Devotionals

Week 4

Week Sixteen, Day One

Set Apart to Shine

Some words in church and in the Bible immediately make us glaze over or skip them, words like: “sanctified.” No one uses the word “sanctified” any more, so we don’t know what it means when we read it. To be “sanctified” is to be “set apart” or made different or usable. There are three kinds of sanctification; the kind that happens when you ask Jesus into your heart (one time in the past), the kind you work toward after you ask Jesus into your heart (always happening, every day), and the kind that happens when you get to Heaven (one day in the future).

When you asked Jesus into your heart, God sanctified you; He pulled you out of the world and out of your sin and set you apart as His own. You were adopted, given Christ’s name, and made a permanent member of God’s eternal family. No matter what you do, you cannot reverse this adoption. Even better, the world no longer has any power over you, and Satan no longer controls any aspect of your life unless you let him. This is great news, when you became a follower of Christ you were forever set apart by God.

Study 1 Corinthians 6:11.

Though you were forever set apart as God’s child, God is also always growing you up spiritually (sanctification). God has given you the Bible and the Holy Spirit to teach you more about Him so that you can grow closer to Him and join Him in His work. When you follow God in obedience, God’s love will shine through you. You will stand out in a good way, setting you apart once again from those who don’t know Christ. However, if you choose not to put forth the effort that it takes to grow spiritually, your life will look like the lost people around you. Though you are still God’s adopted child, you will not enjoy the joy of your relationship with God. You are not allowing God to grow you up spiritually each day.

Study 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5.

The rhythm of God is different in everyone’s life. He teaches us different things at different times, in different ways and we all respond to Him differently. Some of us grow slowly and steadily, and some of us experience spiritual growth spurts. Some of us become spiritual adults, and some remain spiritual infants. However, once we get to Heaven, God will finish what He started and sanctify us by making our outside match our inside. Being the awesome Father He is, He will take over and end our frustrating struggle with sin forever. Now that’s more good news!

Study 1 John 3:1-3.

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Thank God for sanctifying you as His child and for promising to one day finish what He started in you.
  • Ask God to make you more like Jesus while you are still here on earth.

It’s Monday. Who are you supposed to pray for today? If you don’t remember, look back at last week. On Monday

FOR FURTHER STUDY: 1 Thessalonians 5:23

 

Week Sixteen, Day Two

Justification

Here is another word that makes us glaze over, “justify.” To be “justified” is to be made innocent when you are actually guilty. This is not just overlooking the thing that was wrong, this is making it right again. When a crime is committed, someone should pay for there to be justice. Someone has to be punished. As human beings, our crime is sin. We should be punished. But Jesus took our place and paid for our sin on the cross. Those who put their faith in Him are free from the ultimate penalty for their sin. It’s that simple. Because of what Jesus did for us, we are declared innocent by God and treated as if we are innocent. We are justified, forgiven, made right.

Study Romans 3:22-26.

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Thank Jesus for taking the punishment for your sin.
  • Commit to live a life that shows God how much you appreciate your freedom.

Who or what do you pray for on TUESday?

FOR FURTHER STUDY: Romans 5:16

 

 

Week Sixteen, Day Three

“ I believe that my purpose as a follower of Christ is to seek Him in everything I do, love and influence others for Him, and follow His plan for my life.”

Caitlin, High school senior

Your Life Purpose

Now that you have an understanding of some basic Bible doctrine, let’s explore your life purpose. It’s simpler than you may think!

First, it’s important to remember that God created you for Himself and you will have the greatest joy (fun, life, laughter, freedom, peace, hope and more) when you are living life with God. Life with and for God is not boring and restricted; it is challenging, joyful, peaceful, frightening and rewarding all at the same time.

Study Psalm 139:13-14 and Colossians 1:16.

He knows everything that will happen in your life before it happens, and He chose you to be His child. Amazing!

Study Psalm 139:15-16 and Ephesians 1:4-5.

God created you to have a relationship with Him. Just as the rest of creation exists to bring glory to God and point people toward Him, you exist to bring God glory in the way that you love and follow Him. God will use your life to draw the people around you into a relationship with Him; just like He drew you. He will probably even choose to use your mouth to tell them about the forgiveness they can find in Jesus. To put it simply, part of your life’s purpose is to point others to God through your words and life just like someone pointed you toward God.

Study John 6:41-51.

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Thank God for being the only one that knows you completely and still loves you the way that He does.
  • Thank God for choosing you to be His child.

How should you pray on Wednesday?

FOR FURTHER STUDY: 2 Thessalonians 2:13

 

Week Sixteen, Day Four

Your Calling

You may think that only preachers and missionaries are “called” by God. That is not true. Every believer is “called.” Our “calling” is to a person, Jesus Christ, not a position or a job. While Jesus leads some of His followers into vocational ministry, most of His followers actually lead what people might consider very normal lives.

Study Matthew 4:18-20 and Romans 1:6.

Titles and positions are not as important as calling. Obedience is the key to living out your “calling,” no matter where Jesus chooses to lead you for a job. God created you with a purpose and interests. He knows what you enjoy, He made you. Sometimes we think that our interests are a distraction to God’s call, when often they are the signpost toward His call. When you live out God’s call in your life, you will be fulfilled knowing that you are doing what you were made to do. Remember, God doesn’t measure success the way that men do. His requirements are very simple.

Study 1 Samuel 16:7 and Micah 6:8.

 Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Thank God for calling you to Jesus and for giving you the faith to answer that call.
  • Ask God to help you view spiritual success the way that He does so that you won’t live to please or impress man.

For what group of people do you pray on THURSday?

FOR FURTHER STUDY: Galatians 1:10

 

Week Sixteen, Day Five

Your Mission

When you let God have complete control of your life and commit your life to following Christ, you will become more concerned about seeing God work through you. You will see how God can use you in the lives of other people. You will want to be a part of God’s plan to rescue the world from the consequences of sin. It may sound a little bit overwhelming at first, and you may wonder what kind of difference you, one believer, could make. But that’s for God to know and you to find out! Your mission is not to develop the plan, but to discover it and follow it, trusting God to work in and through you.

Study 1 Peter 2:9.

God will tell you what to do.

Study Philippians 2:13.

God will tell you what to say.

Study 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

The most effective “missionary” for Christ is not the one with the most influence and power, but the one with a completely surrendered and willing heart. Do you ever wonder what God could do with your life?

Include the following in your personal prayer time:

  • Tell God that you trust Him completely and that you believe that He can accomplish His purpose through you.
  • Commit to rely on God for direction, encouragement, and the courage to obey Him.
  • Ask God to help you know how to follow the plan He created for you.

Who will your prayers impact on Friday?

FOR FURTHER STUDY: 1 Corinthians 1:25

 

The Weekend

Suggested Reading: The book of Esther

This is the story of Queen Esther, an ordinary girl with an extraordinary calling. Keeping in mind what you have studied about your purpose, your calling, and your mission, what can you learn from Esther? Did Esther or Mordecai dream up their life purpose or did they simply obey?

How are those memory verses coming along? Keep on keeping on!

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