“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” - Galatians 1:10 KJV
There are probably lots of people in your life that you want to please and be approved by. There are lots of people in my life whose approval I try to earn, like my parents, teachers, youth leaders, friends, and classmates.
However, this verse says that we don’t need to earn anyone else’s approval. In fact, some people may even disapprove when we choose to follow Jesus - and that's ok. When we choose to be a follower of Christ, we are declaring God as the most important thing in our lives, and saying that we will not conform to human opinions. So, while we should respect our leaders and follow their guidance whenever possible, if they ask us to do something that goes against God, or if they disapprove of our faith, then politely walk away. We are not trying to please people. We are working for the Lord.
I love this verse because it is very important. It can be so hard to be bold about our faith when we are being pushed, and shamed, and even bullied for just mentioning God. We can sometimes feel embarrassed or ashamed because we love Christ, but we should not feel that way!
The second part of Hebrews 10:23 has a promise for us if we hold fast to our faith. It says “for he is faithful that promised”. God will be faithful to us if we are bold with our faith. He will always take care of us, and never leave us.
So I would like to encourage you today. Hold fast and stay strong. You will be so glad that you did. Don’t waver under pressure, and if you feel like you are getting weak, pray. God will help you.
But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. -Psalms 71:14
What does "hope" mean to you?
There are lots of different ways to define it. Author Annie F. Downs describes hope as "an anchor that roots us firmly in the Lord so that we don’t drift away". Hope can also be defined as “a feeling of trust” and “grounds for believing something good will happen.” I love these definitions! Now that we know what hope is, let's talk about how hope and praise fit together.
Something that I find interesting here is that the Psalmist put "hope" and "praise" in the same sentence. Hope and praise go hand in hand. Praise reminds us that God is good, even when things don’t seem to be going our way. When we proclaim God's truth, (praise!) it makes it easier for us to believe he truly can do all of those things and that he will make something good happen (hope!).
"For which I am an ambassador in bonds; that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." - Ephesians 6:20 (KJV)
What is an ambassador? What does an ambassador do? To really understand this verse, we must first understand these questions. I’m sure you already know, but let’s cover it again.
Ambassadors at a glance:
* Ambassadors represent their country in foreign lands.
* An ambassador is always taken care of.
* Ambassadors celebrate their country’s holidays and follow their laws.
* Ambassadors need to give an honest impression of their country.
* Ambassadors are chosen by their country.
In a way, we are all ambassadors. Not for countries, not for towns, but for our heavenly home. When you say “I am a Christian.” you immediately become an ambassador in the eyes of people. If you lie and cheat, that’s what people associate Christians with. If you are good and kind, that what people associate Christians with.
When you are an ambassador, you have the right to “speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” That is what ambassadors need to do to give a fair impression. So speak boldly. Tell people what you need to about God. Stand up for the right, no matter how uncomfortable it can be, because you are an ambassador.
"Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee." - Psalms 119:11
Do you have a good memory? Do you like to use your memory? That’s a good thing if you do, because this verse is all about memorizing. God wants us to learn his word and know it in our hearts because it is pleasing to him, it helps us know right from wrong, and it gives us strong faith. In fact, those all happen in the order I listed them. It works like this:
Memorizing = Pleasing God = Knowing Right From Wrong = Strong Faith
So memorizing is sort of like a 3 in 1!bI hope you found this devotional what you needed today.
P.S. Don’t know where to start memorizing? Look back through our other devotions for ideas.
“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” - Psalms 143:8
B and I have written about the Psalms a lot. The Psalms are a series of songs and prayers written by David and other people in the Old Testament. They include songs of praise, prayers for guidance, and mourning over difficult things that have happened. If I had to pick a favorite verse from the Psalms, it would be this one. Before we dive into it, take a moment to read it. Then, read it again and think about what the author is saying.
Ready? In my opinion, they are saying four main things:
It’s a prayer of sacrifice, dependence, and trust in the Lord. However, there are two different ways that we can choose to read this verse. We can choose to read the verse and count it as a touching prayer someone from the Bible said centuries ago. Or, we can read like a life changing prayer of sacrifice where we commit our entire day - our entire life - to God. How are you going to read this verse? Are you willing to be led by God in everything that you do? When you pray in the morning, what prayer will you pray?
The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. - Exodus 15:2
The Lord is my strength. He is my salvation. I will exalt him. This verse contains a lot of powerful truths, doesn't it? But what do these flowery words truly mean? Because I was curious, I decided to look up Google's defintions of "strength/strong" "salvation" and "exalt".
Here's what I found:
Strong = able to withstand great force or pressure
Salvation = preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss
Exalt = hold (someone or something) in very high regard; think or speak very highly of
With this new knowledge in mind, let's try rewriting the verse so it reads: "The Lord makes me able to withstand great pressure, he is my song, and he has become my deliverance from harm: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation, my Father's God, and I will think very highly of him." I'm going to try something different for today's devotional. Instead of offering you my analysis of this verse, I'm going to ask you some questions and challenge you to think about the verse for yourself. Here you go:
1. Which part of this verse is your favorite? Why?
2. What does it mean that the Lord is our song?
3. Look up the defintion of "habitation". What does it look like to prepare a habitation for God?
Thank you for joining me today!
But my God shall supply all you need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
Have you ever had a need? If you said no, I think you’re probably forgetting a few things. Whether you’ve had a major need, such as restored health, a repaired friendship, or something minor, such as a delicious chocolate bar (I wouldn’t really consider that a need, but it is helpful), God can take care of it all. He has more riches than we can even imagine. If God sold all of his possessions, he would probably make: $1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.......................... (add about a trillion more zeros to that and you might get to about 1/1,000,000,000,000,000 of his wealth).
He can take care of us, no matter what it is we need. He might not always give us what we ask for, because it might be a want instead of a need, or our timing isn’t right, or he has something WAY better for us. God’s got this.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." - Romans 10:9
I think that this is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible, because it sums up what Jesus did in one line. I also think it’s beautiful because of the last words: “you will be saved.” Am I the only one who sometimes feels utterly unlovable? Like I am too far gone for God’s compassion?
These fours words are a guarantee that we can cling to; that if we simply believe, he will forgive us. Read: He will forgive you. No buts. No ands. No strings attached. Isn’t that gift of forgiveness so precious and pure? Isn’t is so incredible that a man was willing to give up his chance at riches and popularity to die so that you could be saved?
This is why we believe in God. Because he loves everyone, and because his son lived selflessly. If you don’t know if you believe in him, talk to a parent, pastor, or Christian in your life.
You are loved!
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." - 1 John 4:4
When you see the words “little children “ or “children” in the Bible, pay attention! It means that God wants to say something important to you and me. Even adults can learn something valuable from what is written to children.
This is a great verse of comfort for me. It tells us that if we have Christ in our hearts, we have something greater “than he that is in the world “. By that, God means that he is greater that evil, greater than sin, greater that Satan, and that we don’t need to worry. God will protect us from the things that can harm us in the world, because he is greater than it! We still may experience hard times in life. God will protect us, but he also may test us by way of trial. When you have something hard in life, or it seems like the world is going to send some trouble your way, do not fear. God is greater!