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DAY 1 JESUS GIVES LIFE
Then Jesus said, "I am the bread that gives life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
John 6:35 NCV
Who's the best friend any boy has ever had? And who's the best friend the whole world has ever had? Jesus, of course! When you invite Him into your heart, Jesus will be your friend, too ... your friend forever.
Jesus has offered to share the gifts of everlasting life and everlasting love with the world ... and with you. If you make mistakes, He'll still be your friend. If you behave badly, He'll still love you. If you feel sorry or sad, He can help you feel better.
Jesus wants you to have a happy, healthy life. He wants you to be generous and kind. He wants you to follow His example. You can do it ... and with a friend like Jesus, you will.
DAY 2 FINDING THE RIGHT FRIENDS
As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
Some friends encourage us to obey God—these friends help us make wise choices. Other friends put us in situations where we are tempted to disobey God—these friends tempt us to make unwise choices.
Are you spending time with friends who make you a better Christian? Hopefully so, because one of the best ways to ensure that you follow Christ is to find fellow believers who are willing to follow Him with you.
DAY 3 SETTING AN EXAMPLE
Set an example of good works yourself, with integrity and dignity in your teaching.
Titus 2:7 HCSB
The Bible says that you are "the light that gives light to the world." The Bible also says that you should live in a way that lets other people understand what it means to be a good person. And of course, learning to share is an important part of being a good person.
What kind of "light" have you been giving off? Hopefully, you have been a good example for everybody to see. Because the world needs all the light it can get, and that includes your light, too!
DAY 4 FEELING BETTER
A wise person is patient. He will be honored if he ignores a wrong done against him.
Proverbs 19:11 ICB
Is forgiving someone else an easy thing for you to do or a hard thing? If you're like most people, forgiving others can be hard, Hard, HARD! But even if you're having a very hard time forgiving someone, you can do it if you talk things over with your parents, and if you talk things over with God.
Do you find forgiveness difficult? Talk about it and pray about it. You'll feel better when you do.
DAY 5 ENDING YOUR DAY WITH GOD
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening.
Psalm 92:1-2 NLT
How do you end your day? Are you one of those boys who falls to sleep without saying your prayers, or without thanking God for His blessings? Hopefully not! After all, God loves you very much, and He has given you many gifts. So the right thing to do is to thank Him every night.
Each new day is a gift from God, and every evening gives you another chance to thank Him for that gift. So bedtime is a good time to spend a few quiet moments thanking the Giver. Saying your prayers is a wonderful way to end your day.
DAY 6 WHEN GOD SPEAKS QUIETLY
Speak, Lord. I am your servant and I am listening.
1 Samuel 3:10 NCV
Sometimes God speaks loudly and clearly. More often, He speaks in a quiet voice—and if you are wise, you will be listening carefully when He does. To do so, you must carve out quiet moments each day to study His Word and sense His direction.
Can you be quiet long enough to listen to your conscience? And are you willing to pray sincerely and then to wait quietly for God's response? Hopefully so. Usually God refrains from sending His messages on stone tablets or city billboards. More often, He communicates in quieter ways. If you really desire to hear His voice, you must listen carefully, and you must do so in the silent corners of your quiet, willing heart.
DAY 7 SOLOMON SAYS ... BE KIND!
A kind person is doing himself a favor. But a cruel person brings trouble upon himself.
Proverbs 11:17 ICB
King Solomon wrote most of the Book of Proverbs; in it, he gave us wonderful advice for living wisely. Solomon warned that unkind behavior leads only to trouble, but kindness is its own reward.
The next time you're tempted to say an unkind word, remember Solomon. He was one of the wisest men who ever lived, and he knew that it's always better to be kind. Now, you know it, too.
DAY 8 LOVE TO SHARE
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:16 NKJV
The Bible tells us that God is love and that if we wish to know Him, we must have love in our hearts. Sometimes, of course, when we're tired, angry, or frustrated, it is very hard for us to be loving. Thankfully, anger and frustration are feelings that come and go, but God's love lasts forever.
If you'd like to improve your day and your life, share God's love with your family and friends. Every time you love, and every time you give, God smiles.
DAY 9 THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
To everything there is a season ... a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
Ecclesiastes 3:1,7 KJV
Sometimes, it's easier to say the wrong thing than it is to say the right thing—especially if we're in a hurry to blurt out the first words that come into our heads. But, if we are patient and if we choose our words carefully, we can help other people feel better, and that's exactly what God wants us to do.
The Book of Proverbs tells us that the right words, spoken at the right time, can be wonderful gifts to our families and to our friends. That's why we should think about the things that we say before we say them, not after. When we do, our words make the world a better place, and that's exactly what God wants!
DAY 10 CHOOSING WISELY
I am offering you life or death, blessings or curses. Now, choose life! ... To choose life is to love the Lord your God, obey him, and stay close to him.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NCV
Choices, choices, choices! You've got so many choices to make, and sometimes, making those choices isn't easy. At times you're torn between what you want to do and what you ought to do. When that happens, it's up to you to choose wisely ... or else!
When you make wise choices, you are rewarded; when you make unwise choices, you must accept the consequences. It's as simple as that. So make sure that your choices are pleasing to God ... or else!
DAY 11 TIME FOR GOD
I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
Psalm 62:5 NLT
When it comes to spending time with God, are you a "squeezer" or a "pleaser"? Do you squeeze God into your schedule with a prayer before mealtime, or do you please God by talking to Him far more often than that? If you're wise, you'll form the habit of spending time with God every day.
Even if you're the busiest boy on Planet Earth, you can still carve out a little time for God. And when you think about it, isn't that the very least you should do?
DAY 12 YOUR ATTITUDE
Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:5 HCSB
What's an attitude? The word "attitude" means "the way that you think." And don't forget this: your attitude is important.
Your attitude can make you happy or sad, grumpy or glad, joyful or mad. And, your attitude doesn't just control the way that you think; it also controls how you behave. If you have a good attitude, you'll behave well. And if you have a bad attitude, you're more likely to misbehave.
Have you spent any time thinking about the way that you think? Do you pay much attention to your attitude? Hopefully so! After all, a good attitude is better than a bad one ... lots better.
You have more control over your attitude than you think. So do your best to make your attitude a good attitude. One way you can do that is by learning about Jesus and about His attitude toward life. When you do, you'll learn that it's always better to think good thoughts, and it's always better to do good things. Always!
DAY 13 HOW WOULD HE BEHAVE
And he saith unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Matthew 4:19-20 KJV
If Jesus were here, how would He behave? He would be loving and forgiving. He would worship God with sincere devotion. He would serve other people, and He would always abide by the Golden Rule. If Jesus were here, He would stand up for truth and speak out against evil.
We read in the Bible that Jesus wants each of us to do our best to be like Him. We can't be perfect Christians, but we can do our best to obey God's commandments and to follow Christ's example. When we do so, we bring honor to the One who gave His life for each of us.
DAY 14 CELEBRATE!
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!
Philippians 4:4 MSG
As you're getting ready for bed, will you take time to celebrate the good things that have happened to you today? Hopefully so! Are you expecting God to do wonderful things? Hopefully so! Are you happy about your family, your friends, and your church? Hopefully so! After all, God loves you, and that fact should make you very happy indeed. So treat each day as a big celebration ... because that's exactly what it should be.
DAY 15 PATIENTLY WAITING
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.
Proverbs 16:9 NLT
God has a plan for you. But God's plan may not always happen in the way that you would like or at the time of your own choosing. Still, God always knows best.
Sometimes, even though you may want something very badly, you must still be patient and wait for the right time to get it. And the right time, of course, is determined by God. So trust Him always, obey Him always, and wait for Him to show you His plans. And that's exactly what He will do.
DAY 16 HOPE NOW!
When dreams come true, there is life and joy.
Proverbs 13:12 NLT
Where will you place your hopes today? Will you entrust your future to man or to God? Will you trust your hopes and dreams to people who may fail you or trust them to God who never fails? The decision is yours, and you must live with the results of the choice you make.
For thoughtful believers, hope begins with God. Period. So today, as you embark upon the next stage of your life's journey, consider the words of the Psalmist: "You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence" (71:5 NASB). Then, place your trust in the One who cannot be shaken.
DAY 17 OBEYING GOD
But be doers of the word and not hearers only.
James 1:22 HCSB
How can you show God how much you love Him? By obeying His commandments, that's how! When you follow God's rules, you show Him that you have real respect for Him and for His Son.
Sometimes, you will be tempted to disobey God, but don't do it. And sometimes you'll be tempted to disobey your parents or your teachers ... but don't that, either.
When your parent steps away or a teacher looks away, it's up to you to control yourself. And of this you can be sure: If you really want to control yourself, you can do it!
DAY 18 IF YOU'RE TRYING TO BE PERFECT
The Lord says, "Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don't you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land."
Isaiah 43:18-19 NCV
If you're trying to be perfect, you're trying to do something that's impossible. No matter how much you try, you can't be a perfect person ... and that's okay.
God doesn't expect you to live a mistake-free life—and neither should you. In the game of life, God expects you to try, but He doesn't always expect you to win. Sometimes, you'll make mistakes, but even then, you shouldn't give up!
So remember this: you don't have to be perfect to be a wonderful person. In fact, you don't even need to be "almost-perfect." You simply must try your best and leave the rest up to God.
DAY 19 CHANGING HABITS
Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."
1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV
Most boys have a few habits they'd like to change, and maybe you do, too. If so, God can help.
If you trust God, and if you keep asking Him to help you change bad habits, He will help you make yourself into a new person. So, if at first you don't succeed, keep praying. God is listening, and He's ready to help you a better person if you ask Him.
DAY 20 ALWAYS BE HONEST
The honest person will live safely, but the one who is dishonest will be caught.
Proverbs 10:9 ICB
Nobody can tell the truth for you. You're the one who decides what you are going to say. You're the one who decides whether your words will be truthful ... or not.
The word "integrity" means doing the right and honest thing. If you're going to be a person of integrity, it's up to you. If you want to live a life that is pleasing to God and to others, make integrity a habit. When you do, everybody wins, especially you!
DAY 21 MAKING BETTER DECISIONS
Don't turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.
Proverbs 4:6 NLT
How can you make better decisions? A great place to start is by talking things over with God before you spring into action, not after. While you're at it, you can check things out with your parents—or with other concerned adults, like grandparents or teachers. And, you can learn to listen carefully to your conscience.
During the coming year, as you think about the lessons in this book, please take these ideas seriously. When you do, you'll make decisions that will please God and improve your life.
DAY 22 BE THANKFUL
Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can't quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you!
Colossians 1:3 MSG
Are you a thankful boy? You should be! Whether you realize it or not, you have much to be thankful for. And who has given you all the blessings you enjoy? Your parents are responsible, of course. But all of our blessings really start with God.
All of us should make thanksgiving a habit. Since we have been given so much, the least we can do is say "Thank You" to the One who has given us more blessings than we can possibly ever count.
DAY 23 THE BEST EXCUSE IS NO EXCUSE
Each of us will be rewarded for his own hard work.
1 Corinthians 3:8 TLB
What is an excuse? Well, when you make up an excuse, that means that you try to come up with a good reason that you didn't do something that you should have done.
Anybody can make up excuses, and you can too. But you shouldn't get into the habit of making too many excuses. Why? Because excuses don't work. And why don't they work? Because everybody has already heard so many excuses that almost everybody can recognize excuses when they hear them.
So the next time you're tempted to make up an excuse, don't. Instead of making an excuse, do what you think is right. After all, the very best excuse of all ... is no excuse.
DAY 24 RIGHT AND WRONG
Lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:2 HCSB
If you're old enough to know right from wrong, then you're old enough to do something about it. In other words, you should always try to do the right thing, and you should also do your very best not to do the wrong thing.
The more self-control you have, the easier it is to do the right thing. Why? Because, when you learn to think first and do things next, you avoid lots of silly mistakes. So here's great advice: first, slow down long enough to figure out the right thing to do—and then do it. You'll make yourself happy, and you'll make lots of other people happy, too.
DAY 25 YES, JESUS LOVES YOU
Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you. Remain in My love.
John 15:9 HCSB
The Bible makes this promise: Jesus loves you. And how should that make you feel? Well, the fact that Jesus loves you should make you very happy indeed. So happy, in fact, that you try your best to do the things that Jesus wants you to do.
Jesus wants you to welcome Him into your heart, He wants to love and obey God, and He wants you to be kind to people. These are all very good things to do ... and the rest is up to you!
Excerpted from Good Night Devos by Freeman-Smith. Copyright © 2012 Freeman-Smith. Excerpted by permission of Worthy Media, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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