~Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Have you entered into the Lord’s gates today, teen girl? I heard a message on our covenant with God recently and it got me to thinking how blessed we are that Christ’s death and resurrection created a covenant for us with the Father – for all born again believers! What a joy to meditate on that today. So today, I want to encourage each of you toward righteousness.
We do not need to be defeated Christians. We do not need to give in to temptation. We just need to be hard workers at our faith in our precious Saviour. I’m sure many a teen girl gives it her “all” when it comes to doing school work, helping her parents at home, caring for younger siblings, etc. But you can’t stop there … you need to care for your spiritual life with just as much zeal and effort. Yes, helping your mother by cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry is a chore. I’m get that same effervescent feeling the lady in the commercial gets about my scrubbing bubbles cleaning my toilet, ya know? It’s WORK to get these chores done – but the feeling of satisfaction afterwards is priceless!
Making sure that we cover all the areas of our spiritual lives is work also. But this “work” has eternal results. The work in our homes is temporary – the dust will always come back and there will always be dishes and laundry to do. But the work we do for the Lord is forever. I think of Christ’s account of Mary and Martha. He did not use a parable here but referred to actual women. The Lord placed this account in His Word especially for us! Mary spent her time at His feet while Martha carried on with the chores. Mary gleaned from the Master while Martha missed out on His blessings from the Word.
Working at our spiritual lives is just that – WORK! Here is a little something that helps me strive in this area of training myself and I want to share it with you, teen girl. If you start now, by the time you have a home of your own and children, you will be that much ahead. 🙂
W – Wake up to the Lord with song! Sing your favorite hymn – you know the one – it just speaks to your heart and gets you in the right mood – Mine is “Amazing Grace”!
O – Open my heart to Him in prayer. I believe in making my heart right with God before praying for others. I confess my sins, I love on Him real good and then I pray for others.
I have a prayer list – in fact, I’m making a prayer journal to start using – and I keep this list with my Bible – the list is so long but I’ve broken it down by days so each day has a different grouping of people (i.e. Sunday = church family; Monday = missionaries; etc. I record specific details for each of these people so I’m praying for specific needs, not generalities.
R – Read His Word! Reading God’s Word is a learned trait. Don’t be so strict with your plan that you don’t enjoy His Word. I have three separate times for reading.
- The first is my sweet time with Him. Today I read my Proverb of the day (there are conveniently 31 Proverbs, one each for the 31 days in the month). I then read my Psalms for the day (today is the 5th so I read Psalm 5 (then add 30), Psalm 35, Psalm 65, Psalm 95, and Psalm 125. I then read the 5th division or section of Psalm 119. This method for reading Psalms enables me to read the entire Book of Psalms every month. I then read Acts chapter 5 so I can learn about the church’s history. And finally, I read Revelations chapter 5 because we are promised a blessing in Revelation 1:3 if we read and understand this book.
- The second time for reading is reading through the Bible – I usually do this before bed. Sometimes we set goals that we just can’t keep and then we feel defeated and give up totally. I would rather keep at it and be blessed then to give up.
- My third reading comes with studying God’s Word. We’re commanded to study to show ourselves approved UNTO GOD. Not to show off our knowledge to others, not to puff ourselves up thinking we’re better than others – but approved UNTO GOD. This is where we dive into meaty things and learn – not learning from someone else’s studying but learning for ourselves. You may have your own method of reading – I hope you do. In my 32 years of salvation, all the women and teen girls that I’ve come in contact with who have struggled spiritually, struggled because they were not in the Word for themselves. When we stand before the Lord and give Him the reason why we didn’t do this or didn’t do that, our excuse that the preacher never taught us won’t hold water. We are commanded to study for ourselves.
K – Keep Him in the forefront of my mind all day. When we have sung, prayed and read, it’s pretty hard to forget the God you started your day with. 🙂
If you don’t have a special time, teen girl, resolve to make one. If you want to succeed at this, hold yourself accountable to someone. Ask a good friend to ask you daily if you spent your time with the Lord. One who won’t take excuses but will lovingly tell you that your excuse is not a good one! 🙂 Good friends like that are hard to find so treasure her if you have one!