Thursday, January 3, 2013

Believe God

Youth Devotional

January 3: Believe God



Genesis 3:1–6 (NKJV) 1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.


In this passage of Scripture we learn that the first man and woman listened to the lie of Satan rather than the truth of God. Satan suggested that God had set up rules not to protect them from pain, but to keep them from pleasure. Eve convinced herself that there were some benefits in disobeying God. The food tasted good, the food looked good, and the food would help her gain knowledge that she did not have. All of that was true, but not completely true. Although sin can be pleasurable it is not completely pleasurable. The consequences of her decision would lead her to also receive the pain of the judgment of God for her sin, the pain of guilt for disobeying God, and the pain of the shame she would feel in not obeying God.

You cannot disobey God and expect to receive the blessings of God. Sin leads to pain that is greater than the temporary pleasure it yields. When someone disobeys God they also like Eve influence others to disobey God making things worse for everyone. Sin has a way of multiplying. Satan never tells the whole truth. God always tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth.



1.      How did Satan convince Eve to disobey God?



2.      Why should you always believe God?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

True Devotion

Youth Devotional

January 2: True Devotion



Acts 2:42 (NKJV) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.


It is important to eat the right kinds of foods and drink plenty of fluids to stay physically healthy. You can eat “junk” food from time to time, but if you neglect a healthy diet including eating your fruits and vegetables your physical body will suffer.

There are four things that marked the spiritual health of the early church and are important for our spiritual growth. They were devoted to the Word of God, the Fellowship with other believers, Worship of God, and Prayer. These four commitments can help you grow spiritually as well. The apostle’s doctrine has now been written down for us in the Bible. Fellowship with other believers is available to us every week as we worship Christ together. The “breaking of bread” was a way they described receiving what we call the Lord’s Supper. This symbolic event is practiced by the church to remember all that Jesus has done for us in providing payment of our sin and providing a righteous life to earn our righteous standing before God. Reading and hearing God’s Word is listening to Him. Praying is simply our way to speak to God. Prayer is an important part of spiritual health both privately and publically.




1.      What are four essential things for your spiritual growth?




2.      What can you do to make sure you grow spiritually?


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Youth Devotional:

Made in the Image of God


 Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”


Mankind was created by God like every other creature and created thing, but he was not created in the same way and was not given the same purpose. All of mankind, both men and women, are made in God’s image. Being made in the image of God speaks of the fact that mankind has some characteristics that directly reflect the nature of God more than any other creature. For example, man intelligence, hope, mercy, love, kindness, and he knows right from wrong.

Since mankind was created in the image of God, then we also bear a responsibility greater than that of any other creature on earth. Our passage of Scripture explains that God gave man “dominion” over every other created animal. This dominion is includes the responsibility to care for other creatures, but also manage their use. God created the Earth to display His glory and He created mankind to show His glory in the care and control of these resources. So from the beginning we learn that we are stewards of God’s resources and should use them to glorify His name.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.


1. What is the main way that humans are different than all other creatures?

2. What does it mean to be made in God’s image?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Truly Blessed

Truly Blessed

Romans 4:7–8 (NKJV)
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”

We use the word blessed quite often to refer to our good temporal circumstances. Sometimes we use the term to convey well wishes on friends and family as we bid them a “blessed day.” In Romans 4 Paul uses the term to describe someone who is eternally blessed. Those who are truly blessed have their sin forgiven, their guilt removed, and will never receive the just consequences of their rebellion.

At first glance this sounds unfair or unjust. How could a righteous God allow unrighteous people to be forgiven? Where is the justice for those who were victims of criminal acts? In fact this text in Romans is a quotation from Psalm 32 in which David is repenting of his forceful adultery with Bathsheba and the scandalous cover up. His sin did find him out, and David repented and cherished the glorious thought of the blessing of God’s forgiveness. But that still does not answer the question of how a man who commits a heinous act can be a blessed man and God still retain righteous justice. Paul gives a full treatment over the next few chapters in Romans, but let us consider just a taste of it in the next chapter.

Romans 5:6–11 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Are your lawless deeds forgiven? Are you truly blessed? You are the blessed one if you have been reconciled to God by Christ Jesus who bore the guilt of your sin on His body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).

What an incredible blessing for the one who has faith in Christ. It is this blessing that will triumph in the face of tragedy and be hopeful in times of disappointment.

Romans 5:1–5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What to Wear

What to Wear

9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 1 Timothy 2:9–10 (NKJV)

Does it matter what I wear to church? The first church I attended placed a strong emphasis on clothing and hair style. It was 1975 and the counter cultural movement was in full swing. Many in the culture were showing their anti establishment attitudes by the clothes they wore and the hair styles they adopted. At the church the attire was expected to be semi-formal and grooming was expected to be conservative. These were unwritten rules that everyone in the congregation seemed to understand. Thirty years later it appears that the standards have relaxed considerably. But the question still remains, does it matter what I wear to church?

In our text Paul addresses this issue with his protégé Timothy. In the culture of the first century women would often display their wealth by their wardrobe. They would braid their hair with the “family jewels” and wear expensive clothing which was also considered a sign of great wealth. The purpose for this display seems to be pride, they wanted to get noticed. You could imagine in the first century church how disruptive this action could be. Ostentatious displays of wealth would create unnecessary divisions between the haves and the have nots.

What really is really at issue here is the heart of the worshipper. Paul is concerned more with the adornment of the heart than the head. He is concerned with the internal motivation for external behavior. So, he calls for godly women to dress modestly and adorn themselves in a way that does not distract from their inward godliness which is displayed in good works.

Does this text have any relevance for us today? Yes. Christians are called to adorn themselves in such a way that we do not become a distraction from the gospel. We are to adorn ourselves in such a way that we are able to serve others in humility. Christians adorn themselves in such a way that we do not become a stumbling block, but rather a stepping stone to faith. So does it matter what I wear to church? Yes.

1 Peter 3:3–4 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Words of Wisdom

Job 23:12
I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.

Job experienced a tremendous time of testing. He essentially lost everything near and dear to him. He lost his wealth, his family, and his health. His response is quite unexpected. Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15a).

What forged that iron will in Job to trust God in the midst of tragedy? What helped Job to continue to believe in the goodness of God when his entire world was falling apart? I believe that he valued God and His Word more than those things that he lost.

Note in Job 23:12 our text states that Job “treasured” God’s Word. The Hebrew word for treasure means to hide or store up. Job had filled his heart with treasure that could not be lost, stolen, or destroyed. The same Hebrew word for “treasured” is translated “hidden” in Psalm 119:11. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

Job also indicates that this treasuring or hiding of God’s Word was a daily priority. He states that he treasured God’s Word more than his necessary food. I do not miss many meals unless I am sick or purposely fasting. Most days I will eat at least twice and with snacks three or four times more. If you do not feast on God’s Word daily it may indicate an unhealthy spiritual appetite. When the winds of adversity blow you need the strength to trust God. That spiritual strength is built up by the daily nourishment of His Word.

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spurgeon on Faith

"Have faith in God."
-- Mark 11:22

Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments. Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot, and we drag heavily. With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men of the most faith. Little faith will save a man, but little faith cannot do great things for God. Poor Little-faith could not have fought "Apollyon;" it needed "Christian" to do that. Poor Little-faith could not have slain "Giant Despair;" it required "Great-heart's" arm to knock that monster down. Little faith will go to heaven most certainly, but it often has to hide itself in a nut-shell, and it frequently loses all but its jewels. Little-faith says, "It is a rough road, beset with sharp thorns, and full of dangers; I am afraid to go;" but Great-faith remembers the promise, "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as thy days, so shall thy strength be:" and so she boldly ventures. Little-faith stands desponding, mingling her tears with the flood; but Great-faith sings, "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:" and she fords the stream at once. Would you be comfortable and happy? Would you enjoy religion? Would you have the religion of cheerfulness and not that of gloom? Then "have faith in God." If you love darkness, and are satisfied to dwell in gloom and misery, then be content with little faith; but if you love the sunshine, and would sing songs of rejoicing, covet earnestly this best gift, "great faith."