Lately God has been teaching me to listen to His "whispers." Sounds strange, but He has shown me that He is in every detail of my life. Over the last couple of days I have had friends greet me by saying, "hi buttercup." At first I dismissed it as, "that's sweet." But then God said, "listen to my whispers"...so in my heart I knew there had to be a reason for "buttercup" to touch my heart. I quickly read up on buttercups, and I was overwhelmed with tears and incredible joy. You see, these sweet, delicate flowers can survive in times of drought, desert dry conditions and as sand piles on them they Live! He calls me Buttercup! "Your love is strong and mighty...and it burns for me...Your love is like no other!"
-Rebekah Renee Humes
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work."
This story was a powerful one from this past week's sermon I heard, giving us an inside look at how we may often respond to God amidst our daily routines and struggles. We say we believe and trust in Him yet we continue to question and doubt His power over our lives. We say we believe, yet our actions and anxieties/worries are saying "Lord I do not know where you are going. How do I know the way?" He responds to us time and time again "Have you not been with Me and seen what I can do?" These words were spoken by His most trusted and loyal followers, yet they still needed to be reminded who our Father is!
But here is the power in all of this: if we are close to Him, we will go where He goes. If we are close, when He moves right or left in our journey, we are sure to MOVE with Him. He wants for us to be close so He can move in our lives. If we are walking hand in hand with God, we will go in the direction He leads. As a child holds their parent's hand in a large crowd, the child goes where the parent leads, so we are guided by the Lord's hand and Holy Spirit in us.
Let's tell HIM this week: "I will trust YOU!"
“Sometimes a children’s book can have so much to say about my grown-up life. One of my favorite stories is “You are Special” by Max Lucado. At the end of the story, the main character is learning to deal with the dots people have stuck to him. The dots are symbolic of the labels people tend to put on each other.
The “aha” moment comes when the boy is told, “The dots only stick if you let them.”
I know it’s a kid’s story, but as an adult these words were an epiphany to me. It was a moment of complete revelation to understand the simple principal of not letting other people’s opinions and comments define me.
Over the years I’ve learned to embrace the mantra, “Don’t let other people’s compliments go to your head nor their criticisms go to your heart.”
It’s not easy, but it is quite the start to embracing who I’m meant to be.” -Lysa TerKeurst
From today’s P31 Radio Show, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee” — a production of Proverbs 31 Ministries
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
Self-confidence, not a term I really thought about - or at least I didn't think I did. It was more of an indirect obsession with self-perception, really. Unfortunately, though, in my early teens I had become friends with a group of girls that didn't entirely help me in this area. One of the girls in the group didn't like me very much so she excluded me ALL the time. It was one of those situations where I would show up to school in the morning and my group of girlfriends would all be wearing green or pink, but somehow, I didn't get the memo the night before. Boy that hurt. Or I'd show up on a Monday and my group of girlfriends would be talking about what they did over the weekend and before long I'd find out they all went to take group portraits at Sears, except, I wasn't invited. So when the pictures came in and they brought them to school to brag, I mean share with their other friends, I'd get that fake smile and inquiry "would you like a picture?" Of course I didn't. I wanted to run away crying or yell at her and say "NO, why would I?" Followed by some pulling of her hair :-) But I wouldn't dare because that would make me look like a crazy jealous person. So I'd just nicely say "sure." Then they would all proceed to sign the picture. It sounds bad, I know, but it wasn't always this bad, it actually got worse :-) The boys, the gossiping, trying to fit in. If I didn't show up to school in the morning by a certain time, I'd be completely left out of the conversation the girls had started. So if I'd get there early enough, I could be part of the initial conversation. This way I could also guarantee that I wasn't the topic of conversation; and I don't mean in a good way :-) Talk about stressful! And let's not forget the pressure to get good grades and please my teachers and parents.
While my middle school and high school years were a long time ago, I don't think things have changed much in the teen world. Girls are still mean, boys are still cute and gossip is still rampant. But you know what else hasn't changed? How much Jesus loves me! My self-confidence then was built on a very shaky foundation. It was built on how my friends viewed me, what boy liked me, and how many girls I could call "friends." It was about quantity of friends, not quality. So when I perceived that my "friend" viewed me as annoying, there went my confidence. When my "friend" excluded me, there went my self-esteem. When I didn't get the test score I had worked so hard for, there went my self-worth.
So what has changed for me since those days? My self-confidence today is built on something solid. Jesus Christ. He is my foundation. And He never changes. While I believed in God back in my middle school days, I didn't lock my worth in Him. I just cared so much about what friend gave me attention, what my teachers thought of me, and if what I had said earlier in the day had sounded smart enough. So as you can imagine, my level of confidence fluctuated quite a bit and on a daily basis. My happiness was dependent upon how others treated me. I hadn't yet built my self-worth in Him. It's not easy to do at this age, or at any age. Can you relate to this a little bit? Or a lot? I realize now my priorities truly revolved around the "me" factor.
So what if we let go of "me"? What if we chose not to factor in the "me" in our day? What if we woke up in the morning and made a conscious effort to put Him first. To dive into scripture and carve in our hearts that the One who died on the cross for your sins and mine did it ALL because His love for us was so great He could not fathom losing us. He rather leave His heavenly throne; His perfect and worship-filled heavenly realm to come to imperfect, rejection-filled earth. Here He would experience the same kind of exclusion you might be feeling today and the same kind I felt back then - but with one very big exception, it would be the worst kind of rejection anyone could ever experience and it would come from His own people. He would be laughed at, spit at, flogged, tortured and killed through an excruciatingly painful crucifixion. It goes further than that. He would do it fully aware of what He would endure; abandonment from His own disciples (His very best friends), denial from the Apostle Peter, betrayal from Judas Iscariot, crucifixion from the Jews. Why did He do this? Because He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Wow! I wish I would have seen it this way back then.
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
It feels like with everything that is thrown at us we are being condemned by the world. But Jesus didn't come to condemn us, but to save us. Let Him save you today from this vicious cycle of trying to reach self-satisfaction. Are you hurt from mean friends, verbally abusive parents or difficult teachers? Place your worth in Him. Through the eyes of Jesus, God sees you as holy and righteous if you believe in Him. Isn't that beautiful? Though you may feel the constant criticism from others, remember we are kings and queens in His sight. He doesn't see you through the lens of criticism and jealousy, but through the most perfect lens of LOVE. Accept His love today! Let Him into your heart and watch Him transform your life. He is all you need!!!
The young man in this video has a severe challenge. May his story and the lyrics to this song bless you today!
If you need prayer today, please contact us. If you would like to give your life to The Lord, let us pray with you. Contact us here.
I am so excited to announce that we are starting a new section on the blog titled "Youth in Prayer." The Lord is lifting up leaders to take on this new ministry. We hope to bring you uplifting words. Our prayer is that many will be brought to their knees in prayer and worship to our Lord and Savior. We have some exciting topics on our queue, including, self-confidence as a teenager. You will also be hearing from other teenagers and their experience with prayer and their walk with The Lord. So please check back as we will launch this "Youth Corner" very soon. Please pray that this will touch the lives of many teenagers! Thank you!
Please contact us if there are any topics you would like to see us address in the next few months.
We are so excited to launch "Youth in Prayer." The Lord is lifting up leaders to take on this new ministry. Our prayer is that many teens will be brought to their knees in prayer and worship to our Lord and Savior. We have some exciting topics we'll be discussing. You will also be hearing from other teenagers and their testimonies. Please keep us in your prayers - we hope this ministry will touch the lives of many teenagers!