Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Hebrews 12:2

We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.  – Hebrews 12:2 (a) TPT

One time I was driving and I dropped my phone. I thought it would be easy to just quickly reach down and grab it. However, my phone had bounced and flipped its way under my seat. I could feel it, but I just couldn’t seem to dislodge it. I took a break and reached under the seat again and gave it a good tug. My phone came flying up from whatever was holding it. However, in the time I had spent with my head down getting my phone, my car was no longer on the smooth road. I had begun to drive in the gravel next to the road and was sort of fishtailing a bit out of control.

Thankfully, I wasn’t hurt. It was a good wake up call for me though. I realized that it really did matter where I was looking at when I was driving. That’s a lot like what today’s Bible verse is challenging us to do. It tells us to look away from the natural realm and fasten our gaze on Jesus.

The Bible tells us this because God knows how important it is for us to focus our attention on Jesus. In the world we live in today, it’s so easy to let Jesus fall out of focus. We have so many things that try to drag our attention off of Him. However, if we’re to keep our relationship with Jesus strong and exciting, we’ve got to take our eyes off all the distractions and focus on Jesus.

Today challenge yourself to spend more time focusing on Jesus. Don’t get distracted by all the other things trying to get your attention. Rather focus on Jesus and let Him lead your life.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Hebrews 3:4

For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God. – Hebrews 3:4 (NLT)

Have you ever walked down the street and looked at all the houses or buildings and thought those buildings were not built by someone? The foundation, walls, and roof didn’t just show up one day. No, someone put some thought and some effort into building them.

In the same way, God built everything we see in the world around us. Maybe not the buildings, but the plants, the animals, the sky, and people. God built them all.

Knowing that you are created by a intelligent, wise and loving God changes everything. It means that even if you don’t like yourself, even if people don’t treat you right, God built you. That means that you have value and that you’re important to God.

So, even if you feel that you lack confidence in your abilities, when you know that you’ve been created by God it changes things. You can build confidence in a creator God that loves you, and let His confidence in you become your confidence.

Today’s Truth: Even when you don’t have confidence in yourself, your creator has confidence in you.

Your creator, God made you for a purpose. He loves you and places His confidence in you. So today, choose to see yourself as God sees you. Realize that you’re not an accident. He made you on purpose to do good things!

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Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – 1 Corinthians 3:3

for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? – 1 Corinthians 3:3

I remember a time I got really jealous of a friend. This friend always was the one that everyone liked. She had such a great personality. It seemed like everyone liked her and simply ignored me. I often felt myself growing jealous of her. It seemed like she had everything going for her, and I was unliked and ignored.

I struggled often with thoughts of depression. I knew God loved me, but it felt like He was the only one who did. And that hurt. I wanted people to like me too.

Maybe you’ve felt the same way. Perhaps you’ve wished that you were liked better by others or had more friends. It’s easy to let jealousy steal your joy and make you hate life.

Jealousy is not a good thing. When you let it rule in your life, you are really letting your sinful nature control you. That’s not good or God’s best for your life. Jealousy if left unchecked will lead you to do bad things. So today, if there’s areas in your life you’ve allowed jealousy in, decide to give those to God. Let go of the hurt, and let God’s peace rule in your heart. You’ll be glad you did because you’ll experience more peace in God.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Matthew 11:30

Matthew 11:30

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:30 (NIV)

Do you like doing things the easy way? I remember a time when I was shown an easier way to add. When I understood this way of combining numbers to make adding easier, it changed everything. I was able to do simple math in my head quickly.

In life, there’s a way for us to make things easier. It’s following after Jesus. By following Jesus, we avoid much of the heartache the world has. The world will try to pursue things that don’t really satisfy. However, if we chase after Jesus and pursue His interests, our life gets easier.

That doesn’t mean that we’re free from problems, but it does mean that we can go through problems with hope because we know our creator cares for us. Our creator made us and wants good things for us. So today, choose to join up with Jesus.

He wants to help make your life easier and His burden is light. So today, if you’ve not chosen to follow Jesus with your whole heart, make that decision. Follow after Jesus completely. It’s the best decision you can make.

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Proverbs 14:30

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

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Isaiah 9:6

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Matthew 19:16

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

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – 1 Peter 2:17

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

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Psalm 103:2

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Matthew 11:29

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

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

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

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