But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.
– John 4:14 (NLT)
The Bible says that when you become a Christian, you are made into a new creature. On the inside, your spirit is made completely new. Now that you are made new in your spirit the Holy Spirit is able live and refresh you. This new relationship with God that takes place in your spirit is like a river. It’s always there and always flowing. Sometimes you might not feel it as much or at all but that doesn’t change the fact that He’s still there.
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At times when you do not feel the Holy Spirit in you, you can read your Bible, pray and sing. Praise and worship is a great way to get your focus on God and back on this river of life that is constantly flowing in your spirit. If you are a Christian, realize that in your spirit you are completely new and forgiven. Today you have a river of God flowing in you that is eternal. It is always there to refresh you and encourage you in your walk with God.
Have you ever been so hungry that your stomach was growling uncontrollably? I know I have. In fact, one day during U.S. History, my stomach was growling so loud that it disrupted class. My stomach was so loud that the teacher had to bring me food just so the class could focus on the lesson that day.
I’m sure you’ve had situations where you’ve been hungry. What did you do when you were hungry? Did you just sit around hoping to get food? Or did your hunger cause you to act?
In most cases, hunger produces action. For example, if you’re hungry, you’ll go find yourself a snack, or ask someone for food. Hunger produces action. In the same way, we should be hungry for the things of God. As Christians, we shouldn’t be satisfied with just going to church, just living our lives, but not allowing the power of God to change us. We should be so hungry for God that it causes us to act. Our hunger for God should empower us to go out and change our world.
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So my question is…are you hungry? Are you desiring the things of God? Are you wanting more than just average Christianity? Or are you caught up in your own life, your own problems and concerns?
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled – Matthew 5:6
Don’t let your Christianity be ordinary. Decide today to start getting hungry for the things of God. As you get more excited about God you’ll change your world!
Relating to God can feel kinda tough at times. How do you begin to get to know someone you can’t see? How do you talk to someone who isn’t visible? With that in mind, we’ve found some helpful tips that can make relating to God be just a little bit easier.
The first thing you can try is tomorrow, when you wake up, say, “Good morning, Lord!” And then picture Him saying “Good morning, (your name) I’m so glad you’re awake!” I encourage you to change the picture you have of yourself when God sees you. Imagine walking up to the throne of God to ask Him for something or just talk to Him.
In Hebrews 4:16 it says Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The second thing you can do is remind yourself that you’ve got a right to talk to God. To come boldly means that we have a right to be there (because of Jesus making the way). It’s a throne of grace- not of judgment. Grace is help when you need it. And mercy is grace when you don’t deserve it because you did something wrong.
Come to that throne of help to a loving God often- not just on Sunday morning, but every morning. And come knowing that you belong- you are in the family and the price has been paid for your adoption.
Relating to God doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. It can be really great when you realize that you have ever right to talk to Him and know that He wants nothing more than to talk to you.
Prayer: “Father, I come boldly to you today. I need your help. I thank you for your grace to help me today to do what I need to do. (if you need to ask forgiveness, then do that and then get right back to the throne). I’m so glad I’m your child and I love you!
Do you ever have times when you feel like no one understands you? Or maybe that those closest to you don’t really get you? It can be really hard to know what to do when you feel like those close to you don’t get you, don’t listen, or maybe don’t take your concerns seriously.
Even though sometimes your family or friends may not understand, Jesus does. The Bible describes it like this:
“For we do not have a high Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a fellow feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.” – Hebrews 4:15
The next verse says this: Heb 4:16 – “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
In other words, Jesus not only understands, He also has help for you to also beat the temptation and overcome every trouble. We are told to boldly come (because you’re His child) to the throne of grace and obtain or receive the mercy (that’s the help when we mess up) and the grace (that’s the strength to overcome) in time of need (that covers everything).
So when you feel like no one understands or is there to help you through a tough time, remember that Jesus is there for you. He understands and will always listen to you and have your back. Go to Him when you need help and someone to get you. He’s always ready to help you out.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you really understand what I’m going through. I’m glad You are my friend during this time. I come to your throne of grace and ask you to give me the help I need to overcome this situation and the strength to whip this temptation. I receive it and believe it’s mine. Thank You Jesus!
Don’t you hate it when people don’t keep their word? Maybe your mom said she’d take you for ice cream after school and forgot all about it. Perhaps you had a friend that borrowed money from you and said they’d pay you back the next day but never did. When people don’t keep their word, it can be really frustrating. Here are some good reasons to keep your word, even when it isn’t easy.
Keep your word even when it costs you” – Psalm 15:5 (Message)
Keeping your word pays off in the end. It probably doesn’t feel like it will pay off, but keeping your word will set you up for future success. It might feel like you’re not getting ahead when you do what you say, but if you keep your word, people begin to trust you. That trust will lead to you having more responsibility.
Keeping your word takes guts. It’s not easy to follow through with what you say. Sometimes, it means you end up having to do something you’d rather not do. Keeping your word isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a person who is committed and is ready to do the right thing no matter how hard it might seem.
Keeping your word takes work. Its easier to not follow through and do the things you say you’ll do. It’s hard to keep your word. It also doesn’t happen right away. It’s a habit that you have to develop. Realize that learning to keep your word doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t become discouraged if you’re not perfect at it right away. Keep working on it, and you’ll get better the more you make it a priority in your life.
Keeping your word isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes guts and it takes work. However, keeping your word is something that will pay off in the end. You won’t have regrets or have to feel bad because you didn’t do something that you said you would do.
It’s better to stay silent than to commit to something that you know you can’t fulfill. Challenge yourself to begin becoming a person that keeps their word. It will really pay off in the end!
I’m sure we’ve all experienced it, that moment when you’ve been given a bad Christmas gift. It could be the horrible sweater your aunt got you with the huge fuzzy cat face on it. Or perhaps it was the time your grandma gave you socks and underwear instead of the headphones you asked for.
There is always that awkward moment when you’re trying to think of something nice to say. You know you need to thank the person that gave you the gift, but how do you do it? How do you thank someone for a horrible sweater without laughing or seeming disappointed. How do you tell grandma thanks for giving you socks and underwear instead of what you really wanted?
This devo offers no good advice on how to fake excitement when you get a less than amazing gift. However, what this devo does offer you is some insight into the best gift ever given, Jesus.
This Christmas season, no matter how bad your aunt messes up your Christmas gift wish list, there are a few things you can be excited for. The main thing to be excited about is Jesus. See God wasn’t like Grandma who gave you what you didn’t want and didn’t need. He gave us the main thing we were lacking, salvation.
God sent his Son into the world. He did not send him to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him. – John 3:17 (ERV)
God could have judged the world. He could have been a rotten gift giver. He could have told us all the things we have done wrong. He could have reminded us of all the ways we didn’t measure up. However, He didn’t do that. Instead he decided to save us from our sins.
So this Christmas, if your aunt gives you a horrible sweater, or your grandma gives you some stupid socks, remember that God gave you an awesome gift. He saved us from our sins. So, if you’ve never made the decision to accept Jesus into your heart and become a child of God you can. Its easy, just follow this prayer. If you have accepted Jesus, then remember to share Him and His love with others this Holiday season. That way, regardless of the gifts you get, you can enjoy knowing that you’ve been made right with God.
Yes, “everyone who trusts in the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13 (ERV)
Discipleship Track 2 (Lesson #3) – God Is Not Lame
If you were asked by a friend, “Who is God?” what would you say? How would you introduce God to your friend? Many times, we’re led to believe by TV, Movies, books and magazines that serving God is lame and boring. Or that to serve God you’ve got to give up lots of things. This discipleship track tackles those issues.
God is not lame!
Serving God will never bring heartache or sadness.
Following God will make your life full of adventure!
Discipleship Track 3 (Lesson #1) – Why Read The Bible?
It seems that many people are in love with Jesus. They want to follow Him with their whole heart. However, part of following Jesus is getting to know the Word. To really follow Jesus, you’ve got to get excited about and become besties with the Word.
Scripture makes you wise
The Words in the Bible are inspired by God himself
Reading the Bible helps you be equipped for what God has called you to do
The Bible shows us right from wrong
Read these awesome scriptures about God’s word that help you see the importance of becoming a bestie with the Word.
If you’re a youth leader and would like to use this discipleship track for your youth group, download our Youth Leader Resource pack for this lesson! It comes with promotional material, a lesson outline based on the video above, powerpoint slides and discussion questions. This pack is a sure fire way to get your youth group established in the Word!
You’ve probably heard at church or youth group at some point that you should love others. But you may have wondered, what does that look like? What does it really mean to love others, and what does it look like to love your enemy?
The answer to that question, is that love looks different. It looks different than what you see on TV. It looks different than what you hear in the hallways at school. True love, the way God meant it, looks way different than the way we see it portrayed. Many times, the definition of love on TV or school goes something like this: I’ll love you if you can do something for me, or if you can give something to me. However, this isn’t the meaning of loving others that the Bible describes.
This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins. – 1 John 4:10(God’s Word)
This verse in 1 John describes love as something different than what we see at school and on TV. It shows us that God defines love differently. God didn’t wait for us to be able to give Him something for Him to love us. God loved us first. He loved us and gave before we even knew Him. Then God challenges us to take the love He gave to us and show that love to others.
Loving others isn’t based upon how others treat us. Its based on God’s love and grace which empowers us to then love others. We are to love others and value them, not because they have done anything to deserve it, but because its the example God showed us first. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says it this way:
“The Christian must treat his enemy as a brother, and requite his hostility with love. His behavior must be determined not by the way others treat him, but by the treatment he himself receives from Jesus; it has only one source, and that is the will of Jesus.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
So choose to love others. Treat them with respect and love, not based on what they can do for you, or how they treat you, but rather based on how God treated us!
Santa is a pretty cool guy! We’ve got nothing against the guy in the red suit, but we do want to list a few reasons why Jesus is way better than Santa.
1. Jesus doesn’t give out coal. The great thing about Jesus is that He doesn’t give bad gifts, like coal. He only gives the best gifts, you know the ones the non-coal type. Jesus has your best interests at heart and is all about giving you awesome gifts. So no matter what you are in need of this Christmas season, Jesus has your answer!
Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. – James 1:17 (Message)
2. Santa gifts last a year or two but Jesus’ gifts last forever. There’s lots of awesome gifts that you can get from Santa. Many times, those toys might be really great when you first get them, but after a while, you usually outgrow them or they go out of style. Jesus, on the other hand gives gifts that never wear out or get outdated. The gifts Jesus gives are ones that you can enjoy for the rest of your life!
Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. – James 1:17 (Message)
3. Talking to Santa lasts a few months, talking to Jesus lasts a lifetime.
The great thing about Jesus is that you are able to talk to Him at any time. He’s there and ready to listen. You don’t have to wait until the Christmas season and find him at a department store to talk to Him. You can talk to Jesus at anytime and in any place, and He’s ready to listen.
Jesus has got Santa beat when it comes to Christmas awesomeness. Where Santa is lacking, Jesus has got him covered. Jesus desires nothing more than getting to know you better this Christmas season. So in the middle of your time off from school and eating your weight in candy canes, take some time to think about all the good things that Jesus has done for you, and be sure to thank Him for being way better than Santa!