Do you realize that you have broken God's commandments-His rules? You deserve to be punished. But God's Son Jesus stands ready to help you, too. He took the punishment you deserve and paid the price to remove your sin. When you confess to God that you are a sinner, and accept what Jesus did for you, He will give you a new and clean heart. (See the ABCs of Salvation at the end of this book
There is a correlation between the way you feel about yourself and the way you feel about others. If you are at peace with yourself-you'll get along with others. The converse is also true. If you are ashamed, embarrassed, or angry, other people are going to know it. The tragic thing is we tend to take it out on those we love unless the cycle is interrupted.
You have a sack. An itchy, scratchy burlap sack! You probably aren't even aware of it, you may not have been told about it, but it was given to you. You needed the sack to carry the rocks, boulders, pebbles.
No Christian has to be spiritually deprived or undernourished or impoverished. The Lord's heavenly resources are more than adequate to cover the cost of all of our past debts, our present liabilities, and our future needs and still not reduce our heavenly assets.
Are you praying for something special-for someone's salvation, for money you need, or perhaps for help with your homework? Prayer is very important, but maybe the Lord wants you to talk to somebody, to mow a lawn, to be a friend, to study hard. Pray, and then with the Lord's help, do all you can to accomplish the goal.
Do you think everyone should serve the Lord just the way you do? Remember that God has given different talents to different people. All Christians should serve the Lord, but they may not all do it your way. That's okay-just so each one serves God's way. Don't judge them. Let God be the one to do that. Let Him be the one to decide what each person should do.
Do you have rough edges that give slivers to other people? Do you say unkind things? Refuse to share? Snub others? Are your parents or other adults working to help sand you down into a likable, useful person? It's good to apologize when you've hurt someone, but also accept the discipline you receive-and thank God for it. Ask Him to help you improve your behavior.
I can think of so many times when I should have kept silent but just had to speak. Have you ever done that? Have you ever said something, and the moment it left your lips, you thought,Why did I just say that? But you said it.
Many parents aren't proud of their family trees. The harvest was taken, but no seed was sown. Childhood memories bring more hurt than inspiration. If such is the case, put down the family scrapbook and pick up your Bible. John 3:6 reminds us, "Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit." Your parents have given you genes, but God gives you grace.
Sorrows come into all of our lives. And while none of us enjoy them, they are a reality. You will experience heartache. If you ever choose to love anyone, if you ever choose to extend your friendship to another person, then you will be disappointed. You will be let down. You will be heartbroken. There will be great disappointments for you in life.
What problems are piling up in your life? Do you have too much homework? Is someone you love ill? Is there the threat of divorce in your family? Has a friend or relative died? When your problems seem to be more than you can bear, be assured that God knows what is troubling you and He cares. He wants to hold and comfort you in His "everlasting arms." Trust Him to provide whatever you need to face your problems and to help you through them.
Early in the reign of King Josiah he made a brave choice. II Kings 22:2 tells us, "He lived as his ancestor David had lived, and he did not stop doing what was right." He flipped through his family scrapbook until he found an ancestor worthy of emulation. He found David and resolved, "I'm going to be like him."
What do people think of when they hear your name? Today's Scripture gives two examples of very different reactions to a name. The name Saul brought thoughts of evil deeds, while the name Dorcas brought thoughts of good ones. Does your name give people good thoughts or bad thoughts? Live your life so that the mention of your name will cause people to think of a person who is helpful and kind and who loves the Lord and lives to please Him.
Joy Davidman, the wife of C. S. Lewis, made this insightful statement about the pursuit of pleasure: "Living for his own pleasure is the least pleasurable thing a man can do; if his neighbors don't kill him in disgust, he will die slowly of boredom and lovelessness." And that is true. It has been said that the only cure for hedonism is to try and practice it.
Do you wonder about the world and where it came from? Have you heard that it evolved-came into being on its own? Look at the wonders of nature and space. Read a little about the marvelous way your body is made. Good sense will tell you that only an all-powerful God could have put everything together. He is definitely real. You can learn much about Him through nature, but your Bible is the best place to do that. It includes the account of His creation of all things.