Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wait!

 11Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
 12Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
 13I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
 14Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. 

Wait!

Wait! Now that is, perhaps, one of the most difficult words in the English language to hear, especially for a teen. Do you think it was any easier for David, King of Israel? When the armies were advancing against him, the last thing David wanted to do was wait.

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

We may never be kings or queens, but that does not mean we are any more patient? The question we should ask is: "Is it worth the wait?" Yes, it certainly was for David and should be for Christians today as well. Remember our hope to come: we, too, will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Sometimes, living in a world filled with hopelessness and death, that is hard to perceive.

David, in verse 14, certainly does not present a new idea, does he? The Lord had always been his only hope and comfort, and we know that today, at this very moment, he is living in that hope. Think about that! This world that so consumes our lives is but a passing shadow in the realm of eternity. That is not easy to comprehend when, as a teen, your whole life stretches out before you.

Knowing that our days are uncertain, the the years of our life unknown, what should be the main focus of our lives? What should be the main focus of this very day? As Christian teens, pray that God would grant to you wisdom, patience, and hope, along with a fervent desire to walk in His ways, fulfilling the unique purpose He has determined for each of His children.

Yes, wait! Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thy Face

 6And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
 7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
 8When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
 9Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
 10When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. 

Thy Face

Reading verse 8 of Psalm 27 made me think of a small child. Whose face is the most glorious face to behold in their small eyes? It is their mother's face. No one in all of the world is more beautiful to an infant than their mother. Why is that? From their perspective, their mother provides all of their needs: food, care, and love. As they grow older, other people become part of their lives as well, but it will be years before anyone can begin to surpass the importance of their mother. (I know. As a teen, it has been a long time since your mother's face was that important to you.)

Do you think that David had these things in mind when he said, When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek? As we continue on in Psalm 27, he seems to allude to that very thing. What is his greatest fear? Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

What kind of relationship do we personally have with the Lord? Do we, like David, fear the times when God would seemingly hide his face from us? Or, are we so busy living our daily lives that we have no time to even think or care about where God is in relationship to ourselves?

I think that is a real danger in the world in which we live today. Life is so busy--so full of opportunities, that one hardly has time to think beyond the basics of making it from day to day in one piece. As a teen, how many people advise you to seek God's face as you make plans for your future?

I would encourage you, as a Christian teen, to meditate upon Psalm 27, asking yourself whether you have the same longing, as did David, to be kept in the presence of God. When everything seems to fall apart, where do you look for answers? Do you have the same confidence, as did David, when he said, When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

Let us, by the grace of God, join David in saying, Thy face, Lord, will I seek! 

If you make this a pattern of your life now, while you are in the days of your youth, this pattern will follow you all the days of your life.

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, April 28, 2011

He Shall Hide Me

 4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
 5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 

He Shall Hide Me

It is no wonder that King Solomon, when given the choice of having anything he wanted, asked God for wisdom. Trained at his father's knee, he would have learned at an early age how much his father, David,  loved God. 

We all have those days when we are so incredibly weary of life that we long for a time of solitude with the Lord in His sanctuary. For nothing compares to the joy we experience when we spend time meditating upon the Lord, beholding his beauty and purity. The best this world has to offer is nothing compared to the beauty of His holiness. 

In Christ, there is no strife, no anger, no malice, and no fear. In His hands we are free of the terror that may exist on all sides, for on God's rock we are safe from all outside influences. In Him is light and truth; His perfect love casts out all fear.

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 

How can that be? What of the times when we are in physical danger? Where is God then? As Christians, it is important that we remember that all of our steps are ordered by the Lord. From our first step until our very last step, we walk in the way already planned by God. 

This world is not our true home; we are here for a time--sometimes for a very brief time. Nothing we experience here will compare to the glories that wait us when we meet Christ face to face.

May we, as Christian teens, find strength and comfort in Christ knowing that: he shall hide me in his pavilion.

What an amazing God we have!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Light and Salvation

 1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
 2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
 3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 

Light and Salvation

As a teen, who is your light and salvation? To whom do you go when everything is dark and discouraging--when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel?

We seem to do pretty well in this life when everything runs along smoothly from day to day, but what happens when everything seems to go wrong? As king, David faced many of these days, but from the days of his youth, he learned the importance of trusting in God, his light and salvation. He recounts the time or times when the wicked, who came upon him to eat up his flesh, just stumbled and fell. Through experiences such as this, his confidence in the Lord became so sure that he did not even fear tidings of war.

As Christian teens, you have the same access to God as did David, and you have just as much right to lay claim to God's help in times of need. In reading the Psalms, we discover that one of Davids "secrets of success" was found in his daily meditation upon the Lord.

 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
         And in His law he meditates day and night. 

Could it be that we lack David's assurance and confidence in the Lord because we do not spend time each day meditating upon God's Word? We often use the excuse of being too busy to spend time with the Lord every single day, but the truth is, we do not have enough time not to spend time with the Lord each day!

Just as a soldier would not think of going into battle without his armor, so must we understand that, as a Christian, we need to fortify ourselves against the wiles of the devil every single day. We are in a war--a war that was set in motion before this world was created. Even as a teen, you must realize that every person in this world is on one side or the other!

Let us, then, lay claim to the Lord, our Light and Salvation, who is already the proclaimed Victor of that war!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stand Tall!

 6I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:
 7That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
 8LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
 9Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
 10In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.
 11But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.
 12My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD. 

Stand Tall!

We know that David was a great man of war, but to what did he attribute his success?

LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.

His success was no accident; from a very young age, David set his heart upon serving the LORD. Becoming king did not change that. Whether he was running from his enemies or standing, victorious, with a crown upon his head, he was always quick to give all of the glory to God, alone.

How aware of God are we in our daily lives? Do we merely pay lip service to God, or do we stand tall, in an even place and bless the Lord? 

When I was just a teen, I had great plans as to how I would faithfully serve God all of the days of my life. My intentions were good, but I did not have a clue how difficult of a task I had set before me. Now, as I look back, what I see is God's faithfulness to me. My service to him was sporadic at best--sometimes living close to His Word, and other times being so consumed by life that I barely had time to call upon His name. I have had no trouble, in life, identifying with impetuous Peter; and I certainly have understood the agony that so often characterized David as recorded in the Psalms. 

In reality, it does not take long for us, as Christians to realize that all of the honor and praise goes to God, alone. It is He who saves us, it is He who keeps us, and it is He who will bring us safely home to heaven to live with Him forever!

By His grace alone, let us stand tall in an even place, and bless the Lord!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, April 25, 2011

Judge, Examine, and Prove

 1Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.
 2Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
 3For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.
 4I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
 5I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked. 

Judge, Examine, and Prove

When I read passages such as this, I always seem to get a little uncomfortable. I know myself too well. Would I really be able to stand the scrutiny that David calls for in Psalm 26? He brazenly stands before God and says judge, examine, and prove me.

It would seem, from reading Psalms 26 that David must not have been very politically correct, and he certainly could not have fit in with the world very well.

I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

He was the king. Did he close himself in a closet and ignore the world around him? 

Actually, the exact opposite is true. David, of necessity, lived among the people of the world, but from the days of his youth, he made a decision that profoundly affected him the rest of his life. You see, it is one thing to live among the people of this world, but it is quite another to join in their vanity and their evil deeds. 

How would we score if God were to rate us today? Would He find our hearts to be wholly trusting in Him? Would He agree that we have walked in the way of truth?

For the most parts, Christian teens, living in the 21st century, have sadly neglected God's call to remember their First Love. They have forgotten that, though they live in the world, they are not really of the world. Of course, this is true of all Christians, not just teens. God calls us to step out of the driving passions of this world and live our lives totally committed to Him.

If David, the king, could call God to judge, examine, and prove him without fearing the results, then we must say that nothing in this world should hinder us from the same heart attitude toward God. 

Let us, by the grace of God, leave the vanity of this world and set our faces toward our only, true, and living king, God Almighty, remembering that He has saved us for a purpose. Only when we are actively pursuing that purpose will we, like David, be able to say, without fear,  "Judge, examine, and prove me, oh God!"

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Wait on Thee

 16Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.
 17The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.
 18Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
 19Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
 20O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
 21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.
 22Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. 

I Wait on Thee

Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. David wrote this over 2000 years ago, and yet, it could appropriately appear in today's headlines! Eyes are continually focused on the Mid East as we follow the day to day turmoil that seems to be a part of the daily life for the people of Israel.

Do the same answers that David found to be true still apply today as well? Yes, they do. David gazed upon his enemies, who at times seemed to completely surround him, and said, O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

Life, as we know, is certainly far from simple; neither is it at all predictable. We are tempted to think that that is just an anomaly of this age, until we remember the words of King Solomon:

 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 

It is good for us to stop and just ponder this. As Christian teens, are we living in a time when the principles taught in God's Word are no longer relevant? Of course not! God, the Author of Time, still prevails in spite of mans' attempt to sweep Him into insignificance.

As teens, let us remember, when life seems to surround us with difficulties and complications, the words of King David, I wait on Thee. That is our calling! Let us, by the grace of God, refrain from being fair-weather Christians. God is God in the bad times as well as the good times, and we are not!

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Secret of the Lord

 12What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
 13His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
 14The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.
 15Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. 

Secret of the Lord

Psalm 25 presents the most secretive secret in the whole world! In a world filled with glamor, riches, power, and seemingly unlimited possibilities for success, what teen does not want to know the secret to success? Yet, the truth is, everyone is looking in the wrong place. Everyone is chasing after the world, when the only true success lies in the hand of God.

Can the answer really be that simple? Yes! Now, it is true that the Christian has a totally different view of what it means to be successful, but the answer to finding that success is really quite simple. We will never find true success, joy, happiness, or contentment in this world. Unfortunately, this world is filled with everything but that! Can selfish and sinful men really find any kind of true peace, joy, or contentment from anything this world has to offer?

Now, intellectually we know that these things are true, yet Christian teens are often just as busy as those in the world seeking after fame, fortune, happiness, and success in the things the world has to offer. Will we never learn?

In the end, David had it all! He was the king; he was both rich and powerful. Yet, his own advice proclaimed that any joy and peace that he really had was found in the Lord. Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. He was not afraid to admit, the secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

Many times, we Christians can be some of the most miserable and unhappy people around. Do you think it could have anything to do with the fact that, as Christians, we cannot possible find true joy in the things of this earth? We have a new heart, given to us by the Lord, that yearns after God. Let us, by the grace of God, seek after the secret of the Lord, where true joy, peace, and contentment can be ours for all eternity.

How amazing is that?

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mercy and Truth

 8Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
 9The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
 10All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
 11For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. 

Mercy and Truth

What characterizes your life? If your acquaintances were to describe you in two words, what would they say? We are pretty good about excusing ourselves, so that is not really a very easy question to answer. As Christians, we often set the bar way too low as far as our own tolerance for sin in our own lives.

What characterizes God? If you were going to use two words to describe God, what would you say? In Psalm 25, David does just that. In verse 8, he said, Good and upright is the LORD, and in verse 10, All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth.

Why should our expectations of ourselves be any different? Yes, we live in a sinful and corrupted world, and our own sin nature constantly wages war within our hearts, but that is not a reason to give in to the temptation to accept less than the best.

I am a piano teacher, and I am amazed at how my own students' expectations of themselves influence their playing. A score of 90% is pretty good at school, so why is that not good enough for piano? Sadly, if they never expect to really get it right, they will not practice with that goal in mind.

As Christians, God has given us everything we need to live lives that are wholly committed to Him. First, He has provided payment for the debt of our sins, and has given us a place in His kingdom forever! Then, He has sent the Holy Spirit to live within our hearts and to lead and guide us in the way we should go. Thirdly, He has given us His Word to direct us in the way of mercy and truth.

How different would our world be today if all professing Christians determined to cast off the ways of the world, and, instead, to wholly commit themselves to living a Godly life characterized by mercy and truth? By His grace, let us lay aside all wickedness, envy, greed, anger, and all of the other traits that are so prevalent in the world in which we live. By His grace, may our lives, instead, be characterized by mercy and truth.

As Christians teens, you have the opportunity to strongly impact the future of this world. Are you going to slide by living in the shadow of the world, or are you going to step forward and say, like Joshua, As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.?

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Remember Not

 6Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
 7Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD. 

Remember Not

What does God remember, and what does God not remember? David asks God to remember his tender mercies and his loving kindnesses, but to remember not the sins of his youth. How can God do that? How can God remember his mercy and love and yet overlook our sins?

God does not overlook our sins; neither does he, in a grandfatherly way, understand that life is rough and pat us on the back and say, it's OK. Sin is not OK; it never has been and never will be OK before God. How then do we understand what David was saying, and why he even thought God would forget his sins? Was David wrong? No!

In God's tender mercy and loving kindness, He sent His only, perfect, righteous, and holy Son, to pay the debt of our sins that we are unable to pay. When we accept God's payment for our sins through Christ, He not only forgets our sins, but He does not see them at all. It is as if they have never even existed!

David did not have a perfect understanding of all of this; he lived centuries before Christ would come, but he did know that the only mercy to be found in this world is the mercy of God. He knew that the only possible absolution of his sins would be from God, and not from any other creature.

As Christian teens, it is time that we break away from the strong grip this world has upon our lives. We have not been brought into this world so that we can come and make merry, enjoy life, and die. God has an eternal purpose for every single child of God; it is our duty to be about the purpose that God has given to each of us.

Yes, let us ask that God will remember not the sins of our youth, but let us understand that first, those sins have been paid by the blood of Christ, and second, we have been called to live a holy life, set apart for the service of God. The two definitely go hand in hand.

According to the mercy of God, we have an eternal hope, totally beyond all human comprehension. Let us then live in that hope; let us lift up our eyes to heaven and proceed forth, living the life that God has called us to live!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Show Me!

 4Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
 5Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. 

Show Me

David had a right to say to God, "Show me your ways." You see, we do not worship a God of wood or stone who has eyes that do not see and ears that do not see. God is a living God who sees and hears the cries of His people, and responds on their behalf. What an amazing God we have! 

In a day when truth and deception seem to go hand in hand, it is not always easy to even discern the truth. How is one to determine the way to go when one is not even sure which way is the true way? The Bible tells us that in the last days many will come and will falsely proclaim to be sent from God. How are we to know if they are genuine or not? 

As David, we have every right to go to God and say, "Show me your ways; show me the truth." Not only do we have the right to ask God for help, but we can, with assurance, know that He will answer our cries for help. How does He do that? 

Keep in mind, that nothing comes into our lives by accident. David said, "Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." God leads us in the way we should go. He will reveal His truth and His will for our lives through His Word, through the daily circumstances of our lives, and through the words of others.

I fear that, all too often, we do not live as though we actually believe that. We tend to put God on a shelf, and only bring Him down when we are in panic mode. What would happen if we, by God's grace, changed that attitude toward Him? What if we actually began each day seeking God's will, believing that He would lead us through each moment of that day? 

"Show Me" is not just a motto for the state of Missouri! "Show Me" should be the motto of every single Christian.

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unto Thee!

 1Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
 2O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
 3Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. 

Unto Thee!

It is not difficult, when one reads the Psalms of David, to understand the reason for his strength. Continually, David cried to God, Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. From the innermost depths of his heart, David's love for God was steadfast and sure; he never forgot his First Love!

Sometimes, in reading the Psalms and the accounts of David's life in the Bible, we take his attitude for granted. Yet, think of the pressures in life he faced, practically from his youth. Look at the victories he won upon the battlefield. One would think he would have emerged as a self-reliant man who trusted in no one but himself. 

David, however, was not ashamed to profess the true secret of his success: God Almighty! The victories were not his to win--they were won by the hand of God. 

How do we face the battles in our own life? How do we face the ordinary, everyday circumstances of life? Do we really believe that we have the power in and of ourselves to live a successful, happy life before God? I trust, that in our heart of hearts, as Christian teens, we will not be ashamed to acknowledge that we wait upon God for our strength and help.

Those who transgress without a cause truly are the only ones who are to be ashamed. Those who actually live and believe that they are the center of their own universe will not always believe so. The time will come when they will stand before God, himself, and understand that they have lived the life of a fool.

Today, before you even take another step, lift up your eyes to heaven and cry out to the Lord, Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. 

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, April 18, 2011

King of Glory

 7Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
 8Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
 9Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
 10Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah. 

King of Glory

The imagery of this Psalm is lost on us in the 21st century; we do not see the gates of the city closed, and the doors of the castle barred against unwelcome intruders. David looks to heaven and declares, Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.

 Through the eyes of David, we can picture the scene; the battle has been hard, but now the victorious king returns with his triumphant army. The city waits in expectation; everyone stands in readiness, straining their eyes for the first sign of the returning army. Suddenly, the cry is heard, the king is near. Slowly the gates begin to rise and in the distance clouds of dust accompany the thundering of the horses' hooves. Then, suddenly, there he is--the king; the crowd bursts into shouts and cheers of joy, as he passes through the castle gates.

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.

Amazing though it be, that calls comes to every single person on this earth. Lift up your heads and open the gates of your heart that the King of Glory may come in. The LORD of hosts, the King of glory has purchased our entrance into the heavenly kingdom. That is a love we cannot even begin to comprehend.

Nothing we have ever said or done has made us worthy to receive the honor and glory due to His name. By His grace may we lift up our hearts and receive this King of glory, and by His grace, may we live with Him and for Him forever more!

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Pure Heart!

 3Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
 4He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
 5He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
 6This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. 

A Pure Heart!

Whose opinion matters? For as long as we can remember, this is a question which has dictated most of our actions. As children, we did our utmost to please our parents or faced the consequences. As we grew older the authorities in our lives changed, and often our actions and attitudes changed right along with them, and not always for the best!

A time will come when every single person on this earth from time past, to the present, and on into the future will have to stand before God and give an account for the choices made in this life time. When God looks at your life, what will He see? What is God really looking for? Is He looking for great works which show our great love and affection for Him?

The amazing thing is that God is looking for a pure heart! We may do ever so much for the Lord, but if our heart is not in the right place, then we must ask, was it really for the Lord? We can impress men with our words and actions, but God looks beyond words and actions right into our very heart of hearts, and there He sees the truth! If we have a divided heart, serving God when it is convenient while nursing along our own true passions, He sees it. 

God is a jealous God who looks for single-hearted servants whose very passion in life is to serve Him. Realistically, sin has the same desire! Sin wants to dominate and take over our very beings. Because we are sinful creatures, a battle rages within our hearts and lives, with only one winner in sight. 

In the end, who ascends the hill of the Lord, and who shall stand in God's holy place? He who has a pure heart. What is the result of a pure heart? The result is blessing from the Lord. The New King James Version of the Bible states it this way:

He shall receive blessing from the LORD,
         And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

As Christian teens, let us, by the grace of God, raise our eyes beyond the things of this world and look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He, alone, can grant us a pure heart before God.

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Lord's Earth

 1The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
 2For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. 

The Lord's Earth

The earth is the LORD's. Do we understand the implications of that statement? God created this marvelous world--perfect in its beauty and endless in its amazing variety of plants and animals. Before sin, nature thrived in the perfection of God.

But, that was not the end! Man sinned, and the world would never be the same. We are told that the earth groans, and that the creatures cry out to God, for everything has been corrupted by the entrance of sin into this world. God has given man the responsibility to dress and keep this world. How effective have we been? Perhaps the better question would be, have we really taken our charge before God seriously?

When you think of it, it all comes down to our understanding of who we are, who God is, and what our purpose is on this earth. Man has treated this world as though it will continue on infinitely, and yet we know this is not true. By the grace of God, the Tree of Life was banned from Adam and Eve and their posterity so that man would not eat of it and live on this world forever in his sinful state! How tragic that would have been!

The Bible tells us that the earth will one day be destroyed, and in its place God will create a new heaven and a new earth. Again, the saints of God will walk in this new earth in all of its perfection and harmony. And, that world, which will never be corrupted by sin, will last for all eternity.

Let us, by God's grace, remember our calling before God; our First Love, and understand that the values of the world are man's values and not God's. As Christian teen, you are called to live above the ways of the world, in the purity and holiness of God. It is true that we do so imperfectly now, but the day is soon coming when all imperfections will pass away.

What an amazing God we serve; let us praise and thank Him for His untold blessings to us, both now and for all eternity!

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, April 15, 2011

The 23rd Psalm

 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
 4Yea, 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.
 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. 

The 23rd Psalm

A more beautiful picture of the relationship of Christ to us, his sheep, has not been painted. How much better would life be if we just stopped to recite and meditate upon this beautiful Psalm every morning?

Not many of us have had the opportunity to work with sheep, and therefore may not understand the full import of the 23rd Psalm. Sheep are some of the most defenseless animals on the face of the earth, and unfortunately, tend to be rather willful. Those two characteristics create a very dangerous scenario for the their safety. 

David was a shepherd, and makes no apologies for equating us with those same willful, self-destructive animals. The Lord Jesus, with his rod and staff at hand, guides and comforts us, continually pulling us out of dangerous situations. Though we would tear ourselves from his grasp, and rush headlong down a dangerous slope, he gently prods and guides us into paths of righteousness.

We do not have a God who created us and then left us to our own devices. His salvation does not just guarantee us a place in heaven for eternity, but guarantees his constant watch care over us every single day of our lives. It may seem, at times, that God is far removed from us, but the truth is, our Shepherd has never left our side.

As a teen, you have already discovered that life does not come with many valid guarantees, but as a Christian, you will understand and appreciate this more and more in the years to come. God is faithful, even when we are not!

My cup runneth over! Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

That is the heart-cry of every true believer!

Amen! So come quickly, Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Bigger Picture

 29All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
 30A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
 31They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this. 

The Bigger Picture

At the end of Psalm 22, David takes a moment to pause and look at the bigger picture. As he looked around at his kingdom, he realized that in reality, his domain was just a small part of a bigger world, and that world was just a small part in the continuum of time. His kingdom would pass away, but the God's eternal kingdom would never end.

As we look upon our own world today we should ask ourselves the question, "What really matters?" Or, better yet, "Who really matters?" One may rise up, and for a time seem to be the most important person alive, but where will they be in 5, 10, or 20 years? In time, another will always rise to take their place. 

When one considers the bigger picture--from the beginning to the end of time, who matters the most? God! David reminds us that no one can keep alive his own soul, and in the end, all will worship God! How can he say that, after all, not everyone even believes in God?

That will no longer be the situation; at the end of time all truth will be revealed for what it is. There will not be a man or woman alive, or who has ever lived who will not believe in God! And, there will not be a man or woman alive, or who has ever lived who will not bow down before God and worship Him! Unfortunately, for many, the day of salvation will have passed; what a sobering thought!
As Christian teens, it is good to stop and look away from the daily concerns that so permeate our lives and take the time to think of life from a bigger perspective.

As we embark upon our duties of this day, let us look at the bigger picture and remember who we really serve, and let us pray that the circumstances of this life will not deter us from faithfully serving Him!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All Shall Worship

 25My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
 26The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
 27All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
 28For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations. 

All Shall Worship

We live in a time when it is not politically correct to be a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is OK to have faith, but one must not overdue it! Far too often, Christians have melded into society, often seeking the same fame and fortune sought by unbelievers. Will it always be like this? No!

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. 

Of all people, Christians need to remember that, though it may not seem to be the case, the kingdom is the LORD's; and He is the governor among the nations. As Christian teens, our goals have changed; no longer are we to seek riches and honor for ourselves; rather, we are to set our hearts and minds on serving the Lord. 

We understand that our being here is not just a circumstance of chance, but God has created us just the way we are, with all of the characteristics and abilities we have, to serve and honor Him. God calls us, no matter what our vocation will be, to be a light to those all around us who walk in darkness. 

This is the true reality of life! The time will come, as David tells us in verse 27 of Psalm 22, when all shall worship the Lord. What a glorious time that will be. 

I challenge you, as Christian teens, to live the life you profess to believe! Walk as though you truly believe that God is the governor among the nations, knowing that what He has ordained will surely come to pass!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Glorify Him!

 22I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
 23Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
 24For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. 

Glorify Him!

David's message from Psalm 22 is rather simple: praise him, glorify him, and fear him. 

Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

The message is rather simple, but how effective are we, as Christian teens, in carrying out those commands? 

It is easy to praise God in church, but do we praise God in our daily lives? Are we quick to defend his name when we hear it abused, or are we so used to hearing his name taken in vain that we do not even notice? Do we think, before we speak or act, "What would be honoring to God?" When the days are sunny, the weather is warm and beautiful, and the flowers are lovely, do we praise and thank God for this beautiful earth He has created for us?

What does it mean to glorify God, and how is that different from praising him? In praise to God we acknowledge his handiwork and give honor to Him for the work He has and is doing on our behalf, especially the salvation He has provided through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. When we glorify Him, we seek to give all honor to Him for every good thing we accomplish in this life. Nothing good that we do or say is done in our own power or in our own strength; all blessings, whether internal or external, are gifts from God, who has made us in his own image.

What does it mean to fear God? Does it mean we are to walk about inwardly trembling in terror for what He might do if we sin against him? The child of God, fears God as anyone under the authority of another fears, or shows respect, for that person because of their authoritative position over them. Understanding that God holds the key to our very souls, and has the power to grant eternal life or death to that soul, causes us to desire to live in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Thus, we fear God, and keep His commandments.

Why? Why did David command God's children to praise, glorify and fear God?

For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

He hears his children when they cry to Him! His eyes are never closed, and his ears are never shut to the call of his children. Why do we, as children of God, spend so much of our lives caring about what the world thinks of us, instead of pursuing a life of love and holiness before our God who loves us as no man ever could?

Today, as Christian teens, let us, by the grace of God, praise him, glorify him, and fear him!

God Bless You,
Linda



Monday, April 11, 2011

God's Word

 12Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
 13They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
 14I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
 15My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
 16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
 17I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
 18They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
 19But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
 20Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
 21Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. 

God's Word

Psalm 22 is known as one of the Messianic Psalms, as it clearly depicts the suffering of Christ upon the cross. As I was reading through this Psalm, I was struck with realization, that David, when he penned these words, did not know that he was actually describing what Christ would experience upon the cross. I marveled that words written hundreds of years before could so accurately describe Christ's crucifixion--even some of the very words Christ would speak.

This, dear Christian, illustrates the God we serve, and the truth of not only what has come to pass, but also what will come to pass as predicted in God's Word. In this case, God so moved in the heart of David that as David spoke of his own sufferings, his words were mouthing the very words that God knew Christ would speak.

We see this happening again and again in the Old Testament Scriptures. God used many of the prophets to address the nations of that time with words that had double applications, first to the people of that day, and second to future times. Now, in our days, we marvel again as we see so many of the predictions given by Old Testament prophets coming to fruition right before our eyes.

God's Word is a living Word! We must be careful, as teens, that we do not treat it as an historical document out of touch with our modern day times. World history, of which we are a part, continues to unfold exactly as God revealed it to us in his Word.

That begs the question, how important is God's Word to us? How much of an effect does it have on our daily lives? Perhaps it would be better to ask, how should it affect our daily lives?

Unfortunately, many professing Christians barely even take the time to read God's Word, much less to seek to apply it to their daily lives. We have been duped by the world into a sense of complacency before God, while busily scrambling to keep up with the things the world deems should matter.

God's Word is your Word! As a Christian teen, it is your road map for living the life God has called you to live. This is the message God has given to you to guide you in your daily lives and to determine the course you must take as you travel through this life. Because His Word is a living Word, what is important in the eyes of God as revealed in this Word, must be important to you as well.

Let us pray, that by the grace of God, we would shake off the complacency that keeps us too busy to serve the Lord. May we renew our vows to read and study God's Word and to seek to apply it to our thoughts, our words, and our actions.

May Jesus Christ be praised!

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rejection!

 6But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
 7All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
 8He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
 9But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
 10I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
 11Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 

Rejection!

From a very young age we learn the bitter taste of rejection. It does not take us long to realize that compliance brings with it great rewards. So, with not much conscious thought we go through our days in much the same manner as everyone else. But, what happens when living in the same manner as everyone else brings us in direct opposition to the commandments of God?

Every Christian teen needs to face this question; as we see our world come closer and closer to the end of time, we realize that the status quo does not exactly align itself with the Word of God. In the United States we can hardly throw the Bible out of schools and tear the Ten Commandments from public walls fast enough!

David understood rejection. Early in his life he faced the open rejection of King Saul, and in his later years his own sons sought to take over his throne. When reading the verses above from Psalm 22, we can feel the deep anguish this rejection brought to his soul, and, again, we see David turning to the only One who could offer true help. Looking to God, he cried, Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

In reality, it is good for us to learn this lesson early in our lives. In our teens we form great friendships, but it does not take long to realize how tentative these relationships can be. Some of our dearest friends often turn out to be some of our greatest enemies. 

The key is to remember our First Love! Who loved us, even before we were born? Who sent his only Son to die to pay the debt of our sins? Who will stay with us every hour of every day, not just for the rest of our lives, but for all eternity? 

Who understands rejection even more than we ever could? The Lord Jesus Christ faced, not only the rejection of man, but he also faced the rejection of God himself. When he took the sins of man upon himself, God turned away!

Why was Christ willing to die for such an unworthy people? I do not know, but he faced that rejection so that he could present us before God, who does not see our sin, but sees, instead, the righteousness of Christ within us! Any rejection we may ever be called to face, pales in comparison with the hope of eternity with Christ. Indeed, there is no help upon this earth, but there is help from God, himself.

How amazing is that?

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Where are You, God?

 1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
 2O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
 3But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
 4Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
 5They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 

Where are You, God?

One of the greatest difficulties we face in the Christian life comes during those seasons when it seems as though we are all alone, and God is nowhere to be found. It is important for us to note that all Christians go through times when their heart cries out, "Where are you, God?" Even David, a man after God's own heart experienced such times of feeling isolated from God.

What we note about David, however, is that he always seasoned his words in hope. He barely got the words of Psalm 21, verses 1 and 2 out of his mouth, when they were followed by the assurances he expressed in verses 3 through 5. 

For the unsuspecting Christian, Satan loves to pour out denials of God and times of great discouragement; he continually bombards God's people with doubts of God's very presence in their lives. So, the first thing we should note is that we are not alone! Remember, even Elijah became discouraged when Jezebel, the queen, sought his life. In 1 Kings 19, he cried out to God, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (New King James Version)

When we suddenly seem flooded with doubts toward God, let us remember to stop and ponder the great testimony of Christendom before us. History is filled with examples of God's intercession on behalf of his people. As a matter of fact, we do not really have to look that far back, for, even as Christian teens, we have experienced times of great joy when we saw God's amazing answers to our own prayers.

God is not dead; He does not sleep, and He never forgets his own! When our heart cries out, "Where are you, God?", let us join David in proclaiming, 

 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

Yes, our fathers trusted in God, and he delivered them. So, too, will God deliver us from all evil; so, too, will we join our fathers of bygone days in the glorious kingdom that God is preparing for his saints.

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, April 8, 2011

Who Rules?

 8Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
 9Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
 10Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
 11For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.
 12Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.
 13Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power. 

Who Rules?

Who rules this world? There was no doubt in the heart and mind of David that it was God who ruled, not only his kingdom, but the entire world. David, a man of war, witnessed first hand God's intervention in battle after battle and victory after victory. Never, even in his later years, did David forget his first love; even unto the end of his days on this earth, he gave God the glory for the successful reign God had given to him.

Who rules our world? Never, in all of history, has this been a more important question to ask. One only has to pick up the daily paper or read the daily headlines to see the turmoil and unrest that exists worldwide. Financial woes are crippling the nations, citizens are rising up against their leaders, and natural disasters are taking huge tolls against the people of this world. Why? Does this all happen just by chance?

We must remember that this is God's world; He created this world and gave man the order to take dominion over it. Yet, it would seem that man has done his utmost to destroy the work of God's hands! Is that even possible?

Just as David understood, as evidenced by his reflections in Psalm 21, so it is true today that nothing man does can thwart the will of God. God rules this world; nothing happens by chance. Though we may not be able to make sense of what we see, as Christians we know and understand that God is using these worldwide events to bring victory for the righteous and defeat those who shake their angry fists in his face.

Who rules our own personal worlds? Are we the master of our own destinies? Make no mistake that even the ordinary events of our days are brought about by the hand of God. Are we going to join forces with God Almighty, or are we going to seek to advance the cause of the wicked? There is no middle ground!

As Christian teens, these are decisions that need to be made now, while still in the days of your youth. No matter what vocation you may choose, never forget that your primary vocation is that of a servant of God.

Let us, as Christian teens, join David in proclaiming, Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Betrayal

 3For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
 4He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
 5His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
 6For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.
 7For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved. 

Betrayal

How real is this God we serve? Is our worship of God just mere form and wishful thinking, or are we speaking of a true, living God who lives and interacts with his people? Does God truly care and intercede on behalf of his children?

At some point in every Christian's life, these are questions we must each address. The issue is further complicated when we receive news of the overwhelming betrayal of a professing Christian, especially one who was a member of the clergy. "Did he not believe the very words he preached?," we ask ourselves. However, we must remember that the truth of God's Word does not depend upon the conveyers of that truth.

In light of the great betrayal of a professing Christian, it is good for us to look to God's Word and to take comfort in the words of Psalm 21. Rather than become self-absorbed in the duties of being king, David continued to bring out the clear message that his greatness and glory were due to God, alone. 

David understood that, not only was God real, but God was to be trusted completely.

For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.

As Christian teens, let us remember, that though the world is filled with betrayal, hatred, and violence, we serve a living, faithful God whose days will never end. By God's grace, let us lift our hearts to God in praise and go forth this day in the eternal hope and power of our God, our Lord, and our King. People will fail us, but God will always be true and faithful!

God Bless You,
Linda


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Joy in the Lord

 1The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
 2Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah. 

Joy in the Lord

When is the last time you heard the leader of your country say, "I have joy in the strength of the Lord."? When is the last time the leader of your country had joy in anything? In a day of numerous examples of civil unrest, especially in the Mid East, and financial instability worldwide, today's leaders face unbelievable turmoil and stress.

Did David face civil unrest in his country? Yes! In his early years, David fought to gain control of those still loyal to the house of Saul, and in his later years, his rule was endangered by members of his own family, Yet, in spite of the difficulties he faced, he penned the words,

The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

From his youth, David was a man after God's own heart, and as king, he never forgot God, his first love! Becoming king did not turn his heart from the Lord; rather, he understood that all of his victories and successes were given to him by God himself. He was a confident king, but his confidence rested in God and not in himself.

Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips.

Why, in our day of great advancement, do we actually think we have achieved any of our successes apart from the hand of God? Whether we are speaking of worldwide success, national success, or our own personal success, nothing is due to our own expertise or prowess. As a matter of fact, no matter what successful characteristics we may personally possess, even these are gifts from God.

As Christian teens, we are called to live above the selfish and arrogant attitudes of the world. We know that our strength does not lie in ourselves, but in God, so let us live as though we believe that is true. We are called by God, given a mission by God, and equipped by God with everything we need to fulfill that mission.

Go, today, with joy in the Lord, living the life that God has called you to live that his name may be honored and glorified in all that you do and say!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Now Know I

 6Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.
 7Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
 8They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
 9Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call. 

Now Know I

The first three words of Psalm 20, verse 6, are some of the most powerful words of this Psalm: "Now know I." 

Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed

David understood the truth that there is no victory apart from God, and there is no failure with God! Do we believe that? Do we live as though we believe that? It is time that we, as Christian teens, stop and take a moment to evaluate the true direction of our lives. Do we truly live in a manner that is consistent with what we say we believe? Who is this God we serve? Is he really our King of King and Lord of Lords?

In other words, when all is said and done, where do we put our trust?

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses . . . They are brought down and fallen.

We will remember the name of the LORD our God. . . . we are risen, and stand upright.

This is not the time for Christian teens to engross themselves in the ways of the world, ignoring their first calling. Neither is this the time for Christian teens to doubt the one true living God! This is the time for Christian teens to rise up and shout with David, Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed.

We are in a battle with all of the forces of darkness, and we are on the winning side! Let us stand up and look to our God, our King, and let us serve him with all of our strength and all of our might.

Now know I that the Lord saves!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, April 4, 2011

According to Your Heart

 1The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
 2Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;
 3Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.
 4Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.
 5We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions. 

According to Your Heart

We began this series of devotions with the intent of understanding what it meant to return to our first love. David, who penned a large majority of these Psalms was known as a man after God's own heart, and through his words we can gain a greater sense of his heart's devotion to God.

Psalm 20 begins with a blessing to the child of God. There is, however, something to be noted about this blessing found in verse 4. Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfill all thy counsel. If all of the blessings found in verses 1-3 are based upon our own heart's relationship to God, how much can we expect God to fulfill these blessings in our own lives?

What kind of a Christian teen are we? Do we pretty much live life as we please and then expect God to bail us out in the day of trouble, or are we focused from the very depths of our hearts and souls upon faithfully serving God? We have an amazing God, and yet how quickly we tend to leave him to run after meaningless pursuits.

In a time when the world is rushing after wickedness, let us, by the grace of God, return to God, our first love. Let us determine now, in the days of our youth to take the less traveled road, and faithfully serve God.

We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.

Amen, so let it be!

God Bless You,
Linda