Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Isaiah 61:3

Do you ever have those days when you just want to despair? Maybe you feel sad for no reason or are stressed out with the cares and concerns of life to where you wonder if you can go on. That’s where today’s Bible verse comes in.

and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. – Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)

One of the best things to do when you feel you can’t go on is to praise. Today’s verse tells us that we have a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. That means we have to put on praise like we would with a shirt. We put on praise instead of feeling overwhelmed, upset, or full of despair.

So trade your despair for praise. You can do this by finding a praise playlist that you like on YouTube. Just search for worship music and keep it playing as much as you can. The more you can praise, the more heaviness seems to lift. So challenge yourself today to keep praising to help

Today’s Truth: Trade Despair for Praise

Despair for praise

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Matthew 6:21

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

Have you ever saved money for a long time in order to buy something you really wanted? Was it saved for a computer or a new pair of shoes? How did you treat it once you finally got it? Chances are you went out of your way to make sure you took good care of it. Why is that? When you’ve invested your own money into something your heart is now in it. You’ve had to work for that and save. It wasn’t easy to get the money and to use discipline to put off buying other things to wait and get what you really wanted.

This is also how the things of God work. When you take the time to invest in your relationship with God, you value it. You realize how special it is and guard it. Your relationship with God is important so be sure that you don’t take it for granted. Take time out of each day to pray and read your Bible. Be sure to attend a small group and a local church. These things will help you grow in your relationship with God.

Treat your relationship with God like a treasure. If you do, you heart will be there too. Spend time and money developing your relationship with God. It will bring you lasting rewards.

Today’s Truth: Your relationship with God is a treasure.

Your relationship with God is a treasure.

Today’s Bible Verse and Devotion – Matthew 6:25

Are you living today thinking about a problem? Are your thoughts pre-occupied with a situation and you keep trying to figure out what to do? I have good news for you. God knows the answer to your problem and knows how to fix it. Why don’t you just stop thinking about it and start to talk to God about it? Excessive thinking can be a symptom of worry.

Jesus said “ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than food, and the body than raiment?” Matthew 6:25 Jubilee Bible

You may be tempted to “ take thought”- or worry about the situation. But right now I want you to know God cares about it. Why not take a moment and simply say “Father, I’ m sorry I’ve been worried about this situation. But here it is……(state the problem). Father, I don’t know how to fix it but I know you do. So I’m asking you to give me wisdom to know what to do. I’m asking You to work in this situation for me because I can’t do anything about it. And So from now on when I think about it- I say God, you are working on it and I won’t worry about it anymore. Thank You Father and from now on I’m going to set my thoughts on the fact that You care for me and are working this out.

Today’s Truth: God Has the Answer to Your Problem

god has the answer image

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Mark 4:40

 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” – Mark 4:40 (NIV)

This week we’ve talked a lot about stress. One of the things we see about stress is that it is really based in fear. We might fear that we don’t have enough time to get the things done we need to do. There can be stress we feel because of pressure that others put upon us and we fear that we won’t be ab le to measure up to their expectations.

Regardless of the source of the stress in our lives, sometimes that stress can feel so overwhelming we don’t really know what to do.

That’s where Jesus comes in. See just like the disciples in a stressful situation, Jesus is there. And he has the answer you need for the stress you face.

So instead of questioning Him, wondering if He really loves you, or losing faith in God, you can begin to trust in Jesus instead. Know that He does love you, He wants the best for you, and He is the answer to what stressed you out. Go to Him, get His wisdom and His help and know that He will see you through the storm you face today!

Today’s Truth: Jesus is the answer for your stress.

Read: 3 Practical Ways to Deal With Stress

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Mark 4:39

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. – Mark 4:39 (NIV)

Stressful situations stink. When you’re overloaded with schoolwork and then your mom asks you to help out around the house with extra chores, it can almost feel like too much. You might wonder can you really make it?

Here’s the truth: You can make it. But the good news is that it’s not all up to you to make it through. The good news is that you don’t have to carry all the stress and burdens of life on your own. Jesus came to bring you peace, and a good life. So you can rely on Jesus for help when life feels stressful.

It often helps to put your eyes on Jesus. Remind yourself of His goodness and all the things He’s done for you. Then go to Him in prayer and ask Him for wisdom to get through the stressful situation. He will show you what you need to do, and give you supernatural wisdom to get through the things that stress you out.

Today’s Truth: Jesus Has a Solution For What Stresses You Out

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Mark 4:38

Storms come to us all. When you face one, it’s easy to often wonder if God really cares about you. You might feel like He’s really far away from you, or that He doesn’t hear you or care when you’re faced with something really tough. The disciples felt the same way when they were faced with a storm.

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” – Mark 4:38 (NIV)

Here we see the disciples questioning God’s love. They asked Jesus if He cared that they were about to drown. That is a bit of a funny question because they were here with the son of God. He had come to the earth to give His life for them. That was the act of ultimate love, and yet during a storm, they began to question God’s love.

That’s easy for us all to do. When we are in a difficult season and we wonder, does God hear? Does He really care about what we’re going through?

The truth is that God does care. He sent His son Jesus for us. He loves us and want us to have a good and full life. So when you begin to question whether God hears or cares, realize that those are lies. The truth is that He does care. He came to the world because He cares for you. Whether your problem is big or little, Jesus cares and wants to help you in each difficult situation that you face.

Today’s Truth: Don’t Question God’s Love in a Storm

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Mark 4:35-41

This week, we’re exploring stress, and how we as Christians should handle the stresses of life. As you know, stress comes to us all, and it’s usually not at the best times. It’s when you’ve already got a tight deadline on your history project that your English class assigns an extra paper to write, causing you lots of stress.

So how do you handle the stresses of school and stress of life in ways that bring God glory and point others to Him?

One of the best ways comes from looking at the account of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4:35-41.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

One of things we see from this account is that in stressful situations like these, we have a choice. We can be like Jesus, and choose peace, or we can be like the disciples and choose panic.

Both Jesus and the disciples faced the same storm. The storm was real, and the disciples were in real danger, and had every reason to be afraid. Jesus did too. But His response was different. He chose peace. Instead of looking at how bad the situation was, He exercised faith.

He chose faith and seeing God as bigger than the scary situation. Then He stood up and took authority over the storm.

You can do the same thing when you’re faced with stressful situations. You can choose to panic or you can choose peace. Today, challenge yourself to choose peace. God’s peace is greater and enough for you in every situation you face.

Today’s Truth: You Can Choose Panic or Peace in your storm.

What Does Standing Up for Truth Look Like?

Whether you are a student or in the workplace, it is generally expected that as a Christian, you will stand up for the truth. This takes a variety of forms for countless topics. Whether or not you are a very vocal and outgoing person you have no doubt identified what the hot-button topics are. It might be transgenderism, abortion, COVID, or any number of things. No matter what it is, these kinds of issues come to the forefront and become “controversial” which really means they are the most important questions to answer.

They are issues of significance, and the responses to them are more than just answers to questions; they impact life in meaningful ways.

Sometimes people love getting into discussions about controversial issues. It may be the thrill of the argument, of going back and forth with other people like some sort of game. But there are many of us, perhaps most of us, who are not like this at all. There is nothing fun about arguments, and we are not certain that if we did engage over these issues we would not end up looking ignorant. But this fear will never do, not if Christians are to be salt and light.

Standing Up For Truth

What Should We Do?

What, then? Are we all supposed to become extroverts, reveling in discussion and chasing down people for debate? I certainly hope not!

But at the same time we cannot really avoid such issues because whether we realize it or not, we are already fighting in the arena of truth, whether we open our mouths or not. Because when you get right down to it, a debate is raging.

It is a debate in the heart and mind—yours and mine. If we fail to realize this, then not only will we be unable to articulate the truth to someone who challenges it. We will lose the argument, lose the truth in the place it matters most: ourselves.

We are all called to be salt and light, but we must have flavor and we must have illumination in ourselves if it is to work. First Peter 3:15 tells us to be ready to give a defense, an argument, a reason, an explanation for the hope that is in us. This is a part of being salt and light: having a hope that bubbles up and out of the heart, to be ready to explain that hope, and speak the truth. But what is important to note is how this verse starts. Peter says, “Sanctify [set apart] Christ as Lord in your hearts.” This is the vial requirement.

Your success in the arena of ideas, the arena of life, depends on what you hold in your heart as truth.

Peter says that Christ is to be set up and set apart from all others as Lord in our hearts. We must be very careful here because there is a difference between Christ as Lord in our hearts versus Christ as Lord of our hearts. The latter is a very personal matter, and it is certainly true that He should be Lord of our hearts, but this is not what Peter is saying. He is saying that in our hearts, in the deepest most central part of our worldview we are to hold as the most important truth that Jesus is Lord.

What I am talking about is how we see the world around us. In the ancient Roman Empire, Caesar was considered the ultimate authority. He had the power over life and death and was lord of the world.

It is this central reality that would bring order to the Roman world, and it is this kind of thing that Peter is talking about.

We must recognize and accept Christ as the giver of meaning and direction in life.

All of what Christ has revealed Himself to be must be the compass of life. This is not just that He died and rose again, but that He rules and has authority over all authorities. His law is the measure of all conduct and truth. The fullness of His Lordship is what we are supposed to make the holiest truth in our hearts.

So what does this look like and how do we set about it? I would suggest you read the four gospels. Don’t just read them chapter by chapter, but try reading them in large swaths, finding natural breaks. Read them like books, and not some choppy religious book.

Understand the message the authors are trying to convey. Whenever an Old Testament passage is quoted go back and look at the context of that passage. There is a deeper meaning being conveyed than the New Testament author trying to get credit for quoting Old Testament passages.

Our hearts and minds are where the battle for truth begins.

Fill your mind with truth, and really think about what the word of God says. Do the hard work of studying and digesting. Devotion to God is more than checking off your daily prayer and daily reading. Real knowledge of who He is, the knowledge that affects life, requires effort. And let me encourage you that the reward is worth the effort.

Suggested Reading

  • Five Views on Law and Gospel (Zondervan Counterpoints series)
  • I Peter 3:8-22
  • Mark (and every time you come across an Old Testament quotation, look up the reference and read the quotation and the chapters before and after it).

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the difference between having answers given to you by your parents and teachers and having your own convictions about the truth?
  2. The Bible does not address every situation directly. For instance, it doesn’t mention smartphones or social media. Does the word of God still provide instruction so that the disciple of Christ can be equipped for every good work? If so, how does it do so for situations not directly addressed?
  3. What will it take to develop a biblical world? What steps can you practically take?

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Isaiah 41:10

This week, we’re going to be talking a little about stress. We all face stressful times and situations in our lives. You might have lots of pressure to make a sports team, or practice an instrument. Perhaps your history project has you up at night worried because you’re just not sure you can finish it in time.

Stress comes to us all at times in our lives. And while the feelings of stress are very real and justified, stress is really just fear.

Stress comes because you’re afraid that you don’t have enough time, or resources to do what’s in front of you to do. But here’s the thing, we aren’t to live our lives as Christians in fear. So we have to learn how to deal with stress in healthy ways.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

Today’s verse tells us to not be afraid. God wouldn’t tell us to do something that we can’t do. So our goal in life is going to be not to allow stress to shut us down or stop us from doing our best for God.

Today, choose to identify stress as what it is, fear. Then determine that fear will not run your life. Fear isn’t healthy and will stop you from doing the things God has called you to do. So begin to speak to your fears. Tell them that they can’t run your life. Look to God and ask Him for His help in walking free from fear.

Today’s Truth: Stress is fear. Get God’s help to walk free from fear.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Psalm 37:23

Teen Devotion and Bible Verse on Purpose and God's Plans for your lifeThe LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. – Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

Do you ever wish that God would just show you your future? I wish He’d just show up and tell you that at 18 you should go to college, then at 23 years old, you meet the person you should marry. Then at 25, you find the job that you’re going to love. By 30, you’ve got a great house, 2 kids and you’re successful and fulfilled.

As great as that would be, that’s not the way God leads us. When God leads, He shows us a step at a time. We feel peace about one step, we take it, then He shows us the next step we’re to take.

God leads us and tells us that our steps are ordered by Him. He doesn’t tell us that He will reveal to us the whole journey.

Today’s Take Away – Finding Purpose Takes Patience

That’s really hard sometimes. Most of us would prefer knowing the whole journey. But the interesting thing about this whole thing is that as we begin our journey of purpose, we learn to trust and rely on God.

If we had the whole journey mapped out for us, we wouldn’t really need to lean on God.

Discovering your purpose in life is a process. It’s a journey and it takes time and patience. Sometimes, it’s making mistakes, learning from them and discovering to trust God in a new way. Other times, it’s leaning on God in faith and doing something that feels a bit hard and scary.

Finding your purpose in life doesn’t come all at once. It’s a process. It’s learning to lean on and trust in God and know that when you need to know the next step to take, God will show it to you.

Today’s Truth: When you need to know the next step to take, God will show it to you

 If you enjoyed today’s devotion and want to follow along with a PDF version, you can download our 10-day purpose planner. It’s full of devotions to help you discover your God-given purpose.

Other Devotions About Purpose

  1. Your Identity Isn’t Your Purpose.
    Making decisions about your future can seem really scary sometimes. Make them easier by realizing that your purpose is not your identity. Your identity can only be found in Jesus.
  2. Finding Purpose Takes Patience
    God leads us and tells us that our steps are ordered by Him. He doesn’t tell us that He will reveal to us the whole journey.
  3. Finding Purpose Takes Faith
    The key is on the journey to discovering your purpose is to not lose faith. It takes faith to follow God’s plan and His leading.
  4. Purpose Requires Action
    You can daydream amazing things. You can get excited about things that you’d like the future to hold for you. In fact, you can even pray about God’s plan for your life, but if you don’t take action on those things, you won’t end up doing anything for God.
  5. Day 5 – God’s Purpose For You Is Good
    God wants good things for you. He has good things in store for your future