Devotional for Boys
The Big Things and the Small, Jesus Cares about It All!
Ever wonder if Jesus really cares about your new bike, your favorite app, or how you treat your little sister? Each of the 40 brief devotional chapters in It All Matters to Jesus offers reassurance that He does care whether or not you told a "little white lie" at school. . .how you treat Mom and Dad. . .how you spend your free time. . .your daily struggles and cares. . . He cares about every littleand BIG!thing. It ALL matters to Jesus! You'll learn to find the heavenly Father in life's daily details and come to know just how much He cares for you!
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||4.20(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Glenn A. Hascall is an accomplished writer with credits in more than a hundred books. He is a broadcast veteran and voice actor and is actively involved in writing and producing audio drama.
Read an Excerpt
It All Matters to Jesus
Devotional for Boys Bullies, Bikes, and Baseball ... He Cares About it All!
By Glenn Hascall
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2016 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
HEY, WHAT'S YOUR NAME?
At family gatherings people tell stories. You might hear about something your grandpa did when he was young or a fish that got away on a trip to a nearby creek. You may not have been alive when the stories happened, but the names of those who lived them become important when you share the stories with others.
Names are important. A first name is personal and helps others see you as unique. A last name points to the family you come from. A middle name? ... Well, that can be a name you like, loathe, or forget. Sometimes you only hear your middle name when you've done something wrong. When your entire name is spoken, it usually means you need to pay attention to an important message — usually from a family member.
Jesus had many names. He was called Prophet, Teacher, Friend, Savior, and Son of God. Each name helped people understand Him better but also showed how others viewed Him. For instance, someone who called Him Teacher didn't know Him nearly as well as someone who called Him Son of God.
You have special names, too. Some might call you Smart, Talented, Trustworthy, or even Son, Grandson, or Nephew. You might be Neighbor, Friend, Classmate, or Student. Not all people will call you by these special names. For instance, you wouldn't expect your best friend to call you Grandson. This is a special name only your grandparents would use. On the other hand, your grandparents probably wouldn't call you Classmate. Your teacher could use many names such as Smart, Talented, Trustworthy, and Student. On a bad day, other names might apply.
People you see in school have names. Some you know, a few you use, and some you might need to learn. More than just names, these people can carry labels such as Kind, Funny, Friendly, Stuck-Up, and Bully, along with more labels than we can print. Not all labels are good. Not all labels are true. And not all labels should be used.
When we show honor in the way we use names, we're telling other people that we see them as valuable. Showing respect helps other people see you as friendly, and they will be less cautious when talking to you. Friendships can only grow when you trust the other person — and they trust you.
Our actions have names like Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control (see Galatians 5:22–23). To have someone use these names to describe you is a real compliment, it pleases God, and this type of name-calling is never against the law.
Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV
People we call friends should be encouraged by our lives, and we should be encouraged by their faith. Everybody needs friends, but some people will only encourage you to do things that have never pleased God.
God invented relationships. He never wants us to try to live in a way that keeps us apart from people. Because it matters to Jesus, we have to learn the value of friendships, the choices that inspire friendships, and the heart that welcomes friendships even when the idea of introducing ourselves scares us.
Friends are known for their compassion and for wanting to know us well enough that trust becomes a two-way street. Jesus had this kind of friendship with most of His disciples, and He's always shown that if you have real friends, you have an impressive treasure.
When we show compassion, we're saying that other people are important to us. We care about them and want to help them. This is why friendship is something all of us need. This is why being a friend is something we all should be. It's also why we understand the power of names and use them wisely.
Be the friend God wants you to be by doing what He asks you to do.
[Jesus said,] "You are my friends if you do what I command."
* Jesus wants us to have friends and be friendly.
* Good friends are people we can trust.
* Good friends are a gift, not something you buy.
* Good friends don't give up.
* Meeting new people can be scary.
* Not everyone who wants a friend will act like it.
* You don't have to wait to be introduced to someone to start a friendship.
* Jesus wants to be our friend.
* Names are important.
* God knows your name.
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:16CHAPTER 2
THE JOY OF A SOFTENED HEART
Ben looked forward to learning to sculpt in art class. He wanted to use clay to create something beautiful. If not beautiful, then at least memorable. He could do that. Right? When the day finally arrived, each student was handed a plastic tub of modeling clay. One by one the students squeezed the clay and began to roll and shape their masterpieces (most looked like earthworms with pimples). Ben was the last person to get a tub of clay. He opened the lid and tried to push his thumb into the mixture. Instead of soft clay, the contents of his tub were hard. That's when Ben noticed the crack in the container. Outside air had dried the clay and made it unusable. All he could offer with his clay was a reddish-colored hockey puck, paperweight, or possibly an abstract, yet featureless, duck. The clay had set so it couldn't be molded. If Ben wanted success as a sculptor, he would need soft clay.
To sculpt means someone influences the shape and direction of the clay. People do that with clay, but God does it with people.
O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.
If you have some time and it's okay with your family, go outside and look around at everything that wasn't built by a human being. This includes the sky, grass, flowers, squirrels, pets, birds, ponds, fish, and any wild muskrat, loon, or cricket that passes by.
God made all of it, and He made the materials humans use to make everything else. God also made you. Psalm 139 says He fashioned us in our mother's womb. It's okay to think of this as God sculpting us.
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
There are five words in this verse that are worth looking at again — He has created us anew. The God who sculpted our body can turn us into a masterpiece when we allow Him to soften and resculpt our heart. When we accept God's great rescue plan known as salvation, we take the first step in allowing Him to make all things new, and it starts in the heart and mind.
When Jesus reshapes, it changes who we are, what we do, and how we speak. We will be more interested in His plan, other people, and following directions. Where it was easy to hate others before, our heart will be more interested in forgiveness and love. That's just the beginning of the changes brought on by His resculpting.
Jesus saved us, He is remaking us, and old things will get left behind. This includes a hard heart that can't change on its own. Our attitudes will undergo a change, and so will our actions.
"And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart."
It's easy to make choices that help us. We work to be first in line, last to help, and invisible to those who annoy us. We want what we want, how we want it, and at the moment we see it. This is why Jesus works to reshape how we think. When we cooperate with "the Potter," we'll learn to want what He wants, how He wants it, and at the moment He wants it. It's called transformation, and it really means to change from one person into another — with the expert help of Jesus.
Ben may have had trouble softening the clay he was trying to use for class, but Jesus can always soften a heart that's willing to change. Jesus is taking something that's already amazing — you! — and turning it into a masterpiece. You were born with special skills, interests, and personality. When God's done with you, He can use you to help change the world.
Your Heart Matters....
* God made you.
* Jesus wants to reshape your heart so it's more like His.
* Jesus' rescue plan — salvation — completes what God calls a "masterpiece."
* Jesus wants us to leave old things behind.
* When Jesus reshapes our heart, it will change who we are, what we do, and how we speak.
* A soft heart makes us more interested in other people.
* God can use you to help change the world.
* Jesus wants each of us to have beautiful hearts.
* A reshaped heart changes your attitude.
* Jesus can soften any willing heart.
* A hard heart is a selfish heart.
* A soft heart is a giving heart.
* Jesus reshapes the way we think about what we want.
Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17CHAPTER 3
THE PERFECT ACTION PLAN
Wyatt wondered if anything would ever go right. It's not like he hadn't planned out what he wanted to do. He had a notebook filled with the things he wanted to accomplish, but he'd had very few successes. There weren't very many check marks on his list. He felt ready to give up and wondered if success was a myth.
Goals were important, weren't they? Wyatt saw kids every day who had no idea what they would be when they were adults. Wyatt knew — or thought he did. He had a motivational poster in his room that read, "Success invites friends — get prepared for the good life." He didn't know who wrote it, but as he read it once more he thought the writer had no idea what he or she was talking about. Maybe it was time for a new poster.
Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."
When Jesus spoke of a yoke, the people who heard would have understood. A younger horse, ox, or cow would be partnered with the same type of work animal that helped on a farm. The yoke was a type of harness that fit over the necks of both animals if they stood side by side. The younger and less experienced animal wouldn't know what to do and would try to run away. However, because it was connected to the experienced animal, it couldn't go anywhere without its work partner. It didn't take long for the younger animal to learn how to do the work. The yoke was a training tool.
Jesus offers to teach us in a similar way. We don't know everything, but sometimes we act like we do. Jesus invites us to be yoked with Him. We can pull and tug, but if we're patient, we'll begin to understand that Jesus leads and we follow. When we relax, we begin to see the things Jesus always does, the things He never does, and the things He wants us to do.
Jesus tells us to come to Him. He won't force us to walk with Him but invites us to enjoy His company.
Jesus knows we are weary and carry heavy burdens. He knows we need assistance, and He's willing to help.
Jesus offers rest. He knows we get tired trying to make sense of everything. He has things figured out, which is why we can relax.
Jesus invites us to let Him teach. Being yoked with Jesus helps us learn to follow directions.
Jesus says His burden is light. This is because He does the hard work. We just need to walk with Him.
If we don't know what Jesus wants us to do, then it's easy to see why most of our plans fail. When we don't know that Jesus has an action plan for us, then the best we can do is guess. That's like taking a test we've never studied for. We might get a few answers right, but it's not because we actually knew. The end result of this strategy is failure, but it's not that we didn't try. Maybe we just didn't know.
We become yoked with Jesus when we learn what He said and do what He taught. If Jesus provides an example, then follow it. If He gives a command, then obey it. If He provides a warning, then pay attention. He's willing to teach you, but you have to choose to be His student.
Training is the next step after accepting God's rescue plan, but many people never choose to get in the yoke with Jesus. They treat Him more like a guidance counselor that they talk to from time to time.
There's nothing wrong with making plans, but when you let Jesus lead, be prepared to move in a new direction. Proverbs 16:9 says, "We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps."
Who chooses your steps?
* We don't know everything, but sometimes we act like we do.
* If we're patient, we'll begin to understand that Jesus leads and we follow.
* Jesus won't force us to walk with Him, but He invites us to enjoy His company.
* Jesus knows we need assistance, and He's willing to help.
* Jesus has things figured out, which is why we can relax.
* Being yoked with Jesus helps us follow His directions.
* Jesus does the hard work. We just need to walk with Him.
* Jesus provides examples for us to follow.
* Jesus gives commands for us to obey.
* Jesus gives us warnings about things to avoid.
* Training is the next step after we accept God's rescue plan of salvation.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105CHAPTER 4
BETTER CHOICE THIS TIME
Steve helped his dad build a doghouse for their favorite pooch, Porkchop. He'd never done anything like it before and was surprised at how good he felt working with tools from his dad's workbench. Steve was just a couple of hammer swings away from finishing the roof when the head of the hammer came in contact with the nail of his thumb. Warning sirens filled his mind, and Steve did his best imitation of caveman yodeling and Bigfoot attempting to dance. At least Porkchop seemed impressed.
You can be sure Steve will do everything he can to avoid hitting his thumb again because no one likes caveman yodeling or the dance moves of Sasquatch.
When we break God's law, it can feel a bit like hitting our thumb with a hammer. God can get our attention, make us uncomfortable, and then He willingly forgives and heals the pain of our wounds.
God gives us consequences for sin so we can remember why we shouldn't do it again. Forgiveness should never be considered a reward for bad behavior. God forgives us so we're encouraged to live for Him, walk with Him, and voluntarily choose to obey His commands.
Some people want to believe that because God is willing to forgive they have no need to obey. Some have even said, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission." This thinking is not at all what God had in mind when Jesus paid for every sin of humankind. The gift Jesus gave was expensive.
Excerpted from It All Matters to Jesus by Glenn Hascall. Copyright © 2016 Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 — Hey, What's Your Name?,
Chapter 2 — The Joy of a Softened Heart,
Chapter 3 — The Perfect Action Plan,
Chapter 4 — Better Choice This Time,
Chapter 5 — The Good, the Bad, and the Smelly,
Chapter 6 — Doing the Right Thing,
Chapter 7 — Honesty — the Unexpected Choice,
Chapter 8 — An Undeniable Influence,
Chapter 9 — The Liberal Use of Word Glue,
Chapter 10 — The Work Gets Done,
Chapter 11 — Failing at God's Job,
Chapter 12 — Bad Day Survival Guide,
Chapter 13 — Better Days Ahead,
Chapter 14 — Embracing God's Big Idea,
Chapter 15 — Gus Finds His Courage,
Chapter 16 — How Did You Get That?,
Chapter 17 — Welcome to the Grown-Up Table,
Chapter 18 — One Choice Changes Who You Are,
Chapter 19 — No Subtraction on Maple Lane,
Chapter 20 — Integrity Boot Camp,
Chapter 21 — The Honorable Truth,
Chapter 22 — Honor in the Family Tree,
Chapter 23 — Humility in a "Me First" World,
Chapter 24 — Bully in the Hall,
Chapter 25 — Acknowledging the Existence of Emotional Control,
Chapter 26 — When Manners Surprise and Amaze,
Chapter 27 — The Heart to Run,
Chapter 28 — Hold On: This Could Get Brilliant,
Chapter 29 — Transformed by Obedience,
Chapter 30 — The Fellowship of the Rejected,
Chapter 31 — You're Not Alone,
Chapter 32 — God Time — Any Time,
Chapter 33 — A Time to Turn Around,
Chapter 34 — The Seeking-Finding-Learning-Following Principle,
Chapter 35 — The Neglected List of Wants,
Chapter 36 — Whatcha Thinkin'?,
Chapter 37 — Time to Handle the Truth,
Chapter 38 — Some Stuff Is Just That Important,
Chapter 39 — The Electronic Discussion,
Chapter 40 — It Won't Be Long,