Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Proverbs 14:30

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. – Proverbs 14:30 (NIV)

I remember a time when I really wished I had a boyfriend. I wanted one more than anything else in the world. All my friends had one, and it felt like I was the only person in the world without a significant other. I began to be upset with my friends because I was so jealous of their relationships. My envy made me unhappy and upset almost all the time.

Today’s Bible verse talks about envy. It says that it rots the bones. That was certainly true in my life. My jealousy toward friends made me unhappy every waking moment. I became withdrawn and very sad. I realized in the long run that being envious never makes you happy.

Instead of being jealous of others, choose today to live at peace. Let yourself be happy regardless of your situation or circumstances. If you don’t have a relationship, choose to be content. Spend that time of singleness getting to know God better. Look for the good things about your situation. Yes, you might not be in a relationship, but you do have time now to focus on your relationship with God. So get to know Him and get excited about what He’s speaking into your life.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

I bet you’re excited that school is out, or almost out for the summer. You’ve probably got some fun activities planned for the summer. Maybe you’re going to go camping, or fishing. Perhaps you like the idea of just relaxing more and sleeping in. Whatever your summer holds, you’re probably very excited to see it get started.

This summer, whatever you do, you should push yourself to spend some of your extra time getting to know God more. In the scope of eternity, what you do this summer isn’t all that important. But what you do with Jesus is.

Have you spent some time getting to know the one who created you? That one is so loving, but also so powerful. He’s full of peace and the list could go on and on about all of His amazing attributes. I could spend this whole devotion describing them to you. Doing that might encourage you a little. But how much more could you be encouraged if you simply spent some time getting to know Him for yourself?

It might not matter whether you go fishing this summer or not in the long run. However, if you spent time getting to know your creator will matter. Have you got to know the one who knows you best? Have you spent time delighting in Him? Do you crave all He has for you and your life?

Challenge yourself to not let this summer go by without getting to know God better. The easiest way to do this is to read your Bible. Get into the Bible and find out how good He really is and how much He loves you. He is the reason you’re here. It’s in Him you’ll find everything you need.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Matthew 19:16

Many people today believe that Jesus was a teacher. Some even go as far as to believe that He was a prophet. But Jesus was claiming to the world that He was much more than that. He claimed He was the Son of God. That’s a powerful difference.

In Matthew 19:16-22 there was a young person who was rich and was a ruler. He approached Jesus asking how to have eternal life. But notice how he referred to Jesus. “Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (NKJV) He was only willing to call Jesus a good teacher. Jesus’ response said it all:  – So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. (NKJV)

Jesus was trying to get to the heart of this man. He could see the rich young ruler was willing to call him a good teacher but wasn’t willing to call Him God. That is a big difference. A teacher can only tell someone good things they have to do to earn eternal life. But as God, He had the power to save us. This is what Jesus claimed He was. God. And as God He died and rose again, earning eternal life for us.

What do you call Jesus? A teacher? Or God? Trust in Jesus and believe that He was exactly who He claimed to be, the Son of God who takes away our sin.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – 1 Peter 2:17

Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king. – 1 Peter 2:17

Many people today have little respect for others. This attitude can creep into our lives as Christians sometimes too. We don’t respect our boss at work, we talk about how horrible our teachers are at school, or maybe we even bash the people that go to our youth group or church for things they do.

Sometimes it can be really easy to fall into the habit of talking about others and focusing only on the negative traits of those around us. However, this isn’t the way that God really wants for us to live.

Today’s Bible verse challenges us to respect everyone. That isn’t to say you’re going to agree with what everyone around you does, but rather you’re going to treat them with kindness and respect. You should look for opportunities to speak well of other people. Challenge yourself to be actively looking for good things in the lives of others instead of displaying the bad. Doing this isn’t what comes naturally most of the time. However, it’s the right thing to do. So today, challenge yourself to look for good things in other people and show them some respect.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Psalm 103:2

Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.  – Psalm 103:2 (NIV)

Have you noticed that when you’re in the middle of something, it’s really hard to see progress? During the school year, it can feel like your classes are dragging on and you’ve got mountains of homework. It can be difficult to see the progress you’re making because you’re so zoomed in on what you’re currently facing.

It’s good to take some time, especially at the end of a school year and reflect on what you’ve learned so far. Maybe you pushed ahead in learning more math that you didn’t know, or got better at playing your instrument. It’s really good to spend time evaluating and not forgetting where you started.

The same is true spiritually too. It can be easy to feel like you’re not really making spiritual progress as fast as you’d like. You can wish that some of your bad habits would go away faster. Instead of beating yourself up about how you’re not where you’d like to be, it can be helpful to take some time to remember.

Remember where you came from. Remember that you’re not where you were at the beginning of the year. Recall the ways that God has encouraged you or spoken to you. Don’t let the feelings of inadequacy be all you feel. Instead choose to look to see the progress you’ve made so far. Don’t forget where God has come through for you and brought you out.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Matthew 11:29

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11:29

Most of the time we’re looking for something. We are looking for peace, satisfaction, maybe even just a little rest. Often, we search for these things in food, relationships, buying things, watching TV, or any number of other activities. And while all these activities aren’t bad, they’ll never truly be what brings you rest and peace for your soul.

The only place you’ll truly find rest is by leaning on Jesus. When you begin to spend time in His presence and learn about Him, you’ll experience a peace you never knew before. Jesus offers a different kind of life. The world around you often searches for meaning and satisfaction in relationships. They hop from one relationship to the next, hoping to find peace. The peace people are searching for can only be found in knowing Jesus.

Knowing Jesus is the only way to find true peace in your life. Jesus is the only person who can truly satisfy you. He’s the only one that can fill the voids in your life and make you feel whole. He’s the only one that can bring your life meaning. As long as you pursue other things, you’ll never be happy. Choose today to run toward Jesus and begin finding the rest your soul longs for.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Hebrews 11:3

Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen. – Hebrews 11:3 (TPT)

Have you ever needed some extra energy? Maybe you stayed up all night studying for finals or doing a project. The next day you were struggling to stay awake because you didn’t sleep the night before. When you’re sleepy, you need an energy boost. It’s easy to drink a huge cup of coffee, large soda or energy drink to empower you to make it through the day.

Spiritually, we need empowerment too. Today’s Bible verse shows us that one of the roles of faith is to empower us. Faith is what empowers us to see that God created the universe. It takes faith to believe that God was the one who was responsible for our world and that He created it with His words.

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Faith can be empowerment in your life too. Maybe you are facing something really tough. Faith can help you get through it. Perhaps you don’t know what career to choose after high school. Faith empowers you to believe that God has a good plan for your life and that you will know what to do when the time is right.

Faith is empowerment in your life. Today, don’t overlook the power of faith. It’s there to empower you when you need it the most!

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

There are days when you probably feel afraid. Perhaps you feel like you need to share your faith with a friend and the thought of doing that scares you. Maybe the thing you feel that God is calling you to do is just too big to handle on your own.

If you face things that bring you fear, know that you’re not alone. Most of the time, God calls us to something much bigger than we can do in our own strength. That’s why we need Him. With God’s help, we can be strong and courageous.

But the good news is that we don’t have to be strong or courageous on our own. We can rely on His strength and His courage. We simply need to believe what His word says. Then we trust Him to come through in the areas where we are weak.

Today, don’t be discouraged. If God is calling you to something bigger than yourself, know that His equipping will be there for you. Step out, trust Him and see Him come through in big ways for you.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Hebrews 11:24

Faith enabled Moses to choose God’s will, for although he was raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he refused to make that his identity, – Hebrews 11:24

The issue of identity is something that many teenagers struggle with. At school, you may not be sure what group you fit in with.  That might cause you to do or say things to get acceptance that you later regret.

Moses was no different. He too struggled with his identity. He had to decide did he fit in with Egypt and Pharaoh, or did he fit with Israel. It probably would have been easier to side with Egypt. He would have had lots of great clothes, friends and tons of good food. However, Moses decided instead to not make that his identity. He chose instead to follow after God.

Choosing to look to God for your identity is one of the best decisions you can make. If you base your identity on anything else than God you will always be unhappy. Anything other than God can change. Your friends could change. Your social status could change and if your identity is solely based on those things, you could be really shaken if something changes.

Instead, choose to look to God for identity. Let Him be the one to tell you your worth. When you base your identity on God and His plan for your life you’ll find true peace.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Colossians 3:3

For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. – Galatians 3:3

There is this tree stump at the local ice cream place in my town that looks like a sheep. I remember getting out of my car the other day and staring and staring at what looked like a sheep under the tree at the ice cream place. I kept thinking why doesn’t that sheep move? What is it doing over there? Did someone lose it? It took me a few minutes of staring at it to realize that it was only a tree stump. What I thought I saw didn’t exist.

In life, a lot of the time what we see isn’t real. We look at ourselves in the mirror and see someone who is too fat or too shy. Maybe we see someone who struggles at school or battles lust. If we let it, that reflection of ourselves becomes reality to us and makes us feel bad about ourselves.

But what if that reflection of ourselves isn’t real? Yes, you might struggle with sin or schoolwork, but what if that didn’t have to define you? What if God wanted you to see beyond what you see in the mirror and rethink what you saw?

The truth is, God doesn’t look at you and only see shortcomings. God sees you through Jesus. And when He looks at you that way, you are enough. So today, determine to see yourself like God sees you. See your value to God. Realize that you’re important to God’s plan on the earth.