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Why Jesus Is Better Than The Easter Bunny

Easter Devotion for Teenagers

**This was originally posted in 2014, but was too awesome not to share this Easter season! We updated it with fresh content and added some discussion questions at the end, so you’ll be all set to do an awesome Bible study with some friends or your youth group!

Can you remember the Easter Bunny coming to visit your house as a little kid? Do you recall the packages of chocolate, jelly beans, and the awesome toys he would bring? The Easter Bunny brought lots of awesome things into kid’s lives. However, as great as the Easter Bunny is, he sure pales in comparison to Jesus.

You Can Talk To Jesus

Jesus, unlike the Easter Bunny, isn’t meant to visit your life for only one Sunday of the year. He doesn’t just visit and then goes away.  Instead, Jesus comes to live in your heart when you accept him as savior. That means that you are able to talk to him at any time or in any place.

Learn More: How to Develop a Relationship With God

Talking to Jesus isn’t weird or difficult. It’s just including him in the moments of your life. When you are going to the restroom on your lunch break thank Jesus for the nice weather outside.  It could be a simple, “please help me on my math quiz”.  Or maybe it’s getting some time alone at home and asking for his help planning your schedule for the upcoming school year and asking Him what classes you should take.

Never stop praying. – 1 Thes 5:17 (NLT)

Whatever it looks like for you, talking to Jesus isn’t complicated. It’s easy. Start by including Him in those moments every day. Get His help and wisdom with the big and small things in life. Jesus is so much better than the Easter bunny because He’s there for you. He’s ready and willing to listen and speak if you’ll let Him.


Jesus Defeated Sin

The Easter Bunny is cute and fluffy, which definitely makes him lovable. His ears flop and he has a puffy tail, but when push comes to shove, he’s just a little bunny. Jesus, on the other hand, is the definition of awesome! Jesus was able to do what no other person (or Easter Bunny) could do. He paid the price for the sins of the whole world. Jesus defeated death, hell, and the grave so we didn’t have to.

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Read the Devotion: Why Jesus Is Like Snapchat

Because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do, we are all purified from sin by the offering that he made of his own body once and for all. – Hebrews 10:10 (GNB)

Jesus gave us the ability to be free from sin, once and for all. That’s the good news of the Easter story. It’s that God came down and helped us be free from the sin, fear, and anything else that kept you from following after God. Jesus freed us from that all. And while the Easter bunny is a fun character, Jesus is the one Easter is really about. He’s the one that did what no one else could.

So the next time you see stuff in the stores about the Easter Bunny, remember that as neat as the Easter Bunny is, he doesn’t even compare to how awesome Jesus is. Jesus did what no one else could do. He offered himself as a sacrifice for sin, which is the best Easter present!

Finding the Miracle In Your Mess

Teen Devotion - Youth Group Discussion on Finding the Miracle in Your MessHave you noticed that things are usually a bit messier in reality than they appear on social media? On social media, everything looks perfect. The guys always say and do what they ‘should’ do. The girls always look amazing, no hair out of place, wearing the perfect outfit. How is it that on social media, it seems that everyone else has a perfect life? Then you compare your life next to the images, vacations, relationships of others and it’s easy to feel like your own life is a total failure.

Once I went on a first date that went horribly. I tried hard to not to say or do anything stupid. But it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I kept doing dumb things. We decided to go get smoothies and in my nervousness, I put the straw in the cup upside down. I sucked the smoothie out of the straw and it spilled all over my pants. Reality is often like my date, very messy. When our lives don’t look as amazing as our friend’s lives on social media we can end up disappointed and become discouraged.

[Tweet “When reality doesn’t match up with our expectations, we can often become disappointed – @studentdevos”]


Mary’s Miracle Was Messy

30 The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary; God has shown you his grace. 31 Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of King David, his ancestor. – Luke 1:30-32 (NCV)

In the Bible, Mary had an opportunity to get discouraged. She had been told by an angel that she would give birth to the savior of the world. She might have pictured that she would give birth to the savior of the world with angels helping her through labor. They’d bring her grapes and ice chips. I’m sure she imagined that she would give birth to the savior of the world in a comfy, nice place. Instead, she gives birth to Jesus in a smelly barn next to some cows and sheep.

At that moment, I’m sure Mary was like, God where are you? This isn’t what I pictured. Have you left me here alone in this mess?

The truth was that God hasn’t left Mary alone in the mess. He was there with her the whole time, just like He’s there with you too. Just because God was doing a miracle in Mary’s life didn’t mean that it was easy or free of obstacles.

The same is true for you. God is working in your life. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re going to be exempt from problems or messy situations. What it does mean is that in the middle of the mess you’re going through, God is working. He hasn’t left you alone or without help.


You Get to Choose Your Attitude in the Mess

When you’re going through something that seems messy, it can be easy to want to get discouraged. You might ask God why is it taking so long? Or why is it so hard? Maybe you think that you’ll choose to be happy when things change. Like you’ll be happy when you grow up and get out of your parent’s house. Or that you’d be able to experience joy when your boss was nicer to you.

Even if everything is going wrong and it feels like your life is crumbling to pieces around you, one thing is true. You get to choose your attitude in the mess.

[Tweet “You choose your attitude in the mess, so choose joy – @studentdevos”]

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. – Phil 4:12 (NIV)

Paul learned this truth. He realized that he could choose to be content no matter what was going on around him. He could do this because He realized that God was going to see Him through. Whatever was done to him, whatever was said about him, he knew that he was going to come through because God was never going to leave him.

The same is true for you. God is not going to leave you helpless and alone in your mess. He’s not going to forget you. So in the middle of chaos, you can choose to be at peace. You can’t control circumstances but you can control your attitude. You can choose to be happy.


You Can Choose Patience In Your Mess

Waiting is hard. It’s never easy to wait for the things of God to come to pass in your life. Maybe you prayed for something and you haven’t seen it happen yet. Maybe you just wish that you could be older or have less pressure on you right now. All those feelings are understandable.

Even if you wished things would change, you can use this time of waiting to practice patience. It’s a little like getting your driver’s license. It doesn’t just happen, there’s a process for getting it. First, you’ve got to get a learners permit. Then you take driver’s ed. After that, you wait until you’re 16, take a test, pay a fee, get your picture taken and then get your license. You don’t just automatically get it when you’re old enough to drive. You’ve got to be patient and go through the process.

Go Deeper: 5 Devotions About Patience

There is a lot of waiting in life. Things don’t happen automatically and often the things we pray about don’t always come to pass as quickly as we’d like. In the midst of waiting, we can use the time to practice patience.

But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing. – James 1:4 (KJ 2000 Bible)

[Tweet “You are perfected as you learn patience – @studentdevos”]

It isn’t easy being patient when you want to see a situation or a person change. However, you can choose to use it as an opportunity to grow. Each trial you go through is an opportunity to see God build character into your life. So determine to grow from this situation and let patience perfect you.


Life can be messy. Things don’t happen like you want them to and in the timing you want them to. Regardless of how messy your miracle feels right now, know that God is working. He’s bringing your miracle to pass. So in this season of mess and waiting, choose to draw closer to God. Let God be your source of joy and peace. See God move through your mess and see your miracle come to pass!

 

What YouTube Teaches About Success

What YouTube Teaches About Success Teen Devotion

YouTube is an undeniably awesome website. Whether you enjoy listening to music, figuring out how to do something new, or simply watching a funny video, it’s hard to not love YouTube. YouTube is a really great website, and its video player can teach us some things about success in life. If you’re wanting to be more successful, then let’s dive in and find out what YouTube can teach us about success.

Mute/Volume Controls

The YouTube video player offers mute and volume controls. This lets you be in control of how loud you want things to be. Maybe you’re listening to a video and you need to hear someone else talk, you are able to turn the volume down. Perhaps you don’t want to hear your brother practicing his squeaky saxophone loudly, so you turn the volume up. YouTube lets you be in control of what you hear.

In life the same is true. You can control what you hear. If you hear something that is contrary to God’s word, you have the opportunity to turn the volume down on that voice. You can choose to walk away and not spend time thinking about those words.

If you run into a situation where you find someone or something that is encouraging you in your faith and walk with God, turn up the volume on that person.

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you–and even more. – Mark 4:24 (NIV)

You are in control of what you hear and who you let speak into your life. Choose wisely the voices you listen to. If you need to mute the voices of certain friends, TV shows, or websites then do it. To be a success in life, you’ve got to be selective about what you hear.

[Tweet “Successful people pay attention to who they allow to speak into their lives – @studentdevos”]

Full Screen/Default View

YouTube has a fullscreen button and it’s great. You can hit it and see a video play larger. Sometimes it’s nice to watch a video bigger to get the full effect.

To be successful in life, you’ve got to do the same thing. You’ve got to choose how big you’re going to make situations and circumstances. Sometimes, it’s easy to maximize the wrong things. If you focus on something someone did to you, it can often make you upset and unhappy. Instead, choose to forgive those people who did you wrong and put that situation into proper perspective. Choose to keep those situations small and maximize situations and thoughts that bring you peace.

[Tweet “True peace occurs when you put the right things into focus in your life – @studentdevos”]

If you continually focus your attention on things people did or didn’t do to you, you’ll always be upset. Instead, choose to put the right things full screen in your life. Choose to focus on the good things that are happening around you instead of the bad. Choose to be thankful for the blessings in your life instead of only seeing the bad things. Know that God is good and working on your behalf, so don’t make the mistake of putting the wrong things full screen in your life.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Phil 4:7 (ESV)

Choose to guard your heart and allow peace to be in your heart by not allowing the wrong things to be full screen in your life

Next Button

The next button on YouTube is so nice. When you hit a video that isn’t what you wanted, or it’s getting a little boring, you can click next. The next video then begins to play.

In life, you’ve got to know when to hit next. There are going to be thoughts that come into your head that aren’t godly. You’ve got to know when to hit next on the patterns of thinking that aren’t positive and peaceful. Instead of spending lots of time dwelling on thoughts that aren’t of God, choose to hit next when negative thoughts come.

Don’t spend time dwelling on those thoughts, but choose to go to the next one. Choose to think thoughts that are full of life and peace. Choose to think thoughts that are based in God’s word and what He says about you.

Learn more about the power of your thoughts.

[Tweet “There’s power in thinking godly thoughts – @studentdevos”]

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Phil 4:8 (ESV)

Your Habits Matter

There are lots of things that determine success in life, but one thing is certain your habits matter. The patterns of thinking you develop when you’re young will determine how far and how quickly you get to your dreams in life.

Choose to put some effort into developing good habits in your thinking and attitudes toward others. If you can develop positive patterns in your thinking you’ll go a lot farther than the people who haven’t put in the effort to develop those things.

Learn more about unlocking your potential.

So the next time you’re watching those funny videos on YouTube, take a look at the player controls and think about how they can teach you about success. Choose to put into practice habits that will propel you toward your dreams!

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.

[Tweet “Practicing a lifestyle of generosity brings true happiness – @studentdevos”]

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.

[Tweet “Each challenge you experience can bring you closer to God if you let it – @studentdevos”]

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.

[Tweet “What you’ve connected with influences the direction of your life – @studentdevos”]

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.

[Tweet “When we see who we are in Christ, we can truly enjoy life – @studentdevos”]

 


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.

[Tweet “Knowing that in Christ you can do it keeps you going when things get tough – @studentdevos”]

 


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.

[Tweet “When you begin to see yourself the way Jesus sees you, you realize you matter – @studentdevos”]

 


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.

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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!

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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.

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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.