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1. I have worshipped at churches in America, England, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and maybe some other places but I cannot even remember all the places. Now, I have met a lot of teenagers (girls and boys) and I made a lot of friends and I have been writing to them for a long time and some I even still see. But here is what I have noticed and what I have found out:
a. When they write to me, hardly anyone ever wants to talk about the Bible. Maybe I will say something about the Bible but they usually do not reply to that!
b. When I ask them about what spiritual things they do, they say they go to church on Sunday and maybe read the Bible for five minutes on Mondays and Thursdays and that is all.
2. Now what I want to do is to show you what you can do to become more spiritual and build a closer relationship with God.
I. When you go to worship
A. Here are some things you can do to give more to God in worship…
1. Listen very carefully to the prayers and make sure you understand what that person is saying. Then when you say “Amen,” make sure you mean it. If you need praying for or if you know someone who needs praying for, then write it down on a piece of paper and hand to the man who is going to preside before the start of worship.
2. When you sing songs, look at the words carefully and make sure you understand what the words mean, and sing that song to God with all your heart. That will make God very happy and you will even get very emotional because the words of those songs are very emotional.
3. When the preacher gets up to preach, pay no mind to who it is, and concentrate very hard on what he is saying. You can even take notes and that will help you concentrate. I believe that God has a message for us in every lesson. But you do have to make sure that preacher is speaking from the Bible and not telling you his opinions about things.
4. Maybe your church has a Bible study for teenagers? Now those teachers have worked very hard to prepare those lessons so make sure you respect those teachers: do not muck around in class but listen carefully, answer any questions, and make sure you do your homework.
5. Now if you are a Christian, then you will be having the Lord’s Supper won’t you? Now make sure you think about what the bread stands for and what the wine stands for. If you do, then having the Lord’s Supper will be very meaningful to you. If you do not, then it will not mean anything to you and God will be very, very unhappy with you, He really will.
B. You also need to make sure you encourage other people. You will be encouraging them by setting them an example when they see you worshiping God with your heart. But you can encourage people by telling them to do what I have just told you to do! The Bible says we must provoke one another to love and good works.
So doing those things in the way I say will help you to become more spiritual and deepen your relationship with God, and God will be very happy with the worship you give Him.
II. When you are at home and at school
A. The suggestions below are based on what I do. Now I know that you might not be able to do all of this immediately, so you can just include them into your schedule as you can. David said, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the LORD’" - Psalm 122:1, so I think it is important that we enjoy our devotional time with God.
1. It is good to get up at the same time every morning. So after you have had your shower and got dressed, say your morning prayers for about 15 minutes and then spend about 30 minutes studying your Bible. Then you can go down for breakfast.
2. After breakfast, you should join in the family devotion. Now I have heard that some Christian families do not even have a morning and evening devotion (I am not making that up), so if that is true with your family, then maybe you can talk about that with your parents. If they are not interested, then maybe you can have a devotion with your brothers and sisters. In your devotion, you say some prayers, have a Bible reading, and sing two songs. Make sure you join in the evening family devotion as well.
3. Now most of you are home schooled but some of you go to a state school but it does not make any difference to what I am going to say. At lunch time, have a 10 minute devotion. You can just say a prayer, read a short passage, and sing one song. You should know a lot of songs by heart. It is very encouraging. You can do this devotion with your friends or by yourself. If you go to a state school, then you might find some others who will have a devotion with you.
4. After school, you could arrange to meet with some of your Christian friends for a short devotion and that will be very encouraging.
5. When you get home and after you have had your shower, done your homework, had your supper, and had your evening family devotion, you can do what you done in the morning and have your own private devotion, but you can do it for a bit longer.
B. You also need to make sure you are doing good works because the Bible says we are created in Christ Jesus for good works.
1. So talk to your friends and try and figure out what you can do. So, you could visit a retirement home, people in hospital, Christians who are “shutins,” people who need help with their grocery shopping… I bet you could think of loads of others good works to do.
2. Now some of you might say, “Oh, what about ME, I will not have any time to have fun or go shopping or anything like that.” Well, that is exaggerating to say that you will not have “any time” to have fun. But you have to remember, the Bible says we must put the kingdom of God first and that we are created in Christ Jesus for good works.
So doing these things will help you to become more spiritual and deepen your relationship with God.
1. If you want to grow spiritually and deepen your relationship with God, then you need to make sure you are sincerely worshiping God when you go to worship, sincerely devoting yourself to God privately and with your family. I hope you are excited about doing all those things we have been talking about?
"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24 NASBR)
2. It is also very important to do good works, like visiting the sick, because that is why we were created in Christ Jesus.
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10 NASBR)
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