Devotionals

Week 2

Week Six, Day One

Dying to Self

To be Jesus’ friend, you must “die to self.”

Before you accepted Jesus as your Savior, you were powerless to live the kind of life that God wanted for you. Without the Holy Spirit leading, guiding, and warning you, you lived in sin and were unaware of your sinful nature. When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, He freed you. He gave you the power of the Holy Spirit, who came to live inside of you, so you could enjoy peace and freedom in Christ.

The problem is that we humans are creatures of habit, bad habits mostly. Though complete freedom and peace are ours, we tend to wander back, over and over again, to the sin that once held us.

“Self” is our natural tendency or desire to live life on our own and for ourselves, and it leads us into sin without fail. Self is difficult to overcome because it is engrained in us. It takes the supernatural power of God to fight it. If you truly want to stay out of the cage of sin that once held you, you have to “die to self.” You must permanently sever all ties to the sin that controlled you before you were made new by Jesus. The more that you practice letting God take control and direct your daily focus, the easier it will be to live life away from your old life.

Study Romans 6:6-7, 20-23.

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Thank God for setting you free from the sin that once controlled you.
  • Ask God to teach you how to let go of things that keep you from living the way He intended and enjoying the blessings that He has for you.

FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Study Romans 6:11-14.

 

Week Six, Day Two

Freedom in Christ

Freedom in Christ is the ability to live outside of the control of sin. Because Jesus’ blood paid the price for all of your sin, past, present, and future, you are guaranteed a place in Heaven. Some immature believers take advantage of this “free pass” from sin, thinking that they can do whatever they want because it won’t keep them out of Heaven. They take advantage of God’s grace and willingly choose sin, thinking to themselves, “I can always ask God to forgive me, and He will (1 John 1:9).” This attitude is both foolish and arrogant and shows no respect, gratitude, or love for the Heavenly Father who sacrificed His Son to give us that freedom. It is also very short sighted. Sin is sin because it has consequences in this life. When God directs us away from sin, he is directing us toward a life that is free of the consequences of our bad choices. God directs us toward a great life when he directs us away from sin.

God had more in mind than Heaven when Jesus died on the cross. He wants to give you a fuller, better life right here on earth, but you will only experience it if you live within the guidelines that He has set for you.

Reread John 10:10 and study 1 Corinthians 6:11-12.

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Thank Jesus for setting you free from sin.
  • Ask God to give you the desire to live within His guidelines and the strength to make choices that will bring you the fuller life He has for you.

FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Study Galatians 5:13.

 

Week Six, Day Three

Attitude

What kind of attitude should a follower of Christ have? Let’s find out.

Study Ephesians 4:22-32.

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Ask God to shape your attitude toward Him and toward other people.
  • Ask God to give you the chance to serve someone willingly today.

FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Study Ephesians 5:1-8.

 

Week Six, Day Four

“To guard my heart, I choose not to look at some of the commercials and stuff on TV… A lot of things that people watch for pleasure just end up making them feel bad and wrong instead. It’s not worth it. ” Hunter, middle school student

Guarding your Heart

In order to live a life that pleases God, you have to guard your heart.

Study Proverbs 4:23-27. Isn’t it interesting that those who chase after sin looking for a fun life destroy the source of that life in the process?

*CHALLENGE*

It’s time for a new memory verse! Let’s add Proverbs 4:23 to our arsenal. If you are feeling ambitious, keep going and add the rest of today’s passage a verse at a time. Remember to read it, write it, and post it. Learn it a phrase at a time and don’t get frustrated if it takes you a while. The important thing is that you are working at it!

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Ask God to take control of your mouth.
  • Ask God to help you keep your focus on Him and make wise choices.

FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Study Matthew 12:34.

 

Week Six, Day Five

Purity

Study Psalm 119:9.

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Ask God to give you an intense desire for purity and the peace that it brings.
  • Tell God how much you want to be close to Him and to know Him more.

FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Study Psalm 24:3-4.

 

The Weekend

Suggested Reading: Genesis 39-40.

This is a continuation of the story of Joseph. Study this passage closely. Has Joseph begun to reflect the presence of God in his life yet? How did God use difficulty to shape Joseph? What can you learn from Joseph’s example in relation to the topics that you studied this week?

Work on your new memory verse(s) this weekend! When you are ready, practice out loud to someone else.

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