Yesterday, we talked a little about how easy it is to want to shift the blame onto someone else or something else when we do wrong and get caught. However, the right thing to do is to admit your wrong and accept forgiveness from God.
It can be really difficult sometimes to accept God’s forgiveness, however. We can often feel like we need to do something more. The guilt we feel can drive us to distance ourselves from God and from His love. But here’s the thing about God, no matter how bad you mess up, He still loves you.
What an amazing truth. God loves you, regardless of how bad you mess up. His plans for you are still good. Check out what He did for Adam, who messed up really big.
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. – Genesis 3:21 (NIV)
Adam felt naked because of His skin. Now God could have said, I told you so, Adam. I told you not to eat of the fruit from that tree. See, it really made you feel weird and bad, didn’t it? God could have rubbed it in Adam’s face and left Him cold and naked.
But what did God do instead? He clothed Adam and Eve. He didn’t leave them alone when they messed up. He still loved them and helped them.
The same is true for you. Yes, you mess up. Maybe it feels like you’re always messing up. But here’s the truth: there’s no mess up too big for God’s love and forgiveness. So when you mess up, even if it’s for the 97th time, go to God. Get His help and forgiveness.
God is always willing and ready to help you with whatever it is that you need.
I remember a time when I got into trouble. I had written some really bad things on a note about another kid. My teacher found it and asked who had written the note. I obviously didn’t want to get in trouble, so I didn’t admit that I had written it.
Unfortunately, I was one of the best spellers in the class, and I had spelled several really difficult words correctly in the note. My teacher asked me if I had written it, and I finally admitted that I did.
I’m sure you’re like me, and have done something that wasn’t right before. What happens when that sin is brought to light? Do you admit that you did wrong? Or do you try to hide it or blame someone else? If you choose hiding and blaming someone else, then you’re just like Adam and Eve. When they sinned, they began shifting the blame elsewhere.
The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” – Genesis 3:12 (NIV)
Shifting the blame is what we all like to do when we get caught doing something that isn’t right. We come up with some excuse or reason why we didn’t do the right thing, and do whatever it takes to avoid admitting wrong.
And while that’s the easy and natural thing to do, it doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Instead of shifting blame, we should own up to our mistakes, take them to Jesus get forgiveness and then make any restoration that might be necessary.
And doing that isn’t easy. It takes guts and humility. It isn’t easy to look bad in front of someone else. We’d rather save face. But admitting wrong is the right thing to do when you’ve done something wrong. So today, challenge yourself. Don’t just shift the blame, but admit your wrongs, look to Jesus for forgiveness and choose to do better next time.
He got up and gave orders to the wind, and he said to the lake, “Silence! Be still!” The wind settled down and there was a great calm. – Mark 4:39 (CEB)
Can you relate to the disciples on the lake? Have you ever faced a situation that was scary and you didn’t know if you could make it? The disciples were overcome with fear and thought they were going to die.
They also thought that Jesus didn’t care because He was sleeping in the back of their boat during this treacherous storm. Yet, in one call for help, Jesus got up and told the storm what to do. He said, “Silence! Be still! The wind actually obeyed Jesus.
You might be trying to handle the storm that’s going on in your life all on your own. You might also be wondering if Jesus is there and if He cares? Well, He does. Ask for His help and believe that He will stop what He is doing to help you.
Jesus wants to walk you through every storm you face. So don’t try to handle things in your own strength. Look to Jesus and lean on Him to be your strength.
Today’s Truth: Jesus is there in the storms you face.
The men of Israel looked them over and accepted the evidence. But they didn’t ask God about it. – Joshua 9:14 (Message)
Its easy to get wrapped up in all the things going on around us. If you’re like most people, you’ve got tons of things in your life screaming for your attention. In all the busyness it’s pretty easy to leave God out of our lives. Most of the time, we don’t intentionally leave God out, it just happens in the midst of our business. We simply forget to include God in our decision making.
That’s a lot like what today’s Bible verse is talking about. In this verse, the leaders of Israel made a really bad decision because they didn’t ask God about it. God was willing to give them information to help them make a good decision. However, they never even asked God. As a result, a really bad decision was made.
Decide to learn from the mistake the leaders of Israel made. Determine to get God’s advice when making decisions and follow His leading. When you get God involved in your decision making, everything else will fall into place!
Today’s Truth: Get God involved in your decisions.
Rejoice in the Lord always- delight, gladden yourselves in Him: again I say, rejoice! – Philippians 4:4
Have you ever had a really bad day? You know, the one where everything seems to go wrong? Then to top it off, your brother is mean to you, your mom asks you to do extra chores, and you feel like no one gets you.
When you’re having a bad day, one of the hardest things to do is keep rejoicing. However, today’s Bible verse tells us to rejoice always, even if your day is going badly.
What does that look like? A good way to delight or gladden yourself in God would be to remind yourself of things that God has done for you. Has He ever provided something for you? Has He ever helped you when things were tough? Has He comforted you when you didn’t think you could go on? Remind yourself of the good things that God has done in your life.
When you remember what God has done for you, it helps you keep a smile on your face. It doesn’t matter what you’re facing or what you’ve been through, you can make yourself happy by choosing to think about the good things God has done for you. Don’t let your situation or circumstances keep you down. Make the decision today to rejoice in the Lord always!
“He is the stone that makes people stumble,
the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. – 1 Peter 2:8 (NLT)
What value do you place on God’s word? Do you use it to form the basis for your thinking? Here’s an example. Let’s say that you’re trying to decide what you believe about an issue. Where does God’s word fit into that? Do you consult what the Bible says to come to a decision about the issue?
Today’s verse says that people stumble because they don’t obey God’s word. Isn’t that true? I know many times in my life, I’ve put what I wanted to do over what God’s word said. I often cared more about what other people thought about me, and made choices to get approval from people rather than choices that would have lined up with God’s word.
However, making choices that way can cause you to stumble. Instead, we should be building our thinking, and our lives upon God’s word. When faced with a decision, issue or choice, we should be thinking what does God say about this issue? Then we should choose His word over what we feel or think.
So today, challenge yourself to make the word of God a priority in your life. Determine that it will be more important to you than the approval of others or what might sound or feel good. Make God’s word the most important in your life and you’ll find that you’ll be less likely to stumble.
Today’s Truth: Make God’s Word Most Important in Your Life
O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. – Psalms 63:1
Have you ever been really hungry or really thirsty? Maybe you wanted a drink so bad you would have paid a lot of money for a bottle of water. Or perhaps you were so hungry you would have eaten almost anything. That’s a little like what this Bible verse is talking about.
Today’s verse is a neat way of looking at your relationship with God. Just like you wouldn’t go long without eating or drinking, you shouldn’t go a long time without spending time with God. You should be longing to spend time with God just like you’d long to eat or drink.
Spending time with God shouldn’t be a chore or something you do only if you have to or if you have questions that you need to be answered. Spending time with God should really be that thing that gets you excited and refreshes you. Just like you’d feel refreshed after drinking when you’re really thirsty, you should pursue God in the same way. You should be letting him refresh you and fill you with the things you need.
Today’s Truth: Let God refresh you and fill you with the things you need.
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. – 1 Peter 1:14 (NIV)
If you’ve been a Christian for awhile, you’re probably pretty aware of the fact that you should be trying to live in ways that are Christ-like. But doing that isn’t always easy. It’s easier to do what comes natural and what feels good. But instead of doing those things, we should be putting those desires away.
How do we do that? One of the best ways is simply by spending more time with God. As we spend time in prayer, and praising God, we become more aware of Him in our lives. And the more we do that, the more our desires line up with His.
The more you get to know Jesus, the more you want to be like Him. So instead of conforming to your old desires before you knew Him, you want to be more and more like Him.
So today, if you’re struggling with sin, and living your life to be like Christ, take a look at how much time you’re spending with Jesus. If you’re spending most of your time hanging out with friends or watching TV, Jesus isn’t going to be the one you want to live to please most. If you want to live to please Jesus, simply begin to spend time with Him. As you do, your evil desires will become less important and you’ll want to live in ways that please Him.
Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 (HCSB)
Do you feel like God is calling you to do something for Him? What is stopping you from doing it? Fear is one of the most common things that holds people back from doing things for God.
Some people fear what others will think, others fear the consequences of a decision or stand for God. Regardless of what the fear is, if left unchecked, fear will stop you from doing what God is calling you to do.
One of the best ways to combat fear in your life is to push past the fear. What does that look like? It’s telling your friend that seems depressed about Jesus even when you feel scared. It’s going on that missions trip even though you’ve never been that far away from home. When you push past your fear and step out you’ll find that God will always come through for you. God never leaves you alone and without help.
Today’s Truth: God never leaves you alone or without help.
Even if you’re afraid, choose to step out and do what God is calling you to do. If you do even while feeling afraid, you’ll see that God will come through for you.
Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.
– Proverbs 14:4
Sometimes, it can be easy to want to do big things alone. Maybe you’ve got a group project at school you’re working on and it’s just really difficult to want to involve the help of others. However, if you are wanting to do something truly significant, you’ll need the help of others to get it done. The problem with including others is that it often can get messy. Dealing with others can be challenging. It’s tempting to just decide to do it yourself. Today’s Bible verse is letting us know that a wise person will get help to accomplish something bigger than he or she could on their own. Including others can be tough because you have to get along and clean up messes along the way. However, getting help from others is worth the mess!
Today’s Truth: A wise person will get help to accomplish something bigger than he could do on his own
Isn’t it awesome that God shares with us wisdom like this? Today, think about the project that is in your heart to accomplish. Who could you invite to help you? What resource do you need to invest in to help with your project? Realize that including resources from others will bring much more increase in your endeavors than trying to accomplish it all by yourself.