"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!
"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." - Psalms 5:3
How do you start your day?
There's not a right or a wrong answer, but just ponder it for a minute. For me, I usually roll out of bed, remake it (somewhat sloppily) and plod sleepily downstairs for breakfast. I'm usually not capable of full communication (as in, talking in full sentences instead of grunts and nods) until 30-60 minutes after I wake up. Can you relate? Or are you a morning girl, up with the sun every day and full of energy from the second your eyes pop open?
I don't always start my day in the way that I want to. Some days, I just wake up with a bad attitude, and I have to fight for my joy and positive outlook. The main way that I do that is by praying. Now, I don't have a ton of time each morning for anything elaborate, but I almost always can pray as I roll out of bed, as I make my bed, and as I go downstairs for breakfast. Nothing fancy - just asking God to help me be patient and joyful as I go about my day.
This verse talks about listening to God in the morning. It talks about giving our concerns to the Lord and looking up to him for love and guidance. Even if all you have to give God is the two minutes as you brush your teeth, give him that time. Start your morning off wrapped in his love and focused on his plan for your life. That time shows God that he is the most important thing in our life: the first thing we think about and the first thing we do every day.
Are your actions prioritizing God or the world? Knowing this, how can you live out Psalms 5:3 every day? Will the Lord be hearing our voices in the morning as we look up to him?
The past couple of weeks, we have been giving you several challenges to keep you busy at home. Now it's time for a Bible verse challenge, that is not only fun, but also helps you to spend time in God's word!
We're challenging you to look through your Bible and find a verse that contains each of these words:
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share the verses you found with us! You could even tell all of your friends about this challenge to make it a friendly competition. Have fun!
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;"
I came to a surprising realization this week. Perhaps it is obvious to some of you. Here it is: Joy is not a feeling. Joy is a mindset. What do I mean? That If we are waiting to "feel joyful" then we will be waiting a long time. Joyful isn't a way we feel. Joyful is the way we can choose to look at the world - through a lense that's always searching for the good and the beautiful.
I believe that that is what this verse from James is teaching us: to count everything as an opportunity for joy, even in the midst of difficult situations and in temptations. When we are being tempted, either to sin or to give in to fear, we can be joyful that God is testing us. I know, I know. But, if we want to be a true Christian, then shouldn't we value spiritual growth at all costs - even if we have to withstand temptation, fear and difficulty to get there?
Girls, please know that I'm not rattling this stuff off easily. I mean, I am the queen of the negative. Phrases like "all costs" give me a little shudder of fear. However, I know that I want to be a young woman of love, of courage, and of joy that spills over into every area of my life. That will take sacrifice - and with time, I'm learning, and going to learn, to embrace that.
So will you join me, as we start looking at the world with a fresh perspective - a perspective of joy? While it might not always be easy, and while it might be downright difficult at times, I trust that the Lord has something incredible to show us in the midst of our temptations and trials if we will only open our eyes to it.