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Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – James 5:16

I want you to think for a moment about who your closest friends are. When you hang out, do you have trouble talking to them? Or is it easy? My guess is that you don’t really struggle that much to talk to your good friends. But if you’re honest, talking to God or praying can feel overwhelming at times. You may not feel like you know the right words to say or how to go about praying.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help get you unstuck when praying.

  1. Anyone Can Pray – It’s good news to know that you don’t have to be a Bible scholar or have a ton of scriptures memorized. You can begin praying right now.

    James 5:16 – “Anyone who lives the way God wants can pray, and great things will happen” (ERV)

  2. Prayer Is Just Connecting With God – You can connect with God just like you would with friends. Connect with God by telling him your thoughts, feelings, fears and dreams.
  3. Pray The Word – This is freeing, when you realize that you don’t have to always come up with stuff to pray. Use your Bible to help you and pray scriptures out over your life and others.
  4. Pray with Authority – You can know that God hears you when you pray and great things will happen when you pray.

Realize that prayer is a lot like talking to a friend. There is no right way to do it, just like there is no one right way to pray. Take the pressure off yourself to pray the “right way” and begin simply spending time with God.

James 5:16

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Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Proverbs 12:22

The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth. – Proverbs 12:22

Telling the truth is pretty easy when it doesn’t really matter. If someone at school asks you if you went shopping this weekend, telling the truth is easy. Regardless of your answer, it doesn’t really matter.

However, if your mom asks you something and the answer would get you in trouble, telling the truth becomes a lot harder. It would be easier to stretch the truth or change what happened a bit to make yourself look good and avoid trouble.

Telling the truth takes courage

Telling the truth in moments like those takes courage on your part. It’s not easy telling the truth when it costs you or gets you in trouble. (Learn more)

Being a person of character means telling the truth regardless of the consequences. It takes work to put aside what’s easy and would feel good at the moment to do what’s right in the long run.

God rewards character and those who seek after Him, so challenge yourself to be a person full of character. When you do, you can watch and see God do great things through you.

Telling the truth

Daily Bible Verse and Devotion – Ephesians 4:22

Your Habits matter teen devotionHave you noticed that your habits matter? If you’re an athlete, you won’t get far if you don’t exercise, lift weights, and eat right. If you stuff your face full of chips, soda and spend your free time sitting around relaxing, you can’t expect to go as far in sports as someone who eats right and exercises.

We know that habits set the course for our lives. The habits we choose each day set us up for success or failure later in life.

throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. – Ephesians 4:22 (NLT)

In today’s Bible verse, Paul is not saying that you still have a sinful spirit. Rather when he says to throw off the old sinful nature he’s talking about turning away from our habits and lusts.

Today’s Truth: Your Habits Matter

The way we act and our habits should reflect Jesus.  We shouldn’t live our lives like we did before we knew Christ. We shouldn’t be living like the world lives. Instead, we should live lives that reflect Jesus to the world around us. A big part of doing that is throwing off bad habits and lusts.

As Christians, we should be letting our new spirit man lead our habits. We should be following what our spirit desires, not what seems good to our flesh. So challenge yourself today to focus on letting your spirit man lead your choices and habits. Choose to let the new man dominate the things you think, say, and do.

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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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!

Two Often Overlooked Secrets to Success at School

Youth and Teen Devotion - Two Often Overlooked Secrets to Success at School

Have you ever envied those people at school that just always seem to get good grades? It’s easy to watch them and think about how unfair it is that they are always getting good grades. There are moments when you feel like no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to do as well as they do. It can be easy to feel like their success is because they’re just naturally smart. And while it’s true that some people have a knack for book learning, there are ways to do better in school even if reading and writing isn’t your thing.

Let’s take a look at a couple of ways you can boost your grades and earn some brownie points with your teachers. The great thing about these is that they don’t require any extra IQ points at all!

  1. Show up.
    Yep, success at school is as simple as that. Show up to class. Everyday. Whether you feel like it or not.
    Simply showing up each day goes a long way towards success at school. And don’t only show up in person, but be there mentally as well. It’s easy to get sucked into passing notes around the classroom, or Snapchatting your friends, but if you want to do well in school you’ve got to pay attention. It’s amazing how many times a teacher will give you tips for a test that you miss if you’re not there or if you’re not paying attention. There’s power to just mentally participating in your class.
    Its amazing how much better you can do on tests, quizzes and assignments by simply mentally participating in class. It may be hard for you to focus on what makes up DNA or the quadratic equation. You might not find those topics that interesting, but force yourself to listen anyway. The more you listen and participate mentally, the better you’ll do in class. Its just that simple.
    Show up physically and show up mentally. If you’re there and focused you can guarantee you’ll start getting better grades!
  2. Communicate.
    This is huge. Communicate with your teachers. Let them know if you have a doctor’s appointment and will be missing class a few days ahead of time. Then get your missed classwork done quickly and turned in.
    It’s amazing how willing teachers will be to work with you, if you just communicate with them. Let them know if you’re not keeping up and ask them for tips, pointers and help. Ask if you can do extra work if you need to bring a grade up. Just keep the lines of communication open, and it can really help you out. When communicating, don’t wait until right before finals to get the help you need. Once you realize that you’re struggling, get the courage to go talk to your teacher. Ask them for any tips or help. Most teachers are eager to help you succeed.

Teen Mp3 download of success scriptures for teens

These two things will help you out a lot at school. If you show up to class each day and show your teachers that you’re trying your best they will be much more likely to help you out if you get behind or need extra help. If you haven’t been to class everyday or doing the work, you don’t really have much ground to stand on when asking your teacher for help. The best way to do well in school is to show up everyday and communicate!

Finally, don’t forget to ask for God’s help. He can give you wisdom if you need help in dealing with a difficult teacher or school situation. He’s got the answer for any situation you’re facing. Don’t be afraid to ask Him what you should do.

Related Youth Resources

Here’s a student resource that’s sure to knock your socks off! This mp3 is full of awesome scriptures to help you be a success at school. Get them into your heart and watch God help you become a success at school!

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6 Reasons To Make Financial Goals

Teen Devotion - Financial Goals, Habits, Spending MoneyFinancial goals can seem pretty boring when you’re young. Most likely, you’d rather work on that history paper than think about your future financial goals. Setting financial goals isn’t probably what you’ll be bragging to your friends you did Friday night, but they are important. Setting financial goals can launch you forward into success faster. Here are six awesome reasons to set financial goals.

Reason One – Debt Stinks

It’s really easy to get sucked into the trap of spending too much. Those new shoes might seem so appealing and getting the newest phone might be really tempting, but getting into debt over them isn’t fun. It’s easy to get sucked into buying lots of things. While there’s nothing wrong with having nice things, getting into debt to have those nice things won’t pay off in the end.

If you want to be financially stable, make the decision while your young to stay out of debt. Credit card debt is especially bad. Setting good financial goals is important, they will help you stay out of debt.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. – Proverbs 22:4 (NIV)

Reason Two – No regrets.

When you get to be old and you’re looking back over your life, what financial decisions will you remember most? The coat that you had to have? Or that backpack that everyone at school was talking about? Or will it be the time you gave money to help missionaries touch lives for Jesus?

If you want to live a life without regrets, one step toward that is to make sound financial decisions. If you set aside money for saving and giving, you’ll find that you’ll be able to do the things that you want to. Choose to set financial goals so that you can live your life with no financial regrets.

Reason Three – Embarrassment

There is always that embarrassment of always living off your parents. Its not cool to be 34 and still borrowing money from your mom to get McDonald’s on Friday night. However, if you spend every penny you make each month you could find yourself in that situation.

It’s embarrassing not having enough money to buy things or help others out. You can avoid this by setting up good financial habits while you’re young. Choose to spend your money wisely and set some financial goals and limits for your life.

Reason Four – You want to achieve more.

If you want to achieve more, have money to give to others, and have nice things, you’ve got to have a plan to get there. Unfortunately success in life isn’t automatic. It takes work to get to where you want to be in life. If you want to be well off, you’ve got to make plans and wise financial decisions to get there.

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Reason Five – You want to enjoy life

If you don’t want to be stressed out all the time, wondering where the money is going to come from to pay for your rent, then it would be good to set up some financial goals. Your goals don’t have to be complicated. Simply determine to save and spend less than you make. An easy way to do this is to take out some money in cash for fun. Once your fun money is spent, then you know you can’t spend any more until your next pay period. This might seem like it’s keeping you from having fun, but in reality the opposite is true.

If you want to really enjoy life, and not be stressed out about money, then choose to spend less than you make so you have money left over in case of an emergency. Goals like these will help you stay on track financially and leave you with some room to have some fun too.

Reason Six – You Want to take adventures

If you want to travel, give, and change the world, it’s going to take money. With some smart financial goals, you can set aside some money so you’re able to travel and do the things you really want to do.

Setting up financial goals isn’t easy. It takes some work and saying ‘no’ to what feels good right now. However, if you set goals and hold yourself accountable to those goals, you help yourself in the long run. Financial goals helps you achieve more and help others too.

What are some financial goals you have?

3 Reasons to Make Goals

3 Reasons to Make Goals For Teenagers - Youth Group

As a teenager, its easy to think that setting goals doesn’t matter. You might feel that goals are for adults to accomplish, or setting goals is something you can worry about when you get older. In this devotion, we’re going to talk about a few reasons you should start setting goals now as a teenager. Don’t wait until you’re finished with school, married, or set in your career to set goals. The time to start is now. Here are a few reasons why.

  1. Setting goals is a habit.  There’s no reason to wait to set goals. If you start setting goals now as a teenager, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish. Don’t let excuses or laziness keep you from setting goals for your life. Instead make setting goals a habit in your life.
  2. Setting goals is fulfilling. There’s nothing better than the feeling of accomplishing the goals you set for your self. Its great to be able to check something off the list and know that its done and you did well. By setting goals you know where you’re going and what you want to accomplish. Goals give you something to aim for and to run after. So set some goals and enjoy the chance to cross those goals off your list.
  3. Don’t wait.  If you make the excuse that you’re going to wait until you’re ready, less busy, or an adult, you’ll never start setting goals. Setting goals isn’t something you should wait for or put off. Its something that you should start doing now. If you wait to set goals, you’ll end up never setting any. Choose to begin to set goals for your life!

Start the new year off right. Challenge yourself to make some goals for the upcoming year. Your goals might be something small like bumping up your algebra grade, or being more friendly to others at school. Or they could be something larger like going on a missions trip or learning to play guitar. Whether the goals are big or small, the important thing is that you begin to set them.

Don’t wait for the perfect time or the right circumstances to begin. Start by setting aside 10 or 15 minutes out of your day and write down some goals. You don’t have to over think goal setting, just think of some stuff you’d like to do or improve and throw them on your list. That way when you look back on the next year, you can see that you accomplished some great things!

A goal is a dream with a deadline. – Napoleon Hill

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Why Should I Read The Bible?

Teen Devotion why should I read the Bible

Have you ever needed to take some medicine for when you were sick? Maybe you had a nasty cold and you ran to the doctor to get a prescription for some medicine to help you get better faster. Let’s say you went to the pharmacy, got the medicine and brought it home. You set the medicine on your counter and left it there. A few days later, you ended up calling the doctor. You couldn’t understand why you weren’t getting any better. Your doctor would probably ask you if you were taking your medicine as often or as much as he/she had prescribed. Since the medicine is still sitting on the countertop, you’d have to say ‘no’ that you weren’t taking it like the doctor had prescribed.

The only way for medicine to work for you is to get it in you. If it just sits on your counter all week, its not doing you any good. Its when its in you that its real power goes into effect.

The same is true when it comes to reading the Bible. The Bible does no good in your life unless you get it into you. You’ve got to spend time reading it, thinking about it and doing what it says for it to have power and make change in your life.

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Here’s a few things to think about:

  • You should spend enough time reading, thinking about and doing the Bible until it becomes a part of who you are.
  • The goal of reading the Bible is to grow. You shouldn’t be in the same place you were a year ago.
  • God can be more real to you now than He was last year.
  • To really get the most out of reading the Bible, it may take tuning some other distractions out of your life.

The Bible is more than just an ordinary book. It has the power to change you. As you read it, it will become more alive to you and you’ll want to know God more. Choose to make the Bible important in your everyday life.

Student Devos Recommends This Book

Living By The Book by Howard and William Hendricks.
This book has some awesome suggestions on ways to make reading the Bible more fun. It also makes reading the Bible seem way less overwhelming!


If you’re a youth leader and want a youth group lesson on reading your Bible, check out the resource below. It comes with all you need to have a great youth group night!

Four Financial Traps To Avoid

Financial Traps to Avoid as A TeenagerDo you want to get ahead in your finances? Or maybe you want to be well off and have money left over to give to others? You can get to where you want to be financially with some good discipline and hard work. Those good habits can start by knowing what bad habits you should avoid with your money. Check out four important traps to avoid with your money.

  1. The trap of spending money because you have it. – This trap is easy and fun to fall into. When you have some money it’s easy to want to spend it all. That paycheck is burning a hole in your wallet and all you can think of are those shoes you wanted to buy at the mall. What do you do? Do you tend to spend every dollar that you make or have?
    The problem with spending every dollar you make is that it doesn’t leave you any extra money if an emergency would arise. It also doesn’t leave you anything for the future. If you make wise decisions with your money and don’t spend every penny you make, you’ll find yourself better off in the long run.
  2. The trap of thinking more money equals a better life.– It can be really easy to see someone who is better off than you and think that if you just had more money like them you would be happy.
    The truth is that no amount of money will make you happy. Learn to be happy with what you have and live within your means.

    Money wrongly gained will disappear bit by bit; money earned little by little will grow and grow. (Proverbs 13:11 CEV)

  3. The trap of impulsive purchases – Many time you think you can’t live without those new shoes or that awesome pair of jeans? It’s easy to want to buy, buy, buy. However, impulsive buying can easily become a trap. You soon realize that due to all your impulsive purchases you no longer have the money to buy the things you truly may want or need in the future. Be on guard for impulsive purchasing.
  4. The trap of not involving God in your finances – Life gets full and busy really quickly. In those times it’s easy to forget to include God in your finances. However, including God in your finances always brings rewards and helps you out in the end. Ask God’s wisdom to show you which purchases to make or his guidance when buying things. Also choose to give at your church. As you make God a priority in your finances, you’ll see that God wants to bless you!

    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33 BOOKS)

    Developing good habits with your money isn’t always what feels good or what comes easily. However, if you begin while you’re young to develop good habits of saving and giving, you’ll find that you’ll have more money as you get older. Choose to put into practice wise financial habits.