AROUND the WORD in 60 SECONDS
the ultimate tween devotional
By MARY E. DeMUTH
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2012 Mary E. DeMuth and Bema Media, LLC
All right reserved.
Chapter One WEEK ONE Grumbling
"Build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God's love." Jude 1:20-21
For Weeks before the elections, Tia boasted that she'd make a great eighth-grade class president and set out to prove it. During the campaign, every one of Tia's opponents gave speeches about the crowded hallways, the cafeteria food, and the need for vending machines. But Tia had a different approach. At an assembly for the candidates, she stood at the podium with two of the meanest boys in school on either side of her and yelled into the microphone, "Stand up!" Her two henchmen gestured wildly with their arms. One by one, everyone got to their feet. Tia shook her fist, then told the audience to clap. They did. Tia looked over the crowd. "Now that's power," she yelled. "If you want a powerful president, vote for me."
The class elected Tia, but she didn't make a great president. She wanted only the power and prestige of the office; she had no intention of serving the students. She complained and grumbled, but did nothing to fix any of the problems. She favored thugs and lost the respect of her classmates.
The Tias in the world—bullies who brag and get what they want by pretending to be your friend—are selfish and whiny. But as a follower of Jesus, you can choose to live differently. How? Read the second part of the Scripture passage above:
Build up others. Take time to encourage a friend. Look beyond your own problems for the day and try to shoulder a friend's stress.
Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit. How do you do that? Tell God your worries and fears. Ask Him to help you with the problems in your life and in the lives of your friends.
Await God's mercy. Think about Jesus' act of extreme mercy when He gave His life on the cross. He died in your place. He left His position of power and majesty in heaven to come to this crazy earth and die for you and the Tias of this world. That's a big reason to thank Him!
Do you see what happens when you do all of these things? Jude concludes with these hopeful words: "In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God's love." Sometimes we think being safe means acting like Tia—pushing people to do what we want, getting our own way so we're happy. But being safe is resting in God's love and letting Him be the powerful one.
Take a few minutes to think of someone in your life right now (friend, parent, brother, sister, relative) who could use some encouragement. Send that person a message via texting, Facebook, e-mail, or voice mail, or handwrite a note and drop it in the mail.
Connect with Jesus
Jesus, I don't want to be like Tia, manipulating people to get my way or using power to hurt others. Help me encourage my hurting friends. Teach me to pray all day long so I feel close to You, even at school. And would You show me this week that You love me in a very specific me-shaped way? Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
Around the Word this Week
Each day this week, read a verse and respond to it however you want. Think about it. Write it down on an index card that you can carry with you. Journal about it. Share it with a friend. Pray that the verse will impact you and you will obey it. It's your choice. To get you started thinking about how the Scripture relates to your life, consider the question that follows it.
"Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." Philippians 2:14-15
Who do you know who complains? Why do you think the person does that?
"These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want." Jude 1:16
When was the last time you bragged about something to get attention?
"Don't grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!" James 5:9
What is the silliest complaint about someone that you've ever made or heard someone else say?
"Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful." Colossians 3:13-15
Who do you need to forgive right now? Why?
Over the Weekend
"You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever." Psalm 118:28-29
How has God shown His faithful love to you this week?
Excerpted from AROUND the WORD in 60 SECONDS by MARY E. DeMUTH Copyright © 2012 by Mary E. DeMuth and Bema Media, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, 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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