Blindfolds

2 Peter 1:5-9 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

I’m sure you’ve played games during Teen Group where you’ve been blindfolded, haven’t you, teen girl?  Not knowing what direction to go in is difficult enough.  But what happens when someone spins you around in the process?  Don’t you become dizzy and disoriented?

Life in general is like a game of blindfolds.  Every day, you are called to make choices that are either right choices or wrong choices.  In the process, the devil will throw a monkey wrench into it to influence your decision – that’s where the spinning around and getting disoriented comes in.

Here’s a good example.  You’ve been witnessing to a friend of yours for a while now.  You really want her to come to Christ and be saved.  Her parents invite you to go to the beach for the weekend, which would mean missing church and Teen Group.  The right choice would be to turn down their offer and tell them you really don’t like to miss church.  But the devil really wants you to miss church so he’ll try to convince you that it’s OK to miss this once; and, besides, you can use the time to witness some more to your friend.  The devil makes that choice sound good – even inviting, doesn’t he?

So what’s wrong with that choice?  Can you answer that question?  Let’s say that your parents tell you not to smoke cigarettes but yet they smoke.  Don’t you find that hypocritical? Yes … absolutely!  And rightfully so!  You’ve been witnessing to your friend telling her how important it is to repent, to have Christ as Saviour and then live for Him. Yet here you are willing to miss church in order to go to the beach.  This is what your friend is going to see: she is going to think you are a hypocrite and that your God is not all that important to you if you are willing to give up two hours to go to the beach.

Re-read today’s verses and apply what God is trying to teach you so you are not blind. Remember, you are a new creature and Christ’s Holy Spirit lives within you. He will guide and direct you but you must allow Him to remove your blindfold!  :-)

Posted in Devotionals

Modesty

1 Timothy 2:9 – In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

Modesty begins in the heart, teen girl.  Before salvation, I didn’t care about modesty or covering my body.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.  I dressed to be attractive to boys.  I’m sure that I’m no different than you.  However, once I was saved, the first thing that I did was to cover up my body.  No one told me I had to do it – I didn’t read about it in the Bible (yet).  I believe the Holy Spirit of God put it in my heart as He began to teach me and mold me into the image of Christ.

What about you, teen girl?  First of all, are you truly saved?  If you are, then your conscience will gnaw at you when you aren’t dressing properly.  You can gauge your modesty by how rebellious you are toward your parents when they tell you that what you are wearing isn’t “appropriate.”

The Bible says that once you are saved, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  The word “temple” merely means, a house.  Your body now “houses” the Holy Spirit and your body should reflect it.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

So just how should a saved teen girl dress?

1 Timothy 2:9-10 – In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 

Do you truly want to dress for the Lord and please Him?  If so, here are some guidelines to follow as you go through your wardrobe.  Try on your clothing and stand in front of the mirror.  Then check for:

Top Half:  Can you see through your tops – does your bra show through?  If it does, or if you can see even the faintest outline of a bra, it’s too much.  How about the neckline?  If you bend over from the waist, can you see your breasts at all?  Even if it’s just a little cleavage – it’s too much.  All boys are attracted to girls who wear tops that show off their cleavage.  A godly Christian boy doesn’t want to look at a girls’s cleavage – he wants to be a godly Christian young man.  So wearing clothing like this is quite a temptation for him! Why would a Christian teen girl tempt a young man in this way and cause him to sin? God’s word says in Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Bottom Half: The shortest your skirts should be is mid-calf so that when you sit down, your skirt doesn’t reveal your knees.  Modest apparel should not include shorts as they reveal the thighs.  No one but a woman’s husband should see her thighs.  Avoid skirts that are tight around your backside. If an article of clothing highlights any curves, it is too tight. Pants reveal a girl’s backside as well as her crotch area.  These are areas that should not be displayed because a boy/man’s eyes are attracted to those areas.  That is why dresses and skirts are more modest apparel.  So look at yourself in a skirt – turn around in front of the mirror and see if you can see the outline of your backside.  If you can, that skirt is not modest.  However, if your skirt hangs from the top of your backside and no curves are visible – you have yourself a modest skirt! :-)

Overall Appearance – Do not show any part of your skin that the world loves to show. Just look at a magazine and you will see what the world loves: breasts, backs (backless dresses), thighs, stomachs, low necklines.  The world also loves clothing that has writing on it, like t-shirts with writing across the chest.  That just causes a man to read the writing and to look at your breast area.  Some ladies’ tops show the stomach area.  These tops are out of the question for a Christian teen girl.

Yes, this post is a bit blunt and in your face.  However, too many Christian teen girls are dressing like the world. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes. This is not what God’s word tells girls and women to do. We are exhorted to dress modestly. When our hearts and tuned into God’s word and our goal is to please Him and be more like Christ, posts like this one won’t offend but will encourage to be modest for Him!

If taking clothes off attracts a worldly boy/man, why would you want to attract him? Wouldn’t you rather attract a boy/man that will love you for you? That kind of love will last forever.  But once you have given birth to 3-4 children, that cute body will not be so cute anymore.  Save yourself for the man that God has designed just for you.  You will be glad that you did! :-)

Posted in Devotionals

Abundance

sunset7

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

This morning, I was thinking about the abundance of blessings we enjoy here in America. We still have freedom of religion, freedom to move from state to state without policing, freedom of speech (most of the time), etc. We have the freedom to own as many Bibles as we want and to share with others what Christ has done for us.

But what do we do with God’s Word, teen girl? Do we apply Paul’s exhortation to let God’s Word dwell within us richly in all wisdom? The word “richly” here is defined as “abundantly.” How abundant is God’s Word in your life? You can read the Bible from cover to cover but does God’s Word dwell in you abundantly? Does it produce wisdom? If we were to truly glean from this verse, there would be no arguments amongst Christians because God’s Word would be the same in each heart. Instead, man imposes his own thoughts and opinions into his Bible reading and forms his own words, thoughts and opinions – not those of God.  This can be dangerous, teen girl.

Noah Webster defines the word “admonish” as:

To instruct; advise; warn.

Paul encourages us to allow God’s Word to dwell abundantly within us, giving us wisdom so that we may teach, instruct and warn others. How? The answer follows: with Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. I doubt that Paul meant that we should only be ministering to others in song. He ends this verse with “singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Grace is defined as kindness and favor.  We receive unmerited favor from God through Christ. We do not deserve salvation but He died just the same. Christ is a wonderful example of One who displays grace.

What am I trying to say? We should, with wisdom, teach, instruct, advise and warn others with kindness and favor.  When we communicate in this manner, I believe that it will be received by others as though they are listening to something beautiful, with truth and meaning. The Book of Psalms is a wonderful example – these are songs written with power behind each word.  The reader is instructed, advised and warned in each song!

Kindness and favor, to me, is shown to someone I care about.  Christ died for all men – He loves all men.  His kindness and favor did not discriminate.  Therefore, I believe that we are to communicate God’s Word to others with kindness and favor – meaning that we should treat all people the same.  I would not be yelling and screaming at a loved one nor should I be screaming at someone as a way to communicate that they are lost.

I tend to listen less if someone is “in my face screaming and pointing a finger” at me.   Granted, there are times when a little fire needs to be used with certain people, but not all are this way. This is where wisdom comes in … this is where listening to the Holy Spirit’s leading will let you know what method of communication is appropriate.   God speaks to us when we read His Word and are open to His leading.  The Holy Spirit shows me the meat He has for me that day through His Word.

So let’s have God’s Word working within us abundantly so we may teach, advise and warn others effectively. When we prepare ourselves to be used of God, He won’t disappoint us. He will guide and direct us in the path that we should go and the method that we should use. That is why the Book of Psalms is so effective and can be read over and over without it getting old! Each time our heart is prepared to receive, God speaks. May our words to others be received in like manner!

Posted in Devotionals

Choosing Your Friends

Deuteronomy 13:6-10 6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which [is] as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 7 [Namely], of the gods of the people which [are] round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the [one] end of the earth even unto the [other] end of the earth; 8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: 9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Having close friends is such a blessing.  Having one specific friend that is your confidante and also a Christian is even better!  If you are one of these Christian teen girls, then consider yourself one in a million.  Everyone has acquaintances but not everyone has a close friend that they can count on through thick and thin.

How does one know if the friend they have is the right kind of friend or the wrong kind of friend?  Your friends should be measured according to the Bible, teen girl.  Having the wrong kind of friend will lead you away from God, most definitely.  Today’s text is precise about choosing the right kind of friend.  These instructions were given to the Jews while they were living under the Law.  Today, we have the Holy Spirit and He guides us into all truth.  (John 16:13)

What do you look for in a friend?  The first thing should be that your friend is born again and attending a good church.  That is a priority.  A saved friend who loves the Lord will draw you closer to Him rather than away from Him.  A true, godly friend will always take you to God’s word, no matter what.  That friend will not lead you to trouble or toward sin.  These are warning signs to every believer, not just you teen girl.  :-)

The same applies to a friend who entices you to do wrong.  Proverbs 1:10 tells you not to give in to someone who tries to lead you toward sin.  What kind of friend would do that, anyway?  Do you think you should continue to hang out with someone who does these things?  If you do, there will be heartache in your future.  It will get harder and harder to separate yourself from that wrong relationship.  Not only that, you will have a bad testimony and that friend will be harder to win to the Lord or disciple because she will have seen your compromise.

Nothing is worth our Heavenly Father’s disappointment in us … not even a friend.

Posted in Devotionals

Remembering

IMG_0059

~Psalm 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

It is good to remember our blessings and to thank God for all that He has given to us. He has blessed us with so much, hasn’t He, teen girl? But I believe that the blessing that leads all blessings for me is in Christ’s holiness! Without Christ’s perfect holiness, we would not be able to enjoy salvation. It is this perfection that made Him the only one qualified to die for our sins because He lived a sinless and perfect life. He was our spotless Lamb!

Thank You, Lord, for dying for us! Without You, we would be lost and on our way to Hell. Praise Your Holy Name!!!

Posted in Devotionals

Friendships

completely-readyLuke 23:12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

How did you find your best friend?  Did you meet at school or at summer camp, maybe?  Usually friendships strike up due to something you have in common – a love of music, a love for horseback riding, etc.  But this common ground can be good or it can bad.

At one point, Pilate and Herod’s relationship was not good.  The verse above says they were at enmity, which means that they actually hated each other.  However, a common ground united them and that common ground was Jesus.  They came together and mocked Christ which formed a friendship.

What a horrible reason to become friends, one would say.  However, today’s bullies do it all the time.  One can’t go to a public school without seeing a group of students ganging up on a weaker or meek student.

Pick your friends carefully, teen girl.  Making friends on evil grounds does not honor God.  But making friends on holy ground will produce the kind of friend who will draw you closer to the Lord, not further away from Him.

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Posted in Devotionals

Trust

14636_371352595547_768160547_10199604_7768994_n

~Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

There are days when I feel like I just can’t go on. No matter what I do or how I handle a situation, there are road blocks and closed doors. I’m thankful that I can run to my Father and seek His help and guidance. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He will help me. He may not solve my problem but He gives me strength to go through my trial. He also gives me sweet peace in the midst of turmoil.  Are you experiencing one of those days, Christian teen girl?  There’s nothing sweeter than God’s word to encourage the heart.  Dig in there and get encouraged! :)

Thank You, Lord!!!

Posted in Devotionals