Conscience


Photography by Cecelia Becker

Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

God has placed His Holy Spirit within us at the time we are born again. Each one of us, young and old alike, have as much of the Holy Spirit as we are going to get. What differentiates the young in Christ to the spiritually mature is how much we all the Holy Spirit to change us! This is where the fruit of the Spirit comes in. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, the fruit begin to be displayed. ‘

For example, you know that love is one of the fruits, right? If you constantly hate certain people in your class at school, you are not allowing the Holy Spirit to mold you. The fruit of love will not develop because you are practicing just the opposite when you hate other students. However, if you start praying for the salvation of those that you hate and start being nice to them, you will find yourself yielding to the Holy Spirit and that hate will disappear and turn into the fruit of love.

Now back to today’s topic. :-)  The born again teen girl has a conscience – it’s that still small voice of God speaking to you in your heart. You know when you’re doing wrong. It’s what you do with that information that’s important. Do you yield to the Holy Spirit or do you give in to the devil who is the one actually tempting you? Give in to the Holy Spirit instead and allow Him to mold you into the image of Jesus Christ.

I love the hymn below – it’s such a wonderful application to today’s devotional. :-)

Yield Not to Temptation
by Ho­ra­tio R. Pal­mer

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Refrain

Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.

Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God’s Name hold in reverence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Refrain

To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown;
Through faith we shall conquer, though often cast down;
He Who is our Savior our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Refrain

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Losing Your Father


Photography by Cecelia Becker

2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Are you one of those many teen girls today whose father has passed away? If you are, my heart cries out for you! I was able to enjoy my father until I was in my 30’s. I miss him terribly still!! I can’t imagine what my teen years would have been like without my Dad. I wasn’t saved as a teenager so I didn’t have the Lord or His precious Word to lean on during those difficult years.

But you are, teen girl, or you wouldn’t be reading these devotionals. :) The Bible tells us that your Heavenly Father will be your Father and that you are His daughter! Isn’t that great? You are a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We all are, actually. But the sooner you can wrap your head around that, the happier you will be. Joy will be in your heart and you will be able to turn to your Heavenly Father whenever you need Him.

The Bible says that God is very close to those who have a broken heart. One’s heart can’t get more broken than when you lose your Daddy. :'(

Psalms 34:18 – The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

But because your father was saved, you can look forward to the day when you will see him again in Heaven, amen? :) He will be there waiting to welcome you there! What a wonderful day that will be. In the meantime, teen girl, think of the good days you had with your father and heal your broken heart. Don’t try to forget … but remember him and share the wonderful moments you two had together with your family and your friends. Remember, your siblings and mother are missing him as well.

Revelation 21:4 – And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Remember, God takes all things and works it for His ultimate good. He has allowed you to experience this sorrow so you can be a help to someone else. Look around you and you will find another teen girl who is about to lose her father to cancer or has recently lost her father in an accident. Be there for her and encourage her in the Word of God! Be there to hug her and have healing words to share with her. Ask her what it was about her father that she loved the most? Get her to talk about him so she can go through the mourning process. As a result, you will be helping yourself to heal. :)

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Not seeing eye-to-eye with authority?


Photography by Cecelia Becker

Eph. 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Col. 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

Teenagers have a different way of thinking than adults. Spiritual maturity comes after a few years of being a Christian. It doesn’t happen over night, that’s for sure. I’m sure you’ve babysat a child before. That baby girl isn’t born crawling, is she? No, absolutely not! In fact, that baby can’t do a thing for herself yet. She is totally dependent on others to take care of her. As she grows, she learns to roll over, to crawl, to eat food from the table (rather than baby food), she learns to walk, to run, etc. None of these things happen right away.

It’s the same thing with our Christian walk. We are not born Bible scholars full of wisdom, although I wish we were! How much trouble that would have saved me early on in my salvation, LOL! :) Teenagers are no different. The human body undergoes enormous changes during those preteen and teenage years. Bones change – skin changes – the body forms adult features, etc. Even the heart and the mind of a teenager is different at this time. It’s all part of the wonderful and beautiful process of life!

Because a child is totally dependent on her parents, she is accustomed to stating what she needs and having those needs met. This is a constant throughout that child’s life until she reaches those teenage years. Once she does, she steps out into an adventurous time. She wants to do things for herself: earn her own money, go places without permission, buy her own clothes, listen to her own music, etc. Her thoughts and heart are motivated by things that she wants. The teenage girl no longer needs her parents as much as she did when she was younger, which is a good thing! However, she is still a part of their home.  She is still under their rule of authority according to Scriptures.

So what does a teen girl do when her parents don’t agree with what she wants to do? If this teen girl isn’t saved, she rebels and throws a tantrum. But if she is a saved teen girl and loves the Lord, she will want to do what God wants her to do, amen? The Bible tells all children to obey their parents in the Lord. That doesn’t mean that if your parents tell you to steal, it’s OK to steal. Notice Eph. 6:1 says “in the Lord” – Col. 3:20 says to obey in all things.  We know that God wouldn’t contradict Himself so Col. 3:20 means to obey in all things that are “in the Lord” – meaning in God’s Word and not known as sin.

When you obey your parents, you are in turn obeying God, teen girl. This fulfills God’s will in your life when you live under your parents house. There are plenty of verses about obeying God and how it is our duty as Christians to do so.

Deuteronomy 5:32-33 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Deuteronomy 6:1-3 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.

Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Psalms 112:1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

Psalms 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Proverbs 21:4 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

You may not agree with your parents’ decisions all the time. There will come a time in your life that you will finally understand why they did what they did to upset you. It’s true of my adult children now. They didn’t agree with us at the time they were being disciplined but they sure do understand it now and agree with why we had to discipline them.

The way you “think” at this point in your life may seem right to you. But remember, you are a younger Christian than your parents (most of you), and your body is undergoing many, many changes – of which, hormones are a big part. Recognizing that hormones cause thoughts and reactions to be different than those of adults is a big step in a teen girl’s life. This is why it’s so important to consult with wiser and older Christian adults about major decisions in your life. You may not like what you hear, but you will get sound counsel.

A good example of this is when it comes to a boyfriend. You may feel like you’re old enough to have a boyfriend. Your body may have finished developing and you’ve turned into a beautiful woman on the outside; but your mind and heart are still developing and sometimes takes a few years to catch up with the rest of your body. You may pick a boy because he’s cute and popular, which seems like the only way to pick a guy in your head and heart. However, older and wiser Christians know that these two qualities are very superficial and that the heart of a young man and his relationship to Christ are a whole lot more important. Your parents see this but you may not. This is one of the biggest arguments amongst teen girls and their parents today.

How do you solve it? You turn to the Lord and obey Him. In so doing, you’ll ultimately obey your parents! :)

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Accepting Yourself


Photograph by Cecelia Becker

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

If only Christians would concentrate on the Book of Romans for their teaching, there would be more separated Christians in the world. Instead, they concentrate on the Corinthian church, which was the worldliest church. As a result, today’s churches look more like the world than the churches of yesteryear! :-( Christian teen girls have such a hard time accepting who they are and so they try to be/act like a girl they admire. Most teenagers in general hate being “different” because that means that others will make fun of them if they are different. Does this sound familiar?

It really pains me to think of how hard it is for teen girls today! They want so much to be accepted by their classmates and “friends.” When they are made bullied and made fun of, it hurts them deeply. It’s not just you, teen girl, it hurts adults, too! The key is to surround yourself with truly born-again friends, not those who say they are Christians and haven’t changed at all. This was such a problem in the Corinthian church that Paul had to address it in 2 Corinthians 5:17:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Are you “saved” friends different from your unsaved friends? You should be able to tell the difference, amen? If you can’t, it’s time to reevaluate those “saved” friends and remove them from your close circle of friends. Jesus had a inner circle of friends (the Apostles) and He is our example, amen?

So getting back to how you can learn to accept yourself and not try to be someone you’re not.  God made us all uniquely different. If you don’t believe that, read about finger prints. :)  Not one person in the entire world (in the past, present or future) has the same finger print! Each person since Adam and Eve has his/her own unique print. Scientists are discovering that even retinas are different and that retinal scans may replace the uniqueness of a finger print! If God wants all of His creation to be uniquely different, why do we strive to be the same as others? I think of the account of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1. Everyone strove to be alike – one race, one language, one religion, etc. They got so full of themselves they wanted to be as God. But look what God did to that nation!

2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Why do we strive to be like others – especially the unsaved? We should be striving to be like Jesus. If all Christians would forget about being someone they are not and concentrate on being more like Jesus, souls would be won and lives would be changed, amen? :) I realize that my response to this sensitive topic may not solve your problem as a teen girl trying to be liked by others. But these things come with reading the Word of God and allowing God to work in your heart. Timothy was a very young preacher and Paul taught Timothy early on. Apparently the scholars of the day didn’t much like such a young person teaching them and Paul was encouraging Timothy to hold fast to what he had been taught through the Scriptures. It’s the same with you, teen girl. The best thing you can do is to allow the Holy Spirit to teach you and mold you into the image of Christ. :)

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Loneliness


Psalms 142:4-6 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

People don’t realize that teenagers get lonely. Some get so lonely that they attempt suicide. Do you realize that 6.3 percent of teenagers committed suicide in 2009?  In 2011, there was an increase to 7.8 percent. This is so sad. Teenagers have so many things going on in their bodies. Hormones from puberty have kicked in and if a teen girl has not been taught about them, she can’t learn to deal with the fluctuating emotions. Learning to cope with the ups and downs of emotions is the best thing a teen girl can do for herself. Furthermore, a “saved” teen girl has even more resources right at her fingertips to help her! :-)

Loneliness needs to be nipped in the bud or it can get the best of any person, not just teen girls. When you don’t do anything about your loneliness, it can only lead to more problems, maybe even disaster. The Bible has so much to say about loneliness, teen girl. Just reading the verses over and over can be an encouragement to your spirit. I’ve listed some verses below. Take time to read them through for a moment.

Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Psalms 27:10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

2 Timothy 4:16-18 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.  And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

The Lord has not left us alone, teen girl. His Holy Spirit is with us, dwelling within us, and we can reach out to Him at any given time. Jesus promised that He would NEVER leave us nor forsake us. The word never still means NEVER! :-) Praise the Lord!

When you’re feeling lonely, teen girl, take a moment to read your Bible. Write the verses above inside your Bible and turn to them whenever you need them. Even though you may not feel like it, talk to your parents. They get lonely as well. If they are saved, they know exactly where to turn to in their Bibles to verses that have been a blessing to them. I’m sure they will share them with you. If you have a teen leader at church that you love talking to, give her a call and talk to her. God has placed essential people in your life – just right for you!

The best place to turn to is your Bible, however. God’s Word is always true and He is always available – 24/7! :-)

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Homosexuality – Right or Wrong?


Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

In today’s world, the homosexual agenda has taken over and turned wrong into right. Television and the media have placed this sin ever before us. Worldly teen girls find it the “thing to do” nowadays. But the Bible stands firmly on what God considers an abomination.

Just what is an abomination? It’s not a word we use every day. But it’s a word that is used in 69 verses in the entire Bible: 65 verses in the Old Testament and four verses in the New Testament. I don’t know about you, teen girl, but when a word is used this much in the Bible, I pay attention to it.

Noah Webster (the man who put together the first dictionary based on words from the King James Bible) defines the word “abomination” as:

ABOMINA’TION, n.

1. Extreme hatred; detestation.

2. The object of detestation, a common signification in scripture.

The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. Prov 15.

3. Hence, defilement, pollution, in a physical sense, or evil doctrines and practices, which are moral defilements, idols and idolatry, are called abominations. The Jews were an abomination to the Egyptians; and the sacred animals of the Egyptians were an abomination to the Jews. The Roman army is called the abomination of desolation. Mat 24:13. In short, whatever is an object of extreme hatred, is called an abomination.

This gives you an idea as to what the word actually meant at the time the Bible was translated into the English language in the King James Bible. Today’s modern English waters down definitions but when you read what the initial definition was at that time, you begin to realize just how much God hates the sin that is called an abomination. Sit up and pay attention to it! God never changes – He’s the same as He was yesterday and will be the same in 1,000 years from now. If He finds homosexuality a sin in Leviticus, it is a sin in the New Testament and will be a sin in 500 years from now.

According to Noah Webster’s definition, God detests and has an extreme hatred for the sin which involves lying with mankind as one lays with womankind. There’s no mincing words here, teen girl. Modern Christianity will have you believe that a homosexual can be saved and still be a homosexual. If that person is truly saved, they will fall under extreme conviction and will remove themselves from that temptation.

God considers homosexuality a sin – period! No if’s, and’s or but’s about it. He loves the sinner and He died for sinners such as this.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Notice the last sentence: “And such were some of you:” – the Christians who used to be abusers of themselves with mankind and effeminate, were no longer this way. Jesus saves the sinner from their sin. He loves them! But they do not stay in their sin.  There is a change in their hearts when they get saved.

So back to what the world believes. The world will believe the opposite of what the born-again Christian believes. The world calls evil good and the Christian calls it evil, period! Where do you stand, teen girl? Before you accept the sin of homosexuality into your life, or accept a friend who is a practicing homosexual as a friend, dig deeply into God’s Word and see what He says. They will not inherit the kingdom of God! Plain and simple.

In closing, before you think you’re off the hook because you’re not a homosexual, look at the rest of the sins listed in verses 9-11. There are a few there that you may be guilty of as well. It is best to look at your own heart and make sure you are right with God before you begin to point a finger. Amen?

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Disrespect


Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Disrespect comes in many forms. When you respect someone, you don’t show anger toward them, you don’t cuss at them, you listen closely to what they have to say, and you give them a special place in your life. We should respect God even more than we do a human being. That includes the time we spend with Him in reading the Bible and praying. That also includes the time we spend in church and what comes out of our mouth.

I stand amazed today at how often people use the acronym “OMG” or “geez”! The unsaved use it but, sadly, the Christian uses it as well. God is holy and His name should not be used in a flippant manner. He never changes:

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Do you know what euphemism means? It’s when you use one word in place of another. I hear Christians use the word darn a lot. It’s really another word for damn. OMG is a euphemism. Even if you think the “G” stands for gosh, gosh is a euphemism for God just as geez is a euphemism for Jesus. There’s no difference between the euphemism and the actual word – you know in your heart that you are actually referring to the real word but you’re just “cleaning it up” to make it “more Christian”! Or maybe you’re one of those Christians that doesn’t think of the real word when using a euphemism. Other people are listening to you and they know the intended word.

Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Euphemisms are idle words, teen girl. They are just as much cussing as using the real words that the world uses. Training the tongue is a very difficult job in a Christian’s walk. We use these euphemisms out of habit and don’t stop to think that God considers them just as much of a curse word as the real words. It’s a bad habit and it’s hard to kick. I’ve been there.

If you love the Lord but you are upset at this post, I pray that you will ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. I would not want to offend the Lord, would you? I would not want to be disrespectful to Him, would you? What if you called your Dad, “Dude”? Would your Dad allow you to address him this way? Of course not! He deserves your respect. Our Heavenly Father deserves even more respect than our earthly parents.

What you say with our mouth, teen girl, should be taken seriously. Do you love God or not? Do you respect God or not? If you do, then please take today’s devotional as a gentle reminder to remove idle words from your speech. :-)

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