are those that mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

Our families will never be perfect. We will sin against each other and be sinned against. Relationships invariably involve pain. That is the way of love. How we choose to react to that pain will depend on our perspective.

C. S. Lewis makes clear that the choice is between loving and having a hard heart.

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in […]

Puritan Activities to Encourage Spiritual Growth

At this time of year, it is appropriate to remember our spiritual (and perhaps physical) forefathers.  New England’s first white settlers were those who separated from the worldy Church of England (Separatists).  These “Pilgrims” landed in 1620.  Another group tried to purify the worldy Church of England (Puritans).  But a mere ten years later, the colony was infused with a great migration of Puritans who had finally given up on the Church of England.  Two thousand Puritans emigrated in 1630 alone.  Both of these groups brought with them a rich emphasis on the daily walk of the believer. We can do well to imitate them.  The following notes are from Christian History Magazine, Issue 41,

The Puritans sought a living relationship with Jesus Christ through public worship and private “devotions.”  Private devotions took place in secret exercises, private conferences, family devotions, and private […]

Do You Feel the Sacrifice of the Incarnation?

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

I dont know about you but I cannot grasp that grace.

Several years ago, I came across a story in National Geographic (June 2003) that has stayed with me. In it, I begin to feel the incarnation in a minuscule way. Perhaps it will affect you too.

It is a story about people like Dinesh Parmar. One of 10,000 Bhangis in Ahmadabad, Parmar earns money by manually cleaning latrines, sewers, and gutters and by removing dead animals from the streets. He is a Bhangi, a member of the Untouchable caste.

In India there are 5 castes- levels […]

Handling Temptation Like Joseph

But Joseph refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he was entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. Gen 39:8-10

We are daily faced with temptations. Some are small, some are large. All threaten us. Some will destroy God’s plan for our life. Joseph, a young man in his early twenties, was faced with a […]

Teen Devotional|

From Slave to Free Soldier: A Metaphor of the Christian Life from Rhode Island

As a young man, James Mitchell Varnum hated the slave trade that occurred in American colonies. As a general in the Continental Army, he wanted to do something but what? The need for more men in the army provided the perfect opportunity.

In February of 1778, the Rhode Island Assembly acted upon a suggestion made by General George Washington and General Varnum. “Every able-bodied negro, mulatto or Indian man slave” that chose to do so could enlist in the 1st Rhode Island Regiment. “Every slave so enlisting shall…be immediately discharged from the service of his master or mistress, and be absolutely free.”

By a legal act, any slave that wanted to, could walk away from his slave master and enter into the Continental Army. He would be a […]

Teen Devotional|

Teenage Obedience and Humility

Some thoughts for teens in your life.

He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death. Phil 2:8 ESV

How do we humble ourselves practically?

This verse makes clear that one way we humble ourselves is by obeying. By obeying even when it hurts. It is an act of humility to lower ourselves and place someone above us.

Of course, God has placed parents above you. But it is another thing entirely for you to accept that placement and humbly submit to them. Just because someone is above you in rank does not mean we automatically accept that ranking. It is an act of the will. It is an act of humility.

Rebelling against the created order was the original sin of Lucifer, the angel of light. Though […]

Teen Devotional|

Harming Themselves to Their Own Shame

Are they not harming themselves, to their own shame? Jeremiah 7:19

Are unbelievers victims of sin and satan? Or are they rebels following their own selfish way? The Bible teaches both.  Jeremiah 7:19 says they harm themselves, but that harm comes from their own shameful activities and attitudes. How eloquently stated!

On the one hand, unbelievers who sin do harm themselves. Ideas have consequences. And bad ideas have bad consequences. By believing untruths about God and the way the world works. many unbelievers have brought harm upon themselves. God is not mocked, a man reaps what he sows (Galatians 6:7). Men and women have an enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Jesus offers rest to any who are weary of satan’s buffetings.

On the […]

Losing is Good for You (and Your Child)

Ashley Merryman in The NY Times has some advice on the cultural drugs we are fed. (HT David Murray)

The author argues that we are teaching our children something wrong when everyone wins. In fact, she argues, we need to teach them how to lose:

In life, “you’re going to lose more often than you win, even if you’re good at something,” Ms. Twenge told me. “You’ve got to get used to that to keep going.”

When children make mistakes, our job should not be to spin those losses into decorated victories. Instead, our job is to help kids overcome setbacks, to help them see that progress over time is more important than a particular win or loss, and to help them graciously congratulate the child who succeeded […]