Quote of the Day: “You don't know what thirst is until you drink for the first time.”
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
No matter what you do for fun – play video games, play sports, exercise, dance, hydration is important. Water is necessary for you to perform, feel great, and to live.
Water is the one thing that the body cannot live without for long periods of time.
It is the same way with God. He has created us with an internal well – our soul. And just like our bodies, it needs to be filled with water in order to survive. Only this water, as Jesus pinned it, is living water that refreshes not only our physical bodies, but our soul as well. This water is made from God's unconditional love for us. And no matter what, that love does not change!
Sometimes, when we have done things that are bad, made negative choices, or we have experienced bad things, we become sad and feel as if there is no hope for us.
But we cannot forget that no matter what, God is still willing to give us this living water.
With it, we can feel new. We can become stronger.
We can find the will to live another day - to keep going because we are loved and we are important!
This type of water takes away pain, hurt, depression, and sadness.
This type of water brings hope.
It gives us strength - Strength needed to forgive ourselves, to forgive others.
We can live better. We can be better.
Remember today that this water is freely given.
Just ask God for it and watch how it makes everything new.
It is always great to get something new… a new bike, a new car, a new house, new clothes, new toys, new video games, you name it! That is one of the things that makes celebrating holidays and birthdays so wonderful, the thrill of getting gifts that are new or at least, new to you.
God feels like that too. He knows that new things have value and he also likes to give his children gifts.
What does it mean to have a new mind? A new mind, a renewed mind, is a mind that sees things clearer than before. When you accept Christ and decide to allow him in your life, you begin to see things differently. You think differently.
God’s will is for us to enjoy life and to be happy. Maybe we did not do so well before on something – school, sports, tests, friendship, family. Maybe we did some things that we are not so proud of. God is loving and merciful and he does not ever give us what we deserve (called grace). He gives us chance after chance after chance to get it right and to do things new and the right way.
He wants us to be the best we can be for ourselves, for our family, for our community, and for him. When we do things great and the right way, we live up to God’s purpose for our lives. His will is for you to succeed.
Ask God, EVERYDAY, when you get up, to renew your mind.
Ask him to renew the way you do things.
Ask him to renew the way you see things and people around you.
Ask him to renew the way you think about things and people around you.
Ask him to give you a new friend, the Holy Spirit, who will be there with you to help you do things better, be better.
And watch God give you just that…
Daily Verse: John 8:36 – If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Daily Quote: “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
What does it mean to be free? Before you go any further, ask yourself that. What does it mean to you to be free? It could mean to be free to make your own decisions or choices. It could mean to be free to be true to yourself. It could mean to be free to forge your own path in a specific career or area in school. It could mean being free from worry or pain or injustice. It could mean being set free from a place or situation. Freedom can also be a place in your mind, not just where you go physically.
No matter what freedom means to you, we agree that it is important and that everyone needs it. What if I told you that you could have freedom in every sense of the word by accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior? What if I could promise you that you could be happy, truly happy just by opening your mouth and saying that you believe in the Lord Jesus, that he was God’s son who came to earth and died for our sins, and who rose again to be with his Father in heaven - (That can be found in the bible in Romans 10:9 by the way.)? What if that is ALL that you have to do to be free today? Well, you CAN be free by doing just that!
God loves you and when he created you, he did so with love in mind. Every detail, every line, every curve, every hair, every part of you GOD lovingly created for friendship and love. God is your friend and he loves you and desires to have a relationship with you. When you accept that from him, you can trust that:
So, now that you know what to do to be free, what will you do?
What will you strive for or dream?
What will you believe?
GET YOUR FREEDOM TODAY!
Quote: "When something bad happens or you make bad decisions, YOU HAVE THREE CHOICES: You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, OR - You Can Let It Strengthen You! *Anonymous
There is no denying that bad things happen or sometimes, we all make mistakes. It is unavoidable because we are all human. No matter how good we try to live our lives and even if we accept Christ, trouble will come. As a believer in Christ, sometimes, we experience MORE trials than the average person. The enemy doesn't bother to go after someone he already has. He spends his energy and efforts to change and literally destroy the hearts and minds of those who believe in Christ and can make a positive difference and change in the world!
Whether it is abuse or bullying or drugs or alcohol or lying and cheating, stealing, even murder or death - there is one assurance that we have through it all - that assurance is that GOD is there with us and that he will not forsake us! As long as he is there, we have a way of escape - a way that can heal hurts, soothe pains, bring joy instead of sadness, relief instead of regrets, and more!
No matter what you are going through and may be feeling in your life, KNOW that GOD is with you and there is nothing his son JESUS didn't experience as well. Even those before you such as Job and John and David (we will feature their stories here soon...), have gone through trials that took everything, EVERYTHING they had! They were homeless, rejected, abused by family and friends, mistreated by others, betrayed, and even accused falsely of things they did not do. In those times, it seemed like GOD was not with them - but he was and in the end, each one of the people mentioned passed the tests of their lives because they never gave up, never cursed GOD, never refused to believe that things would get better because of God's faithfulness and love! They each received blessings because of this, at the end of their trials, that gave them as much as double the things they started out with - wealth and riches, land, homes, health, family, friends, and long-life. MOST OF ALL, THEY WERE BETTER PEOPLE, HELPED CHANGE THE LIVES OF OTHERS FOR THE BETTER, AND EXPERIENCED GOD'S LOVE AND BLESSINGS IN UNTHINKABLE WAYS!
Believe that GOD has you through each and every storm or trial that comes. If you have made bad decisions that seem like they are too much to bear, believe that GOD can forgive and heal you from even those things! Make a decision to accept his love, to forgive yourself, and take steps to make your life better. That is the power he has placed in you! No matter what has taken place before, it is not how you start out in every situation of life, but how you choose to finish!
You are PRECIOUS to GOD and he loves you through it all and will not leave you EVER once you have accepted his friendship and love!
Today, choose to believe that GOD is with you through it all and that it is never too late to make things better!
ACCEPTANCE: It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.
Ephesians 1:11 King James Version (KJV)11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
There are things about ourselves and others that we struggle to accept. God chose you because He loves you for who you are. Just as He made allowances for your faults, He expects you to make allowances for the faults of others.
We all have flaws, but even though we know this, it is hard to get past the flaws we see in ourselves. Society and social media doesn’t help with this either.
For someone to truly live up to the “ideals” we see in the media, he/she would have to be obscenely rich, have access to the best plastic surgeons in the world, and be willing to sell his/her very soul to achieve “perfection.”
Here’s the saddest truth of all: there are plenty of people in the world right now with the money to do just that, and guess what, they are some of the most unhappy people alive.
The truth is that God doesn’t make mistakes. He created you and loves you for who you are right now. Next time you have a chance, look in a mirror and study the person looking back at you.
Remember that "YOU" are so amazing in God’s eyes that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son to brutal torture and death for your salvation.
In God's eyes, you are the WHO and WHAT and WHY of his plan for us! God sees you as amazing and always accepted!!!
Let’s look at a few more things the Bible says about how God sees you:
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalms 139:14 (NIV)
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (NLT)
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. – Eph 2:10
GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES!!
GOD does not make mistakes! He is powerful, perfect, and most of all, intentional! Nothing GOD does or allows is by accident. YOU are not an accident! YOUR BIRTH was intended by GOD from the beginning of creation and he knew you before you were formed in your Mother's womb. He planned the family you would be born in, the community you would grow up in, the schools you would attend, the people you would meet, etc. There is nothing that has taken GOD by surprise and whether those circumstances are good or bad, they are for a purpose that only YOU can fulfill!! Because GOD does not make mistakes!
If you feel your life is bad, sometimes, you may wonder why you were born. You may wonder why GOD chose you or allowed you to be born into a certain situation or to go through a certain experience. The answer lies in you. There must be something GREAT that GOD intends for you to do because you have gone through those situations or are still going through those situations. And because you have survived and are still alive and looking for GOOD and GOD in your existence, it says a lot about you and your destiny! You must be a warrior! You must be strong and brave and have a spirit of steel that will not allow you to give up. All of that makes you special because out of great adversity comes great character and purpose.
Does GOD want us to be in situations where we are constantly sick, hurt or abused or molested or bullied? Absolutely not and GOD always makes a way of escape when those trials come. There is always a choice to be made. When we find ourselves in those situations, we can seek help through resources GOD provides for us whether it is to take the risk and tell someone else what we are going through so that we can find solutions, to seek help from a friend or teacher or counselor or social worker or a local church or shelter. Just like GOD wants to bless us, you have another entity out there that wants to hurt us because we are GOD's loving creation. The Word of GOD states that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. That can be through any of those above trials I mentioned. BUT GOD uses his plans to make us stronger and to build character in us so that no matter what we go through, as a survivor, we can use those experiences to help someone else then survive.
Look at GOD himself and the fact he allowed his only son, JESUS, to be born as flesh and to walk this life with pain and strife as well. In the end, JESUS didn't give up though he got discouraged and sometimes, like we all do, wanted to quit. He looked to GOD to give him strength and courage to do the right thing and to make it through in times of great adversity or pressure. As a result, we have life and a way of escape from the enemy and his plans for us of pain that leads the way to death.
GOD didn’t only make you, us, a part of his family. He has planned things for us to do and our experiences and background train us specifically for this purpose. The things that God has planned for us are good!!! No matter how things have started in your life, there is always an opportunity that he grants us to make a situation or our lives better. God created you and he loves you and made you with special gifts and abilities to help others. What is your purpose and destiny? What has GOD placed in you to use to make the world a better place? What skill or gift or talent do you have that can be used to positively make a difference? EVERYONE has something special and unique about them and you are no different! We each have a role to fulfill and YOU ARE SPECIAL AND UNIQUE AND IMPORTANT TOO!
Since you have been made very special with unique talents and gifts, don’t let fear or adversity stop you from stepping out and doing the things God has called you to do.
Prayer: Ask God to show you what those things are and be willing to be used by Him. If you stay open, seek GOD by asking him and praying to him about what he wants you to do, he will bless you and answer those questions. Because God wants to use YOU, yes YOU, to do GREAT THINGS!
Today's Challenge: You’re created for greatness! Step out and do the things God has called you to do.
"He who walks with the wise grows wise." Proverbs 13:20
A true friend never gets in your way unless you start going down. - Anonymous
WHAT SOUR PATCH KIDS TEACH US ABOUT FRIENDSHIPS
Sour Patch Kids candy are one of the best foods on the planet! Whoever created them was a genius. From the sour sweet taste to the shape, Sour Patch Kids are just plain awesome. Did you realize that Sour Patch can teach you about friendships?
One great thing about Sour Patch Kids is that there isn’t just one flavor to choose from. There are tons of flavors. There are Strawberry, Lemon, Raspberry, and Sour Apple just to name a few. Just like Sour Patch, there are tons of varieties of friendships. Some are really deep and will last a lifetime. Others are just fun and last for a school year. No matter what, friends should be a positive part of your life. They should want the best for you and encourage you and keep you focused. True friends don't do things to hurt you or try to convince you to do wrong. If you have any people like that in your life, they are not friends.
Look around you and analyze your friendships. Are they good or bad? If they are good for you, that friendship should make your life better. If they are bad for you, you will be able to see how your life has taken bad turns since you started hanging around them. If you have a bad friendship, you have to slowly separate yourself from that person. Don't worry that you will not get more friends. You will have an opportunity to meet more new people in your lifetime through school, sports, church, youth clubs, activities, and the list goes on. If you have a good friend that believes in you and encourages you to do the right things, things that will make your life better, value that friendship. You have to be a friend to keep good friends and that means caring about that person too and supporting him or her. Friendships take time to develop. Don’t become discouraged if it takes you a bit to find some true friends in your life.
We all have a best friend that can compare to no other - GOD. Know that GOD is always there. He is a friend that will never leave you. If you need to talk, get things off of your
shoulders, you can go to GOD. He’s always ready to listen and bring you comfort. Just like you build other friendships, you have to build your friendship with GOD too by praying everyday and spending time reading his WORD. Even reading this devotional is spending time with GOD and showing yourself a friend of GOD's too.
Just like Sour Patch Kids, friendships are an awesome part of life. They both bring lots of flavor and fun to our lives. And always remember, GOD's friendship lasts forever.