PRAY // Being honest with God can be one of the hardest things for us to do. I mean, isn’t it kind of awkward talking to Him about something He already knows? Maybe, but relationships require honesty. When we choose to be honest about our sins, He promises that He won’t hold them against us. Confession reminds us that God forgives us and that He wants to help us overcome future temptations. Today, have an honest conversation with God. Maybe even tell Him something you never have before. And remember this: He promises that He will meet your confession with His forgiveness . . . no matter what.
PRAY // God won’t let us face temptations that we can’t get through. Even when temptation is really strong, we don’t have to give in. He might not provide an instant way out, but he will provide a way through. We may have to make some unpopular decisions or choose not to do something that everyone else is doing, but no matter what, we can get through the temptations we face. So, what does this mean for what you’re currently facing? Ask God to show you the way through and to give you the courage to do what He says.
PRAY // Do you ever feel like the whole world is against you? Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but sometimes we feel like we just can’t catch a break. It’s like no matter how hard we try to live like God wants us to, the world around us always seems to throw a distraction or temptation our way. When it feels like the world is against you, remember that it can’t throw anything at you that Jesus hasn’t already overcome! Today, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop and ask God to give you His strength to overcome whatever you’re facing.
HEAR // What’s the first thing little kids shout when they’re in trouble? Well, after, “I want my mommy,” it’s usually, “HELP!” Since we were little kids, we’ve understood that we can’t do everything alone. There are times when we need the help of someone stronger or wiser than us. This is especially true when we’re overwhelmed by temptation. Thankfully, God promises that when we need Him most, He is there to help us. Today, let these word sink deep into your heart. Remember that no matter how difficult your situation seems, your Heavenly Father is with you and willing to help.
LIVE // Every temptation comes with an escape route. When you come face to face with the temptation to do something you know will lead to guilt or regret later, God will provide a way through it. One of the best ways to discover the way out of your temptation is to ask God for help when you’re in the middle of it. The next time you are wrestling with temptation, ask God to show you what He wants you to do. Remember that there is a way through it. Don’t give in when God is trying to show you the way out!
PRAY // You are responsible for 100% of the decisions you make. This reality is overwhelming. Especially because it seems like the ability to make bad decisions comes naturally to us all. This is why Jesus taught us to ask our Heavenly Father to lead us away from temptation. When we submit our lives to His leadership, He guides us away from temptation and toward what is truly best for our lives. Today, ask God to lead you away from the things that tempt you. Ask Him to make the right decision clear to you in the moments when temptation is trying to trip you up.
TALK // No one ever plans to make a bad decision. But oftentimes, we make a bunch of little compromises—little decisions, patterns, and even habits—that eventually lead to a big mistake. However, if we’re careful, we can catch these little compromises early on with the help of other people. The people closest to us tend to see things about us that we don’t notice. We might think we’ve got it all together, but they can help us catch the little things in our lives that threaten to take us down completely. This week, ask someone you trust to point out the little compromises in your life that you may not see. This isn’t an easy ask to make, but it may just keep those small compromises now from becoming a big problem down the road.
PRAY // Have you ever done something you knew you shouldn’t because it seemed fun in the moment? Oftentimes our superficial feelings, thoughts, and reactions dictate the way we live our lives. Jesus called this shallow part of who we are, our “flesh.” Most of the time when we give in to temptation, it’s because we haven’t thought about its consequences beyond this superficial, “flesh” level. So what if we began to consider the impact our choices have on a deeper level—on our emotions, heart, and mind? Today, ask God to help you to live for more than what your flesh wants in the moment.
TALK // Have you ever felt like you’re alone in your struggles? This kind of loneliness can cause us to think our struggles are weird, shameful, or unfixable. Today, you can choose to believe something different. The truth is, everyone struggles with temptation. Which means that someone knows what it’s like to share yours. And oftentimes, that someone is closer than you think. When you share your temptations with someone you trust, you can learn from their experiences. Today, be honest with someone you trust about something you struggle with. Remember that they too face temptations, which proves that you are not alone.
PRAY // Most traffic accidents happen when a driver isn’t paying attention. When drivers don’t pay attention, they miss warning signs, road conditions, and even other drivers. The same thing happens when we live life unaware of our temptations. We’ve all wound up doing things we shouldn’t have done, and still we often wonder how we got to that point. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the circumstances and situations that lead us toward temptation. Today, ask God to make you more aware of the warning signs that you’re moving toward temptation.
Who doesn’t love a good gift? One of the best parts about receiving a gift is that you don’t have to earn it. You can earn awards, rewards, and even praise. But a gift is something someone gives you with no expectation of payment in return. It’s like getting a birthday present from an aunt or grandparent who lives in another state or country. They aren’t even around enough to see whether or not you’ve done something to deserve the gift. They simply gave you the gift because they love you.
And that’s exactly what Jesus did. Jesus was beaten, crucified, and killed, but then rose from the dead in order to give the ultimate gift to the world: freedom from sin, which is called salvation (John 3:16). Every Easter Sunday we celebrate what Jesus did for us 2,000 years ago—and that was defeat death, offer hope for the most impossible circumstances, and give life in the situations that feel most dead. We call that salvation. The gift of a life free from sin,...
Can you imagine what it must have felt like to be a follower of Jesus the day after Jesus’s death on the cross? After all, they had just seen their friend and leader die, the guy they assumed would be a powerful leader. Now, Jesus is dead and His body is in a tomb. Game over, right? No more talking to Jesus, seeing Jesus, or receiving guidance from Him.
Maybe you can relate to that feeling. The feeling that God is nowhere to be found. Like you had an expectation for how things would look, and it isn’t happening. Those moments feel like “game over” moments. But that doesn’t mean they are.
Believe it or not, even Jesus felt this way. When Jesus was hanging on the cross He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV). In actuality, God didn’t leave Jesus during that difficult moment, it just felt like He did. And feelings are powerful. In that moment on the cross, Jesus felt abandoned. And the day after Jesus was killed, th...
When most of us think of love, we think of people who are nice, giving, and consistently willing to serve. And that’s true. Oftentimes, love does look like that. But, there is something different about the love Jesus has for us. Something that makes it so much greater.
A common fear most people have in high school (or as adults!) is being humiliated in front of a group of people. No one wants to be the person who gets rejected or suffers public embarrassment. Along those same lines, no one wants to get punished for something they didn’t do. We care a lot about what people think of us. Even our closest friends probably wouldn’t willingly sign up to face these things for you—even if they do care a lot about you. Rejection, embarrassment, and taking the fall for someone else’s mistakes is tough. Which is what makes what Jesus did so amazing. Right after Jesus was arrested and taken away to be crucified, Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends, rejected Hi...