“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Tim 4:12 (ESV)
It’s easy as a teenager to think that you have to be an adult to do anything for God. The truth is, you don’t have to wait to make a difference in the world for God. There are things that you can do right now that will help others and share the love of Jesus.
Today, God is encouraging young people to live their faith out loud. You are called to be an example to those around you of love, faith, purity, speech and conduct. Don’t be afraid to step out and do the things that are on your heart to do.
You can influence more people than you know if you’ll just live in a way that honors God in everything you do. Choose to let God shine through you today!
Pray: God, thank you for how good you are. I ask you to help show me how I can make a difference in my world today. I’ll be bold and do the things I feel you are showing me to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12
Often, people assume maturity is an age thing. They think that if you’re older that automatically means that you’re more mature. And while that can be true, maturity isn’t always an age thing. You can be young and still be mature.
To see how mature you are you can start by examining yourself. When you have conversations, what are you talking about? Are you asking others about themselves? Or are you always “me” centered? When you focus on others you are displaying maturity.
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Are you living in a way that displays maturity? Do your actions show that you are thinking of others and living Christ-like?
These are great questions to ask yourself. You don’t have to be old to be mature. True maturity is found in what you say and do. That’s what today’s Bible verse is stressing. It tells you to set an example in these areas. You don’t have to wait until you’re older, you can start now. Let your speech, action, and love reflect Jesus and maturity. Be an example to those around you of what the love of Jesus really looks like!
Have you ever felt like all your friends have left you? Maybe you feel like no one really gets you or cares about you. It’s true, friendships can be tricky, but here are a few secrets to help you make better friendships and to not be disappointed with the ones you have.
Ask yourself: “Am I doing anything to push people away?”
I was really shy in school and because of that, I didn’t get asked to do much socially.
Maybe you’re doing things that annoy or drive people away. Be honest and ask yourself if you are doing something that’s pushing others away.
Realize: Not everyone is going to treat you right. Even if you do everything right, some people are going to not be kind to you. Some people don’t know God and have no basis for treating others with kindness and respect. Life is full of people who aren’t going to treat you right, so realize that and be ready for it when it happens.
One of the best ways to get friends is to be friendly. Do you ever take the time to listen to others? Do you go out of your way to try to talk to others? Doing these things can help you gain friends! “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” – Proverbs 18:24
Get God’s Perspective.
If you are feeling bad about yourself due to a lack of friendships, don’t. Don’t allow other people to determine your self-worth. Whether you have tons of friends or not, you are worth a ton to God. “I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.” – Psalm 139:14
Even if you feel like all your friends have bailed on you, realize that God will never leave you. He’s there to help you and love you. No matter what people do to you, God is on your side. He cares about you like no one else can.
So don’t allow yourself to feel like you’re not important if others don’t always treat you right. People aren’t always going to do the right thing, so you’ve got to choose to let God’s opinion of you be the one that matters.
If you’ve been watching the news recently, you’ve seen some talk about an Apple computer that someone threw away. The crazy thing about the computer was that it was worth about $200,000. The computer the person threw away was one of the first Apple computers made and only about 50 of original computers exist still today.
The lady who threw the computer away didn’t realize the value of the computer. She thought it looked like junk and she discarded it. She had no idea she was getting rid of a $200,000 computer. View Article.
Lots of times this is a lot like how we view ourselves. We often get down on ourselves because of something dumb we said or did. We might not feel that we look the right way or have the right friends. This leads us to want to treat ourselves like junk, instead of realizing the true value we have.
See our value isn’t in what we do, what we wear or who we hang out with. Our true value comes when we realize what we’re worth. We find that worth in what the Bible says about us.
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. – 2 Cor 3:5 (NLT)
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. – Eph 2:10
The Bible has lots of great things to say about your value. You’re important and created to do good things. So when the feelings come that say you’re not worth much or that you’re junk, remember that to God you have great value.
Discipleship Track 1 (Lesson #2) – You Didn’t Measure Up
These growth tools are powerful. They provide scriptures and great resources so that you can cement the truths of the Word of God into your heart and grow!
No amount of good deeds will help you get into heaven.
You needed a savior, Jesus to pay the price for your sins.
“Everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence.” – Romans 3:23 (TEV)
Growth Questions are designed for you to get the word of God down inside your heart. If you download the PDF and answer the questions, it will help you meditate on what God has done for you!
Download Your Growth Questions : Lesson # 2 – You Didn’t Measure Up
Growth Scriptures are designed to kick-start your relationship with God by getting the Word of God into your heart. The Word of God planted in your heart will help you grow up spiritually. Read and think about these scriptures and begin growing in your walk with God.
It can be really hard to like yourself at times. Social media doesn’t make it an easier. Its easy to see Sarah’s vacation pics on Twitter or Ben’s selfie on Facebook and become jealous. You might not have the money to take awesome vacations, or feel like you never measure up to how good Ben looks in all his selfies. It can be easy to see what’s going on in people’s lives and wonder ‘what’s wrong with me?’
In those moments, you might feel tempted to do things to make others like you better. You might fall into the trap of acting differently, wearing different clothes or being extra flirty with the opposite sex. Trying to act a certain way or change your appearance to get others to like you never turns out good in the end. Here are a few reasons why you should be true to who you are:
You are happier – Changing who you are to gain acceptance will always make you live with regrets. You are a special person that God loves greatly. The person you are is awesome. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to change who you are. You are created with a purpose and for a purpose. Don’t cheapen who you are by disguising yourself. Be who you really are, and you’ll be happier as a result.
People like you more – Believe it or not people actually will respect you more if you are true to who you are. Be yourself and as you do, people will respect you. People can usually tell when someone is being fake or not themselves. Be who you are and be who God created you to be. Others will respect and like you more when you do.
When you’re feeling bad and don’t like yourself, the best thing you can do is spend time reminding yourself how awesome God things you are. Spend time encouraging yourself that to God you are awesome.
God made you with a purpose. You’re not a mistake or accident. God has a unique plan for your life that only you can fulfill. He’s got things for you to do that no one else can accomplish. He’s got people who need to be touched by your life and what you have to say. Don’t get down on yourself because you don’t have as much money as someone else, or because you don’t look as good as someone else. Remind yourself of what God says about you. That you’ve been created with a unique purpose.
For I know the plans I have for you” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 (HSCB)
Then go out and begin making a difference in your world. Begin to look for opportunities to help those around you who are hurting. God wants to use you!
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!
Dating. It’s a loaded word. Some people hate the word because it brings thoughts of broken relationships and rejection. For others, dating is an exciting and fun adventure to explore. Regardless of how you feel about dating, here are some principles that will help you become smarter in dating.
High School relationships don’t last – Almost all high school relationships end in breaking up. That can be a depressing reality, or it can be something that empowers you. If you realize that more than likely the person you’re dating right now you won’t marry and will most likely break up with, it can free you to not take the relationship so seriously.
You can be free to get to know someone of the opposite sex, but without putting tons of pressure on yourself to take the relationship too seriously.
Keep your friends – This mistake is made all the time. People in dating relationships often become so engrossed in another person they forget to keep other friendships. This isn’t healthy. You need a variety of relationships to keep you centered and grounded. Also, if the relationship you’re end probably won’t last, its good to keep your friends so you have someone to hang with when your relationship ends.
Stay close to God – Don’t become so engrossed in another person that you forget to spend time with God. Your relationship with God is the most important relationship in your life. Don’t let it fall to the wayside.
Remember, don’t take dating relationships too seriously. Be sure in any relationship to not shut out the other relationships in your life. Long after your dating relationship ends relationships with your friends, family and God will see you through.
Learn More About Godly Relationships
This is our simple five day devotional on relationships. Check it out and challenge yourself to pursue Godly relationships!
Learning to like yourself is really hard sometimes. You can watch your friends on Facebook and see their profile and start to think, man I wish my life was more like theirs. Its easy to start comparing what you have and who you are to them and begin to feel like you don’t measure up to them.
Liking yourself and having a good self-esteem can be really challenging. So how do you begin liking yourself when you feel like you don’t measure up to those around you? We’ve got some suggestions below to help boost your self-esteem.
Do a reality check – This can be really tough to do, but take a realistic look at your situation. You might feel like no one really cares about you, but is that really true? Its easy many times to let something someone said or did make you think that no one cares about you. More than likely, you have a ton of people who really do care about you. You have parents, siblings, grandparents, and most importantly God that care about you. So when you think you’re all alone and that no one cares, do a reality check and realize that in reality you have people that care about you.
Check your thoughts – Its easy to get into a negative pattern of thinking about yourself. You can start to believe lies that you’re worthless, or that your life doesn’t matter. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. When these thoughts come, recognize them for what they are…lies. Take the necessary steps to switch your thoughts from negative patterns of thinking to ones that are positive. The Bible says in Philippians 4:8 (NLT) “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.” Checking to make sure your thoughts are good ones is an important step to winning the battle for your self-esteem.
Choose to see yourself like God sees you – Decide to begin to see yourself like God sees you. He doesn’t see you as a failure, as a loser or as anything bad you might think you are. He sees you as important. You’re so important that if you were the only person in the world he would have sent his son to die for you. Your life matters to God. He knows everything about you, and cares about everything that is important to you. God thinks so much about you that the Bible says his thoughts about you can’t be numbered. Psalm 139:17 (NLT) – “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” I can count pretty high, so the idea that God thinks about you so much that those thoughts can’t be numbered just goes to show He cares about you a ton and a half. So, decide to see yourself like God sees you. Choose to base your worth on how God feels about you.
I believe that these tips can help you with learning to like yourself. The battle for your self-esteem is very real, but I believe that with God’s help, you can come out and win this fight!
The principle of giving is something that works. I’ve seen many people get blessed when they plugged into the principles of giving that are found in the word of God. Beginning to give as a teenager can set into motion great blessings that will set you up to be blessed throughout your lifetime.
Your giving isn’t limited to money – if you don’t have any money to give, you don’t need to feel bad. There are other ways you can begin to get in the habit of giving. One major thing you can do is to give time. More than likely your youth group or church could use you to volunteer. Ask a youth leader or someone at your church for ways you can help out.
“But Peter said, “I don’t have any money for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” ” – Acts 3:6 (NLT)
Regardless of whether you have money or not, you have something you can give to the people around you. It may be as simple as giving a smile or listening to a friend that is down, but you like Peter have something to give.
Giving should be a goal today – Make it a goal to begin the habit of giving to others today. Don’t wait until someday when you have lots of money, begin now using what you have. Giving to others brings big rewards. “If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have.” – 2 Cor 8:12 – (NLT)
If you wait to give until you think you “have enough” you’ll never begin to give. Start today by giving what you have, and you’ll set up great habits for the future.
Giving will bring you great rewards – Giving will bring great rewards into your life. When you get in the habit of giving, you’ll find that you’re continually getting more and more blessed. “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” – Luke 6:38 (NLT)
Giving will bring blessings into your life that you never imagined. When God encourages us to give, he isn’t asking us to take things from us, instead he is trying to get more to us.
So whether you have lots of money, or very little money, giving is something that you can start to do today. When you put the principles of giving into motion, you can set yourself up for bigger blessings in the future.
Check out the song Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets to encourage yourself today.