Indeed, our lives are guided by faith, not by sight. – 2 Cor 5:7
Too often we a guided by what we feel and what we see. We look at how much money we have, how we feel when we wake up, or what we see going on around us. We allow these things to determine how we live our life, our decisions, and ultimately our happiness.
However, this verse challenges us to live differently. It challenges us to not live our lives based only on what we see going on around us, but rather to let our lives be guided by our faith in Jesus. When we let what Jesus says in the Bible guide our life we can experience true peace because our lives are guided by something that is stable and unchanging.
So today, regardless of what you see around you, choose to believe that God is working on your situation. You can know that regardless of what you see, God is good and you’re going to be all right.
Let’s be honest. Have you ever been reading your Bible before bed and before you knew it, you were completely asleep within minutes? I know I have a few times. You’ve probably heard at youth group or at church how important it is to read your Bible. But how do you keep Bible reading interesting? Especially when playing Fortnite sounds way more fun!
Here are a few tips that should help you as you develop a habit of Bible reading and study into your life.
Tip #1 – Set Realistic Expectations
When you begin to develop a habit of reading your Bible, it’s not going to be easy. You’re going to want to do something that seems more fun. It’s going to take some work to focus your attention on God and what He wants to speak to you.
Don’t try to set goals that are unrealistic when you’re getting started. Reading your Bible for two hours a day probably isn’t going to happen. Instead, think about something that is realistic. Perhaps you can look at a Bible verse and think about it each night before you go to bed.
Set some realistic expectations and build from there. Once you start enjoying reading one verse a day, try two or more. But start small and be realistic. There are days when you’ll forget, and days when it’s really hard. That’s part of the process. Don’t give up. Instead, keep at it and you’ll begin to develop a greater love for reading your Bible.
Tip #2 – Find The Right Bible Fit
To make Bible reading more fun, experiment. Try a Bible that lets you search by topic. Think about a topic that interests you and use that topic to begin your study.
A few months ago, a friend introduced me to a new version of the Bible that I hadn’t read before. Reading scriptures that I had previously studied came alive and excited me as I read them. A new version of the Bible can make your Bible reading time way less boring.
Experiment and find a good version and Bible for you. As you find things that interest you in the Bible, it will keep you from falling asleep as you read.
Tip #3 – Don’t Read The Bible
Yes, you read that right. Don’t read the Bible. If the Bible feels hard to understand, start off by reading a good book about the Bible, or about a topic that interests you. You don’t have to limit your Bible study time to only the Bible.
If you struggle with low self-esteem, find some books that were written by Christian authors about that topic. Often, they’ll expound upon verses and can help you see things from a different point of view. Your Bible study time doesn’t have to be limited to just the Bible. There are lots of other great devotions and resources that can help you enjoy your time in the Word more.
Tip #4 – Listen to the Bible
If you don’t like to read, or fall asleep when you do, find a Bible you can listen to. YouTube, Podcasts, audio versions of the Bible are all out there. Experiment and find one that works well for you. Then put it on as you shower in the morning or fall asleep at night.
You’ll be amazed at what you can learn by simply listening to the Bible being read out loud. Use those free moments in your day to listen to God’s word instead of defaulting to looking at your phone or tablet. God can really speak to you as you listen to Him through His word.
Tip #5 – Ask for God’s Help
Don’t be afraid to ask God for His help.You don’t have to figure out how to make the reading the Bible fun alone. Ask God for help. He’ll be glad to help you out.
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I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. – Ephesians 1:18 (NLT)
Paul prayed that the Ephesian’s hearts would be flooded with light. That’s a good prayer to pray over yourself too. Pray that when you read the Bible, it’s like a light bulb goes off in your heart. Pray that you see things in the word of God and they become real to you. Praying a prayer like that every day can be really helpful. You’ll begin to see things that you’ve never seen before when you read your Bible. It keeps Bible reading fun and exciting. If you get God involved, Bible reading can be a really rewarding experience.
Bluetooth speakers are awesome. I got one for Christmas a few years ago and I’ve just loved it. I love being able to listen to music on my phone. In fact, I’ve enjoyed it so much I’ve gotten several more since then.
You Choose Your Connection
When I first set up my Bluetooth speaker to connect with my phone I found out that there were lots of choices as to what speaker or device to connect with. I saw that I could connect with other speakers in my house or even a device at my neighbor’s house. The interesting thing is that I had the freedom to choose what I connected with.
The same is really true for us in life too. We choose what we connect with. We choose our friends, the music we listen to, the TV we watch and what we believe. What we connect with influences the direction and the course of our life.
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You have the freedom to choose your connection. Your music, friends, beliefs and even the TV you watch have a powerful impact on your life. So challenge yourself to be wise in your connection. Choose friends, books, TV, and music that help you draw closer to God.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
Your Connection Matters
For example, if I connected with a Bluetooth device at my neighbor’s house to listen to music, I wouldn’t hear it well. I’d have to really listen hard to try to hear the song I wanted to play. Where I decide to connect my phone determines the quality of the music I hear.
In life, it’s no different. What we connect with matters. If we connect our lives to friends, music, TV and other sources that draw us away from God, the quality of our relationship with God will suffer.
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22 (NLT)
You’ve got to maintain your connection with Jesus every day. A phone playing music on its own is pretty quiet. However, when you hook it up to a speaker, it’s louder and more powerful than when it’s on its own. The same is true in our lives. When you’re connected to Jesus daily through Bible reading and prayer you are the most powerful. You can face a lot of difficult situations and circumstances when you’re connected with Jesus.
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.
O lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. – Psalm 139:1
It can be easy to get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and not like what you see. You might wish you were taller, had a different hair color, or were more outgoing. Its easy to want to beat yourself up for not looking, acting, or being a certain way.
What’s really great about God is that He looks at your heart. This verse tells us that God has examined our hearts and knows everything about us. And the great thing is, He still likes us. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see all your flaws, short comings, or failures. God sees you in Jesus. In Jesus you are perfect and complete.
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God sees you as a person of worth. He loves you more than you can ever know. So instead of getting down on yourself because of how you look or how you act, choose instead to see yourself like God sees you. Choose to see yourself as a person of worth. You are someone that God paid a huge price to get to know!
but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. – Luke 2:10 (NLT)
The reason Jesus came was to bring good news to the world. What is this good news? It is that God wants to restore relationship between mankind and Himself. He wants peace between us and Him. God doesn’t want sin getting in the way of us having a relationship with Him.
This is why Jesus came, to remove the sin that separated mankind from truly knowing Him. The only way God could remove this sin was to have Jesus come as our perfect sacrifice. He came as a baby born of a women but His Father was God. By doing this, He could legally take our place on the cross and completely be made sin for us.
Thank God for Jesus! This is the good news of the Christmas story. Knowing this removes all fear and brings great joy to those who grasp an understanding of what Jesus did for them!
Through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see–such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him – Colossians 1:16
As a student, it’s easy begin to wonder what your calling is in life. You can begin to wonder what is next for you or how will God bring to pass the dreams that are in your heart.
These are all great questions and things to consider. However, it’s always good to check our motives when we’re praying and asking God our destiny. Many times we fall into the trap of asking God to bless our dreams and what we want to do, instead of asking God to show us what He would have us to do.
God created us. He knows us and loves us, He knows what will make us fulfilled and happy. In light of this, we should focus on building a thriving relationship with Jesus. As we spend time with Jesus we should ask Him what He wants us to do and what He created us for. Doing this will bring you lasting and true happiness.
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If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. – Psalm 91:9-10
In yesterday’s daily Bible verse we looked at the fact that we don’t have to be afraid of harm all day long! In today’s Bible verse we see that we don’t have to fear plagues and disease. This verse shows us that if we trust God, and make Him our refuge, our safe place and shelter that no plague will come near our home.
This is good news! We don’t have to fear plagues and disease. God tells us He will keep us safe from these things too! We can relax, breathe a sign of relief just knowing that we can put our trust in God. He will keep us from harm and danger.
Choose to make God your refuge. Bring your fears, worries and concerns to Him, knowing that he is always ready to help you and protect you!
Twinkies are a fun treat. They taste good, they’re light and fluffy, and that have that delicious creamy vanilla frosting center. Simply put, Twinkies are amazing. Can you imagine your life before you had your first Twinkie? If you’re like most people, you wouldn’t want to imagine something like that. But think about your life before you knew all about the awesome frosting center and it’s sugary goodness?
If you didn’t know Twinkies existed, how would you have heard about Twinkies? Perhaps one day you were hanging out with a friend and they began to tell you about how good Twinkies were. They talked about the texture, the flavor, and of course the vanilla frosting. More than likely, after hearing your friend describe a Twinkie, you’d want to head to the nearest store and try one out for yourself.
How Does Our Faith Come?
The idea of your friend telling you about Twinkies is a little like how faith works. After hearing about how good Twinkies are from a friend, your desire to eat a Twinkie grows. That’s a lot like how our faith in God grows. As we begin to hear about God and His goodness, we want to know more about Him and our faith grows.
So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. – Romans 10:17 (NLT)
The more you hear about Twinkies, the more you want one. The same is true for our faith. The more time we spend in God’s word, talking about God’s word, and thinking about God’s word the more our faith grows.
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Faith Is Taking God at His Word
What would make you believe that Twinkies were good? It would have to be a matter of trust. You’d have to trust that your friend was telling you the truth about how good Twinkies are. You might rely on the fact that your friend tells the truth or that they have good taste, but it really comes down to believing what your friend said about Twinkies was true.
That’s a lot like how faith works. Faith is just taking God at His word. Its trusting what God says above everything else. Just like you would trust your friend’s word that a Twinkie was a great snack, you have faith by trusting that what God says is true. Hebrews says it like this:
“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.” – Hebrews 11:1 (Message)
Faith takes God at His word. When the Bible says something, having faith is believing what the Bible says no matter what it might look like around you. So the next time you rip open a package of Twinkies, remember that they can teach you a lot about faith!
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If you’re a youth leader and you liked this devotion, feel free to download a PDF of discussion questions based on this devotion.
Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. – 2 Timothy 2:4
Did you know that as a Christian, you have been enlisted as a soldier representing the Kingdom of God? You no longer represent yourself. God will train you through His word, your pastor’s teaching and your own devotion time.
As we’re being trained, there can be times where we have to put aside what feels good in order to do what’s right. There will be times when you’d rather watch TV, or hang out with friends instead of spending time reading the Bible or in prayer. However, it’s what you do in times of training that help you become set up for success when the trials of life come your way.
Remember today that you’re not just living for yourself. You’re living for God and there are times when you have to put aside what is easy or feels good in order to go deeper in your relationship with God.
June 6th was a holiday called national yo-yo day. If you’re like most people, June 6th probably came and went for you without a lot of celebration for the little known holiday. However, we’d like to shed some light on this under appreciated holiday and show how it can influence your relationship with God.
The day is celebrated on the birthday of Donald Duncan from Duncan Toys who was responsible for helping the yo-yo gain much of its popularity.
If you’ve ever used a yo-yo, you know its not always as easy as it looks. I remember trying and trying to get mine to go down and come up right. With some practice I actually got the hang of it, and experimented with some tricks.
I think a lot of times in our walks with God, it can often feel like a yo-yo. We have a good day when we read the Bible and get a lot out of it. Then a few days later we read and can’t even remember what we read. Or maybe we go to a youth camp and get really excited about God, but when we get home, we start getting involved with our friends and what’s going on, and we start to forget about God. Simply put, it can feel lots of times like your relationship with God is like a yo-yo. There’s lots of ups and downs.
Here’s something to think about if you feel like you’re in an up or down swing in your relationship with God. Here’s a great secret: to have a successful relationship with God you can’t let emotions be your indicator. You might feel goosebumps when you read the Bible one day and absolutely nothing the next. This doesn’t mean that God has left or that there is something wrong with you.
Indeed, our lives are guided by faith, not by sight. – 2 Cor 5:7
We are encouraged to not walk by what we see or feel but to walk by faith. So if there’s a day when you don’t feel excited about reading your Bible, or that you got much out of it, don’t get discouraged and give up. Rather continue to walk by faith and not be moved by what you see or your feelings.