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3 Reasons to Practice Giving This Christmas

It’s the Christmas season. And if you’re like me, Christmas gets you excited. I love the decorations, delicious food, and all the great gifts. Getting new things can be so much fun! One of the great things about Christmas is that not only is it a time for getting new stuff, it’s also a time for giving. Many times, in the Christmas season we can get wrapped up in making our Christmas list that we forget to experience the joy found in giving.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why we should practice giving this holiday.

Reason #1 – Bigger is Better

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; – Proverbs 11:24 a (MSG)

In life, usually bigger is better. If you got a 74 inch TV for Christmas, you’d be way more excited than getting a 24 inch one. Generally, we tend to like things that are bigger and better. We are wired to like bigger and better things. This is how God made us. God is a God of abundance and He wants you to experience bigger and better things with Him. He desires to see you blessed and having abundance. That abundance, however, isn’t just for you. God wants you to use it to help others.

God wants to bless you so that you can use those blessings to help others. He wants you to expand your vision and look for ways you can help others around you. God might ask you to do something very simple to help those around you. As you obey, you’ll find that a lifestyle of generosity brings you lasting happiness.

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As you make giving a part of your lifestyle, you’ll be surprised to see how much your vision expands. You will want to give to others. You start by looking for needs and asking God to show you how you could meet them. Your world gets bigger the more you give.

Reason #2 – A Small Worldview is Selfish

Teen Devotion and Bible Verse

The world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller – Proverbs 11:24 b (MSG)

Have you noticed how easy it is to begin focusing on only yourself? Maybe you have two or three close friends and you guys hang out all the time and do everything together.  There’s nothing wrong with having a group of friends, however, when those friends are all you hang out with, you can often be excluding others that God would want you to reach with His love.

When your focus is your self, your friends, your goals and your dreams, your world will be small. And the reality is, the more you focus on yourself the unhappier you’ll be. If you want to change the world, start by focusing on those around you. The truth is, God wants to use you. He wants to do big things through you and use you to bless the people around you. If you’ll be open to his leading, you’ll see that He will put opportunities into your life to bless and help others.

[Tweet “If you begin to focus on others, God will use you to change the world – @studentdevos”]

Look for opportunities to help others. It might be buying a candy bar to help someone that had a bad day. It might be organizing some friends to bring flowers to the girl on your volleyball team that broke her leg. It could be baking cookies and giving the money from selling them to missions. There are endless opportunities around you to be a blessing to others. You’ve just got to begin thinking bigger and you’ll start to see lots of ways God can use you to bless others.

Reason #3 – Eternal Thinking Leads to Happiness

It seems like we are always in search of things that make us happy. For you, it might be playing Fortnite with friends. It’s easy to begin to focus all your energy on those things that bring you happiness. You think if I could just get a boyfriend, or if I could just get that one friend to like me then you’ll be happy.

And getting those things may make you happy for a time. However, that happiness often doesn’t last for a long time. You get that boyfriend only to find out he’s got some flaws that drive you crazy. Or you get the shoes you wanted only to find out that they get dirty and aren’t as comfortable as you thought.

Getting more things don’t bring you lasting happiness. If you want to be happier, you need to focus your attention on things that are eternal. You do this by focusing on others, focusing on being a light for Jesus, focusing on needs that you see around you and then asking God how you can help meet those needs. Doing those things will make you have lasting happiness. Nothing is better than leading a friend to Christ. You experience true happiness by helping a needy family in your town or giving some money to a missionary. These types of things are eternal. These types of things bring lasting happiness.

So this Christmas season, choose to focus your attention on things that are eternal. Don’t get all wrapped up in your Christmas list that you forget what Christmas is about. Ask God to show you how you can help meet the needs of those around you, and see that God will help you change your world.

 

 

What Fortnite Can Teach Us About Living For God

Devotion for Youth And Teens About Fortnite

Have you ever played Fortnite? It seems like everyone these days is talking about playing it. Fortnite has millions of users and is growing in popularity. If you’re a teenager that loves Fortnite, have you ever stopped to think about how the game can teach you about living for God?

The More You Play The More Rewards You Unlock

The more Fortnite you play, the more rewards you can unlock in the game. The same is true for Christians. As we seek God, get closer to Him and do the things He says in His word the more rewards we unlock in our lives.

And while the rewards we unlock as Christians aren’t emotes, outfits, or back bling, they do help us in life. Check out a few of the rewards you can unlock as a Christian.

Reward One – Less Heartache

Living for God helps you have less heartache. God has set up some rules in His word on how we should live. These rules are to help you avoid heartache and pain. For example, God gives instructions about lust, not to keep you from having fun, but to keep you from the pain and heartache that unchecked lust can bring.

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
 – 2 Timothy 2:22 (NLT)

God doesn’t want your life to be destroyed by heartache and the consequences of unchecked lust. So challenge yourself today to live for God and make Godly choices. When you do, you’ll be glad you did.

Reward Two – Fewer Regrets

When you live for God and are seeking His will for your life, you can avoid a lot of regrets. If you’re constantly looking to God and seeking His direction for your life it will help you make good decisions. Seek God’s direction in everything you do. From big decisions to little ones and be willing to follow God’s leading. As you follow the direction God tells you for your life, you will make good decisions.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. – Proverbs 3:6 (NLT)

God knows everything from beginning to end. Getting God involved in your decision-making process will help you make better decisions and help you live with fewer regrets.

Your Squad Makes You Stronger

When playing Fortnite, your squad can help you. They can be another set of eyes to watch what’s going on, and help you when you need it. Also, playing with other people helps make the game more fun because you’re not alone.

As Christians the same is true. God has put into place a squad called the church. Getting involved in a good local church can help you in lots of different ways. Trusted friends at church can help you see areas in your life you need to improve or work on. They can also help you when you’re struggling and feeling weak.

Finally, as you spend time with the people in your church, you develop awesome relationships which make life more fun. You weren’t created to deal with life’s problems alone, so get involved with a local church and get into a Bible study or a small group.

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Experience Makes You Stronger

When you’re playing Fortnite, you want XP. (Experience points). It shows everyone that not only do you play but that you can play well. As a Christian, you should be wanting the same thing. You want to not only live for Christ but to live well.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV).

Life is going to be hard at times. It’s not going to go the way you want it, and there are going to be times where your faith will be tested. However, if you can keep your faith strong in those tough times and not give up, it will make you stronger. When you look back on your life, you want people to say not only did you play, but you played well.

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Each challenge you experience in life can bring you closer to God if you’ll let it. So choose to seek God and draw close to Him in every season of your life.

Two Things My Bluetooth Speaker Taught Me About My Relationship With God

Image of Bluetooth speaker for a teen devotion on relationship with GodBluetooth speakers are awesome. I got one for Christmas a few years ago and I’ve just loved it. I love being able to listen to music on my phone. In fact, I’ve enjoyed it so much I’ve gotten several more since then.

You Choose Your Connection

When I first set up my Bluetooth speaker to connect with my phone I found out that there were lots of choices as to what speaker or device to connect with. I saw that I could connect with other speakers in my house or even a device at my neighbor’s house. The interesting thing is that I had the freedom to choose what I connected with.

The same is really true for us in life too. We choose what we connect with. We choose our friends, the music we listen to, the TV we watch and what we believe. What we connect with influences the direction and the course of our life.

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You have the freedom to choose your connection. Your music, friends, beliefs and even the TV you watch have a powerful impact on your life. So challenge yourself to be wise in your connection. Choose friends, books, TV, and music that help you draw closer to God.

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

Your Connection Matters

For example, if I connected with a Bluetooth device at my neighbor’s house to listen to music, I wouldn’t hear it well. I’d have to really listen hard to try to hear the song I wanted to play. Where I decide to connect my phone determines the quality of the music I hear.

In life, it’s no different. What we connect with matters. If we connect our lives to friends, music, TV and other sources that draw us away from God, the quality of our relationship with God will suffer.

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22 (NLT)

You’ve got to maintain your connection with Jesus every day.  A phone playing music on its own is pretty quiet. However, when you hook it up to a speaker, it’s louder and more powerful than when it’s on its own. The same is true in our lives. When you’re connected to Jesus daily through Bible reading and prayer you are the most powerful. You can face a lot of difficult situations and circumstances when you’re connected with Jesus.

Read: How to Have An Awesome Quiet Time

Challenge yourself today to begin connecting with Jesus. If you haven’t yet, begin spending time with Him each day. Ask Him for His wisdom in the decisions you make each day. Seek Him, His plan and know that He wants to connect with you.

You Can Download Youth Group Discussion Questions to use with this devotion.

 

What A Google Home Teaches About Who We Are In Christ

My grandpa got a Google Home for his birthday. When he opened it, he had no idea what it was or what it can do. My cousins, aunts, and uncles immediately sprung into action and got it hooked up and ready to use. Then we all took turns showing my grandpa how to say, “hey Google…” and ask questions or give it a command. Now my grandpa loves it. In fact, if you go over to his house, he’ll entertain you by getting you to ask his Google Home questions. We visited him a few weeks ago, and he told us at supper to think of a really hard question. When we were done eating, he had us ask Google Home our questions.

Once my grandpa understood his gift, he could begin enjoying it and sharing it with others. In the same way, when we begin to see who we are in Christ, we can begin truly enjoying our life and living life to the fullest and begin sharing the love of Christ with others.

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In Christ – You Can Do It

Teen Devotion - Who You Are in Christ - Phil 4:13

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me. – Phil 4:13 (Good News)

Life can be tough. Disappointment can be real. But in the midst of all the difficulty that life can bring, knowing that you can do all things through Christ makes all the difference. If you put your faith and trust in Jesus, you can know that through Christ you can make it.

It’s encouraging to know that you’re not stuck out there in life all by yourself. You’ve got a God who has been through it already and is ready to walk with you through whatever difficulty you face. Knowing that in Christ you can do it makes a huge difference in life. It will keep you going when things get tough.

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In Christ – You Matter

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

When God thinks about you, he sees a masterpiece. The great thing about a masterpiece is that it’s one of a kind. There is no other work like it and it’s very special to the person who created it. In the same way, to God, you matter. Your life is important and you’ve been created to do something special for God.

It’s easy to begin to compare yourself to what you see online. You can see what your friends are doing, how they look, what they wear and what they do and feel like you don’t measure up. However, the true measure of worth is what God says about you. When you begin to see yourself the way Jesus sees you, you realize that you matter. You’ve been uniquely designed and your life is important.

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In Christ – You Find Purpose

For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring. – Acts 17:28 (NLT)

It’s easy as a teenager to feel like you don’t have any idea of your purpose. You might not have yet discovered what you want to do for a career. You might not even quite know what it is that you’re really good at doing.  Don’t get discouraged. It’s by spending time with Jesus that you find your purpose.

It’s in Jesus that we live. It’s in Jesus we discover what we’re good at doing and what God has created us to do. Find your purpose by getting close to Jesus. Let Him show you what it is that He wants you to do and let following Him be your sense of purpose.

 


In Christ – You Belong

In Christ Devotion For Youth And Teens

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 (NLT)

God adopted you into His family. That means that you belong. Once you accept Jesus you have a family and a sense of belonging. So regardless of your home life, regardless of whether you fit in with friends at school, in Christ, you belong.

Don’t give into the lie of the enemy that says you don’t belong anywhere or that no one cares. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth in Jesus is that you belong. It made God happy to bring you into His family and He wants nothing more than a relationship with you. When those feelings or thoughts come that tell you that you don’t belong, choose to believe what God says instead. Choose to believe that in Christ, you belong.


What I Learned From A Google Home

I realized by watching my grandpa that a Google Home is really great, but we’ve got to spend some time learning how to use it. My grandpa didn’t automatically know how to use his Google Home. He had to spend some time learning about it to use it and get it working.

The same is true for us when it comes to our identity in Christ. We’ve got to spend time in the Bible learning about who God says we are in Jesus. We’ve got to let that identity become more real to us than what we see online or what others say about us. When we put in the effort to see ourselves how God sees us, it will change everything.

You Can Download Discussion Questions to use with this devotion.

 

How To Discover Your God-Given Purpose In Life

Teen God-Given Purpose In Life

Have you ever been lost? I remember a time when I got lost on a missions trip with my youth group. Two of my friends and I got into a taxi. Our missionary tried to give our taxi driver the address where we were going, but the taxi driver didn’t want to listen. He insisted he would just follow the taxi in front of him that had the rest of our group. The taxi got going, but as we got to a busy intersection, our taxi driver began following the wrong taxi. He drove us all over town and followed the wrong taxi to a house.

When he stopped, he tried to tell us to get out. We didn’t speak the same language and we kept trying to tell him that we didn’t want to get out, that he had followed the wrong taxi. He just stared at us and looked confused. We kept trying to think of ideas to tell him to take us back to the train station where we had been picked up from. Finally, we all began making train noises, we honked and made choo-choo sounds until at last, he understood.

He took us back to the train station and we waited there until the rest of our youth group came back to find us.

Sometimes the idea of discovering God’s purpose for your life can make you feel lost, just like I was lost on my missions trip. You might feel like you don’t know where to go and you’re afraid to make the wrong turn or follow the wrong taxi. However, following God’s plan for your life doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing. God wants to show you your purpose.

Discovering Purpose Takes Time Alone With God

Proverbs 20:27 – The spirit of a man is the lamp of the lord searching all the inner depths of his heart

God wants to reveal things to you about your future. However, God isn’t going to show you those things using Snapchat, Musical.ly, Instagram or any other social media platform, but wouldn’t it be nice if he did? God reveals things to you in your spirit. And it’s not complicated: to hear God you’ve got to get quiet and listen. That’s hard sometimes, social media is way more fun than reading your Bible and prayer. However, God wants to talk to you and reveal things to you. You’ve just got to get quiet to listen to your spirit.

The key to discovering your divine destiny and purpose is simple: Realize God wants to speak to you about your future.

When you have that truth solidly in your heart it will make the process of discovery easier. God wants to show you His plans for your life. He wants to help you make good decisions about your future. God speaks those truths to your spirit. So if you’re quiet and willing to listen, God will show you the next step to take.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

God has plans for you. And he wants to show them to you. All you have to do is spend some time seeking God. If you started dating someone, you’d want to spend time with them to get to know them better. You’d want to know all their hobbies, their dislikes, likes, hopes, and dreams. Developing a relationship with God is no different. It’s all about spending time getting to know God. As you spend time in the Bible and in prayer you’ll get to know the things God likes and His hopes and dreams for you.

Read/Watch: How to Have an Awesome Quiet Time


More than anything, God wants to help you make the right decisions – so involve Him in the decision-making process. Choose to spend time getting to know Him and letting Him speak to your spirit about your future.

Read: How To Make Better Decisions


Purpose Isn’t Identity

We put a lot of weight on what we do for a career, so much that it often becomes our identity. You’ll see adults that introduce themselves by saying something like, “I’m Lydia and I’m a doctor”. In society, a lot of weight is placed on your career.  It’s important to remember that our purpose or career is not our identity. Our identity is found in Jesus. We need to find out what Jesus says about us in the Bible. We need to let who we are in Christ become our identity.

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What you do for God is never as important as for you to discover your identity in Christ. Your career isn’t your identity. Jesus is your identity.

Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health physically just as you are spiritually. – 3 John 1:2 (Holman)

God wants you to prosper in every area of your life. He’s more concerned with you knowing who you are in Christ than He is about what you end up doing as a career. So take some time in the discovery process to focus on the things God says about you. Realize that God wants you to prosper in every way.

Read: What Christians Have In Common With Spiderman


It Takes Time To Learn Your Giftings

Have you ever discovered a new game? I remember when I was a kid my grandma taught me a new card game. The first few times I played, I wasn’t very good. It took me some time to learn the rules and discover strategies that would help me win. Once I had played the game a few times, I began to win. The more I played, the more I learned and the better I got.

The same is true with our giftings. We don’t always know what we’re gifted at right away. You’ve got to learn and discover the things you’re good at. You might try out for band and realize you hate music. You might go out for volleyball to discover you’re not athletic. That’s ok. Part of discovering what you’re good at requires learning what you’re not good at. Keep at it, keep trying to learn and discover your giftings.

[Tweet “Part of discoving your giftings requires learning what you’re not good at – @studentdevos”]

You might realize that you really like helping with the children’s ministry at your church, but you hate working with the media team. That’s ok. You’re in the process of discovery. You’re learning more and more all the time about what your giftings are. Get involved at your local church. Begin to serve and you’ll start to see the things you’re good at and the things you’re not that good at. It’s all part of the learning process. The more you learn the better you’ll get!


Discovering purpose takes some effort. It requires spending time with God, and learning about yourself and your giftings. The good news is that God wants to show you your purpose. If you choose to spend time with Him and listen, He’ll speak to your spirit and show you the next steps to take.

If you’re a youth leader, you can download discussion questions to go with this devotion in our youth leader resource area.

What Dominos Can Teach Us About Our Faith

Dominos Photo Teaching Teenagers About Faith

I remember playing dominoes as a kid. I hated playing the game by the rules. Instead, I loved setting up all the dominos in a row in all sorts of fun patterns. Once I had the dominos set up, I’d knock the first one over and watch as the first one knocked over the second, the second knocked over the third. On and on the knocking over happened until all the dominos fell down. Knocking over dominos is really fun. Playing with dominos reminds me of Romans 10.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! – Romans 10:13-15

 

Each part of this scripture is like a domino. You’ve got to have one to knock down two, to knock down the third and so on. So what are these dominos?

Domino One  – To get saved you have to call on the name of the Lord.

This domino makes a lot of sense. If you want to get saved, you’ve got to ask Jesus to do it. You can’t rely on your works, good deeds or anything else. The Bible clearly states that it is Jesus who does the saving.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it – Eph 2:8-9 (NLT)

Salvation is a gift of grace. It’s not about what you’ve done, its all about who Jesus is. It’s all about asking Jesus to save you.  The great thing about this is that Jesus doesn’t make calling on him complicated. It’s simple, it’s just reaching out to Him by faith or belief. That’s where the next domino comes into play.

Domino Two – To call on Jesus you have to believe.

You have to believe in Jesus to call on Him for salvation. If you think that you’re saved by your works or any other way, there’s no need to call on Jesus. To call on Jesus, you’ve got to humble yourself and realize that without Jesus you can’t do enough good to get into heaven. You’ve got to firmly believe that Jesus is God’s son, and his sacrifice on the cross was the payment for your sin. Once you believe that, you’re able to call on Jesus to save you.

But that statement makes you wonder: How do you begin believing?

Domino Three – To believe in Jesus, you have to hear about Him.

If you haven’t heard about Jesus, how would you know that you should call on him, or believe in Him? You wouldn’t. You’ve got to build belief in Jesus by hearing about Him. Think about it, the more you hear about a great movie, the more you want to go see it. When you hear about something good it makes you want to try it. The same is true about Jesus to develop the faith to believe Him, you’ve got to hear about Him. You’ve got to learn that He’s good, that’s He is the only way to God.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. – Romans 10:17 (KJV)

So how do you begin to hear about Jesus?

Domino Four – To hear about Jesus, someone has to tell you about Him.

This about a new restaurant you’ve tried recently. What made you decide to try the new restaurant? Most likely, someone told you about it. Maybe a friend told you the new restaurant was really good and their review made you want to try it for yourself. The same is true with Jesus. If someone hadn’t told you about Jesus, you couldn’t have called on Him for salvation.

When you hear about the goodness of God, it makes you believe in Him and want to invite Him into your life.

So finally, how does someone tell others about Jesus?

Domino Five – Those who tell others about Jesus are sent.

The Bible tells us in Mark 16:15 that we are to go into our world and tell others about Jesus. As believers, we are called by God to tell others about who Jesus is.

And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. – Mark 16:15 (NLT)

So take some time this week to think about this scripture. You’ve been called by God to tell others about Jesus. You are called to preach to people the message of salvation.

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As you tell others, they will hear the message, then they have the option to believe and finally call on Jesus to be saved. But the process starts with you telling people about Jesus. If you don’t open your mouth, then other people won’t have the opportunity to hear the gospel. It’s up to you to share with those around you. You sharing salvation with those around you can cause a great domino effect. You could cause someone you know and care for to get saved and to spend eternity with Jesus.

So what are you waiting for? Begin sharing Jesus with others today!

Similar Teen Devotion Topics

Three Steps To Love Difficult People

Teen Devotion - 3 Steps to Love Difficult PeopleHow many times do you struggle to love someone who is difficult to you? I remember I used to ride the bus to school and one girl always seemed to go out of her way to be mean to others. No matter what I did or said, she always seemed to have it out for me. From calling me mean names to making comments about my clothing she was one of meanest people I had ever met.

Loving someone like this girl can be really difficult. People who are unkind are hard to love. So how do we do it? How do we handle all the difficult people and difficult personalities?

Step One – Realize Their Value to God

Regardless of how that person treats you, they have value to God. They were created for a purpose, and even if they’re far from God, God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it. – Psalm 139:14 (NLT)

God loves difficult people. He might not approve their actions but He loves them and wants a relationship with them. When you realize that they’re important to God it helps you be able to love them better.

Step Two – Realize Your Value To God

Just like the difficult person has value to God, you have value to him too. Never let another person and how they treat you determine your value. If you place your worth in how others treat you or what they think of you, you’ll always come up short.

Your value should be firmly planted in what God says about you. Just because someone isn’t kind to you doesn’t mean that you’re not important. You have value to God and His opinion is the one that counts.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! – Psalm 139:17

God is thinking about you. That shows your value to God. You’re important to Him. He loves you and knows you and wants the best for you. Choose to believe the value God places on your life.

[Tweet “You’re important to God. He knows you and wants the best for you – @studentdevos”]

Step Three – Choose to Love

Regardless of how the mean person is treating you, you can choose to love them. They might not be right in how they treat you, but you can choose to love them. Ask God to show you ways to get along with them better. And choose to treat them with respect even when they aren’t doing the right thing to you.

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. – John 13:35

Choose to love others. Show the world the love of Jesus by loving others. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be best friends with people who are mean, but you don’t have to return their meanness with meanness. You can love them, pray for them, and do good to them.

If you’re a youth leader, here are some discussion questions you can use with your youth group.

 

 

4 Truths About Habits

Teen Devotion About HabitsAs a teenager, you might not really think about your habits much. But, you probably have tons of habits. You might have a habit of getting up in the morning a certain way. Or a habit of eating something a certain way.

I have this crazy habit of eating Nutter Butter cookies. I take two cookies, open each cookie sandwich up, and scrape out the peanut butter. I then re-stack the cookie using only two of the four cookies and all of the peanut butter filling. This makes a mountain of a cookie with lots of good peanut butter filling. Its so good!

Sometimes, habits can be weird, like how I eat Nutter Butter cookies. Other habits are boring and some habits are good and others are bad. Regardless of how habits are characterized, let’s look at a few things that habits have in common.

Truth One – Habits are Hard to Break.

Habits can be really hard to break, especially if you’ve been doing them for a long time. Maybe you have a habit of cracking your knuckles and it drives your mom crazy. So you try really hard to quit, but it seems like you always forget and crack them anyway. Habits are tough to break. Over time, they’ve become a part of who you are and it makes it much harder to break them when you find a bad one.

A bad habit never disappears miraculously. It’s an undo-it-yourself project.  – Abigail Van Buren

Have you ever had a habit that was really hard to break?

To break a habit, it takes a lot of hard work, but if you decide to do it and are determined, you can break any habit. Also, don’t discount God’s help in breaking a habit. Ask God for wisdom and he’ll show you creative ways you can break your habit.

The more bad habits you kick when you’re young, the freer and more fun you’ll have as you get older. Don’t waste any time, start working on those bad habits today!

Truth Two – Habits are hard work

Good habits don’t just appear in your life. As awesome as that would be, habits don’t just show up in your life. You’ve got to choose to work on the habits you’d like to have.

If you want to be more generous, you’ve got to spend time working on generosity. If you want to be more patient, you’ve got to practice patience in your life. A good way to do this, is to find some verses in the Bible that deal with the habit you’d like to see in your life. Read the verses and say the verses out loud daily, and put a copy of the verse in your locker at school or mirror at home. Getting God’s word into your heart is a good way to develop good habits.

Another practical thing you can do is to find some resources to develop the habit in your life. Perhaps your library has a book on your habit, or you can spend some time searching online to find tips to develop the habit. You can gain a lot of insight by simply looking for resources designed to help you develop good habits.

Regardless of how you develop the new habit, you need to realize that good habits aren’t going to just show up in your life. Just like an athlete has to practice hard to become good at their sport, you’ve got to spend time practicing and developing good habits in your life. Good habits don’t happen by chance, rather they’re developed through hard work and discipline.

Truth Three – Habits  determine your destination.

Just because you want to get a certain level of success in life doesn’t mean that it will happen. Just desiring something will never get you to where you want to go. Your destination in life is determined each day by the habits you keep.

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it. -Horace Mann

You’ve got to put in work to get to where you want to go in life. High achievement doesn’t happen automatically. You’ve got to put some time in to developing habits that will help you reach the destination you desire in life.

If you want to do well in sports there are certain habits you must develop to get you there. If you never show up for practice and don’t eat right, you’ll never achieve as much as those who do. To be good at something, you’ve got to develop the habits you need for success.

This is why its so important to develop good habits while you’re young. As you get older, habits become harder to break. It also becomes harder to reach your destination. Choose to develop habits that will help you reach your goals.

Habits help you reach your dreams.

If you have a dream of becoming a musician, then begin to develop good habits of practicing music. If you want to be a writer, begin writing a little bit every night before you go to bed. Whatever it is that you dream of doing, the habits you work on now matter. They will take you toward your dreams or away from them.

People ruin their lives with the foolish things they do, and then they blame theLord for it.  – Proverbs 19:3 (ERV)

Habits are really important. So choose today to make good habits in your life. Choose to not let life just pass you by, but rather put in the effort to develop good habits today.

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Similar Youth Devotions

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What Does The Bible Say About Anxiety?

Teen Devotion on AnxietyCan you think of times in your life when your parents would ask you what you learned at school or church. Most likely they were being really nice, but for some reason, you wanted to go to your room to be alone, or listen to music. You just wanted to be away from your parents and their questions. Because you wanted to get away, when your mom asked you, “What did you learn at school today?” You might have said, “Nothing”, and ran to your room. Or perhaps your dad asked, what did you do with your friends last night, and you said, “Nothing”.

This devotion is a tribute to those moments when you told your parents you learned nothing at school or did nothing with your friends. So when your mom asks you what you learned in this devotion, you can honestly say, “Nothing”.

To learn about nothing in this devotion, let’s check out a scripture about nothing that’s found in Philippians 4:6.

Be anxious for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. – Phil 4:6 (Jubilee)

Being Anxious Is Easy

The first part of this verse is easy. It tells us to be anxious. And for me, being anxious is really easy. I don’t have to try to be anxious, I can do it naturally. Being anxious is almost like second nature to me. You might have more homework than you have time to do, or you can see all the bad things going on in the world and it can become so easy to be anxious. You might even feel like you have a really good reason to be anxious.

Even if we feel like we’re justified in being anxious, this Bible verse tells us to be anxious for nothing. How is that even possible? With all the stress in our lives, with all the craziness going on in the world, how can we live our lives not being anxious?

Can We Really Live Our Lives Without Anxiety?

The end of this Bible verse gives us a clue how we can do this. It tells us in everything with prayer and thanksgiving, let our requests be known to God. So when we’re faced with anxiety, we’re to pray and to be thankful.

I know in my life, a lot of my anxiety comes from not being thankful. I can be stressed out that I have all state choir and band competitions next weekend, or I can be thankful that I have a God given musical ability. I can be anxious that I might not get my paper written in time or I can be thankful that I have the opportunity to go to school and get an education. When we are thankful, it makes all the difference. It’s hard to be anxious when you’re always being thankful.

Your Approach To Anxiety Matters

I remember a time when I was trying to learn how to skip rocks on water. As hard as I tried, I wasn’t able to make the rock skip. My best friend however, was a master at skipping rocks. He was able to make rocks skip four or five times across the surface of the water. I was so jealous at my friend’s ability to skip rocks, that one day I asked him how he did it.

He showed me a way to hold the rock that allowed me to get my rocks to skip across the water several times. My friend had what I needed, which was to change my approach to skipping rocks. Once my approach changed, I was able to skip rocks successfully.

How many times are we anxious because we need to approach things differently?

Living a life free from anxiety isn’t impossible, however, we may need to change our approach to do it successfully.

How Do We Change Our Approach To Anxiety?

So how do we do it? How do we change our approach to anxiety? I think it starts with really believing that God cares about you. It’s easy to think in the midst of a difficult situation that God forgot about you or that God doesn’t care. In reality nothing could be further from the truth.

God cares about you and wants to walk with you through any situation and circumstance you face. So don’t believe the lie that God doesn’t care about you. He cares about you so much. He wants you to be able to be anxious for nothing because you know that God will take care of you.

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We Can Be Anxious For Nothing

We don’t have to life our lives full of anxiety. Instead we can do what Phil 4:6 says be anxious, for nothing. We can choose to pray and be thankful in the midst of bad situations and circumstances. As we do that, we’ll experience God’s peace and love.

So dare to believe that God cares about you. Dare to live your life free from anxiety because you know that there’s nothing that God wouldn’t do for you!

If you’d like to discuss this devotion with your youth group, we’ve got a PDF handout of discussion questions ready for you. Click below to add to cart.

3 Things Your Phone Teaches About the Power of Thoughts

Teen and Youth Devotion on The Power of Your Thoughts

If you’re like most teenagers, you love taking pictures with your iPod, camera, or phone. Each picture you take shows a piece of your life. And some of these are so great, you have to share them on social media or Snapchat so all your friends can see.

I want you to imagine that every thought you have in a day is like a picture stored on your phone. Some you look at and decide “that wasn’t too great- I look stupid” and hit delete.

Did you know that your thoughts are similar to photos? They contain an image. Some thoughts you should choose to keep and others you choose delete. Every day you can scroll through your thoughts and ask yourself “is this thought worth keeping?” So with that in mind, here’s some tips to help you develop good mental pictures:

1 – Bad Thoughts Can Be Deleted

If you have a thought that is a negative image, one that doesn’t make you smile, then delete it from your thinking.

Many times, we don’t take any time to think about what we think about. Getting into the habit of deleting bad thoughts is important because our self-image is based upon how we think about ourselves.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. – Phil 4:8 (NLT)

The Bible talks about fixing your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure and admirable. If you’re continually thinking thoughts that aren’t good according to this verse’s standard, you should be deleting them. Don’t spend tons of time thinking about things that aren’t good. Instead delete those thoughts and replace them with good thoughts.

2 – Thoughts Can Be Shared.

Each time you take a picture on your phone you have the choice to share it or not. If you really like how you look, most likely, you’ll choose to share it on some social media platform. You want others to see what you’re up to and interact with what you shared.

As you know, everything you post on social media sites reflects you. It’s like a billboard that tells everybody what you are thinking and doing. So ask yourself, what image are you portraying? Are you posting your fears, your emotions, your hang-ups?

The things you post and speak reflect your thoughts. If you’re constantly speaking negative things and posting negative things, it’s a reflection what you’re thinking about. If you wonder how people see you, just check out what you’re sharing with others.

There’s nothing wrong with sharing your thoughts, but what you say and share often affects your attitude. If you’re always speaking and sharing negative things, often your attitude and outlook will follow. Your attitude is determined by what you think about. Spend time thinking good things and your outlook and attitude will follow.

There’s power in sharing positive things and avoiding spending too much time talking and sharing things that are negative.

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Tip #3 – Thoughts = Success

The images you look at daily determine your success online and in life. If you always look at the images where you don’t look good, you’ll begin to believe that you’re ugly or don’t measure up. What you look at on your phone matters.

In the same way, your thoughts are linked to what you look at and listen to. Take some time to examine what you’re letting your eyes and ears feast on. If you’re having a hard time keeping your thoughts positive, pay attention to what you’re looking at and listening to.

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If you want to propel your life forward, begin to examine what you’re thinking about. If you have a thought isn’t a good one don’t hesitate…delete it from your thinking. Thinking good thoughts will help you achieve success.

“We take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. ” – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (TEV)

Pray: Father, help me listen to my thoughts more and delete those that I don’t want developed in me. Help me not always say what I feel, but instead say what I want in my life and what will help other people. Help me to come to You with my hurts and feelings in prayer. Then what others hear from me will encourage them.

Read: Battlefield of the Mind for Teens: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer

If you’re leading a group for students, check out these discussion questions. They go along with this devotion and will help reinforce what this devotion is all about!