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November 2019

Volume 1

Throne of God

November 30, 2019 • November 30, 2019 • Melissa Yeagle

Kalie walked down a long, dark hall that seemed to be going uphill, carrying a load so heavy that it made her back ache. She was out of breath and thinking about giving up when she finally reached the end of the hall. There, she found a room bathed in warm, bright light. It was almost like someone took the sun and stuffed it in a room. She looked at the far end of the room and saw the Source of the light. The Source was so bright that she could not look directly into it, but with squinted eyes, she could make out a giant throne there. She felt tiny and unimportant in the room. “Welcome, Kalie. I have been waiting for you,” a Voice boomed from the throne. “You know my name?” Kalie asked shyly. “Of course I do. I also know you were born March 19, 2005 and you have 104,506 hairs on your head,” the Voice answered. Kalie suddenly felt uncomfortable. If He knew all of that, He surely knew all the things she had done wrong. “Yes, Kalie. I know what you are thinking, and I know what you have done wrong. I also know you have asked for forgiveness. I love you so much, and I forgive you of your sins,” the Voice declared. When she heard that, the heavy load Kalie had been carrying on her back suddenly disappeared and tears of joy streamed down her face. • How can sin be a burden that weighs us down? How can Jesus relieve us of that burden? • How does Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection make it possible for us to be forgiven? (Learn more on our "Know Jesus" page) • The throne of God seems intimidating, but through Jesus, we can approach it boldly. What do you need to bring before the throne in prayer today? If we confess our sins, He [Jesus] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Waiting Actively

November 29, 2019 • November 29, 2019 • Sarah Rexford

Waiting is the worst. Or maybe I’m just the worst at waiting. Especially in the high school years, “real” life seems far away and dreams look distant. It’s easy to think about what we want to do for God in the future; it’s way harder to live that out now. A few years ago, I saw a need at my school and decided that no matter how small my platform, I’d let God work through me to meet that need. It was amazing to see God work as I stood on a literal stage (the smallest stage on campus!) and used the talents He had given me to point my peers to Jesus. I’d never felt more humbled to be used by the Creator. Paul found himself in a similar situation in Acts 17. He’d reached Athens and was waiting for his friends (Acts 17:16). In other words, even Paul, one of the most famous men of the New Testament, knew what it was like to wait! But, rather than just sit around, the chapter says Paul used the marketplace to tell people about Jesus. He was waiting actively. Yeah, sometimes waiting is hard. But even in the waiting, God is working. Waiting actively means living for Jesus no matter where we are or what season we’re in—trusting that He is working even when we don’t see it. No matter what you’re waiting on, you can serve Jesus right where you are. You can use the crumbly floor of your cafeteria, the gravely road as you wait for the bus, and even the carpet of your living room. Whatever season God has you in, wait actively. Know that you can serve God right now. In Jesus’ kingdom, you never know what He’ll do through you! • What are you waiting on in this season? How is your view of God shown in how you wait? • How would this season change if you actually lived like you believed Jesus is working during the waiting? • It’s easy for anxiety to creep up as we wait. Read Matthew 6:25-34, Philippians 4:4-7, and 1 Peter 5:7. What do these verses show about Jesus and His faithfulness? For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)

Thankful

November 28, 2019 • November 28, 2019 • Cara Campbell

For as long as I can remember, my grandma has had a little hand-stitched sign in her home that reads: “There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.” As a child, I loved that sign, and, as I grew into adulthood, I began to understand just how meaningful it was. My grandparents lived out true gratitude. Their lives were not easy, and yet, in the middle of trials and times of having little, they were so thankful. Why? Because they knew whatever happened—no matter how difficult or uncertain things were—they had it all...because they had Jesus. They knew that no matter what, they were loved, forgiven, rescued, saved. They knew that no matter what, Jesus was there to walk beside them. They knew that no matter what, their identity in Him could never be touched. Their life with Him, both now and forever, was sure. And because they knew they belonged to Him, they could view life differently from the way the world does. They could be thankful in all circumstances...the hard ones, the good ones, the uncertain ones, the joy-filled ones. A thankful heart radiates deep-rooted contentment and joy that are only found in Jesus. What if we viewed life in light of the sacrifice Jesus made for us when He died on the cross and in light of the gift He gave us when He rose back to life? What if we recognized that what He’s given us is more than we could ever deserve and better than we could even imagine? So rather than looking at what we don’t have, we can remember that we have life and unshakable hope in Jesus. We can give thanks in the hard things because we know He is faithful and He is near. And we can give thanks in the good because we see how incredibly blessed beyond measure we are and how every gift comes from Him (James 1:17). In Christ, there is always something to be thankful for. • Reread today’s verses. What are some of the hope-filled promises we have in Jesus? How does remembering these promises help us thank God no matter what? • What are other things you are thankful for? Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)

The Bread of Life

November 27, 2019 • November 27, 2019 • Cheryl Elton

When your stomach growls, nothing satisfies like good food. But what about spiritual hunger? Jesus said if we go to Him, we would not go hungry, for He is the “bread of life” (John 6:35). It’s easy to feel spiritually full after a great church retreat, an awesome Christian concert, or an exciting time of helping others. But often, when we feel spiritually empty, our default is to go shopping, go to the gym, or eat some chocolate. While these things all have merit on their own, none can replace our daily need for Jesus, the true Bread of Life. In the Old Testament, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years on their way to the Promised Land. During that time, God was teaching them to humble themselves, to trust Him, and to hear His voice. Each day He rained down manna (bread) from heaven to feed them. If they tried to save bread for the next day, it would go bad. This was so they could learn to rely on God’s provision one day at a time. This true story of the Israelites points to Jesus, who was tempted in the wilderness for forty days. During this time, He too trusted God, quoting from Deuteronomy: “Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Just as the Israelites and the Son of God trusted God for daily sustenance, we trust God to provide our spiritual nourishment, like the manna, every day. It’s important that we daily feast on Jesus by studying and dwelling on the truths found in His Word, the Bible—both individually and with other believers at church. Whenever we find ourselves spiritually malnourished, we need only call upon Jesus. He is the Bread we need, and in His presence, we will never go hungry. When you feel spiritually depleted, what do you usually do? How is Jesus the bread we need (John 6:4-15, 25-40)? Why is it important to make Jesus—and all He has done—central to our lives? What are ways you can feast on Jesus by digging into God’s Word regularly? “Truly I [Jesus] tell you, anyone who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” John 6:47-48 (CSB)

Back to Life

November 26, 2019 • November 26, 2019 • Deb Gardner Allard

Look at all the zombies coming out of the ground!” said Spencer, tossing a handful of popcorn in his mouth while watching the final minutes of his new favorite show, "Living Zombies." He tossed a pillow at his sixteen-year-old sister who sat curled up with a book on the sofa. “Man, this show is fantastic, Izzy. You should watch it. There’s this Gleaner who can bring zombies back to life.” “He might raise zombies, but I know someone who will raise us from the dead.” As you probably guessed, Izzy meant Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins. Three days later, He came back to life again, proving He’s God. Five hundred people saw Him after He rose from the grave. He told His followers He was going to heaven to prepare a place for us so that we’ll be with Him there when we die (John 14:1-3). And, one day, when He returns to make all things new, He will raise us back to life. But how can we get this forever (or eternal) life? Eternal life comes from God, the source of life. Death is caused by sin because sin separates us from God—and we all sin (Isaiah 59:2; John 14:6; Romans 3:23). The Bible, God’s Word, tells us that we must trust Jesus alone as our Savior from sin and death. He offers salvation as a gift to us by the power of His resurrection (Romans 10:9; Acts 17:30-31). Many times, when we’re given something, we have to give something back in return, but this gift of life is free (Romans 6:23). So, the good news is this: if we trust Jesus, He will always be with us, and when we die, it won’t be permanent. We will live with Him forever with resurrected bodies made new by Him. • Because of Jesus, death isn’t permanent. How does this truth affect your view of the future? • What questions do you have about today’s reading? Who is a trusted Christian in your life you could bring those questions to? • Have more questions about eternal life? Learn more on our "Know Jesus" page. If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (CSB)

Anyone Out There?

November 25, 2019 • November 25, 2019 • Kevin Zeller

Even if aliens existed, it wouldn’t matter. God, the Creator of the entire universe, took on the flesh and nature of a homo sapiens male. He retains this flesh and nature still today, even as He rules all things. God is one of us. Where does this leave any potential intelligent alien species? Certainly not at the center of attention. Jesus is the focus, along with His people whom He will live with forever (Revelation 21:1-5). He will reign from the earth, the home of our species. That is the message of the gospel, and aliens have no significant part in it. This way of thinking is foreign to modern people. We know space is vast beyond our comprehension and Earth is a tiny speck swimming in the universe. We are used to thinking of Earth as insignificant. But cosmic scale does not determine significance. Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things, the King of everything. His people on Earth are the center of His focus, His joy, and His love. • Have you ever thought about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life? • How does Jesus’ incarnation (becoming human) affect the way we think about our species? • How does Christ’s love for us change the way we think about our place in the universe? So the Word [Jesus] became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:14 (NLT)

Fear Not

November 24, 2019 • November 24, 2019 • Abigail Rose

What’s your biggest fear? Heights? Spiders? Snakes? Death? Those are the common ones, but there are other fears that are a little too close for comfort. For example, teens (and adults) tend to get bombarded with a lot of social fears. There is so much pressure to have the perfect body, the perfect performance, the perfect “stuff”—or at the very least to look like your life is perfectly put together. There just doesn’t seem to be room for being human. Society feeds into those fears because the world’s focus is not on pleasing God but on trying to make yourself or others happy. But guess what? Each person has a different idea of what makes them happy, so, ultimately, we’re all struggling with how elusive happiness is—but everyone is too afraid to admit it. And so, out of that fear, we as humans become so focused on superficial happiness that we become afraid of being open and honest with others about the deepest aspects of ourselves (including our fears). As Christians, we don’t have to be wrapped up in and motivated by fear. God has made us in His image, and He has called us His children (Genesis 1:27; John 1:12). When we put our faith in Jesus, He gives us a new identity: His righteousness (Romans 3:21-22). In that identity, there is no fear—only true satisfaction and joy in knowing our Creator, even when our circumstances are less than happy. I once read somewhere that the Bible says “do not fear” 365 times. Even if that number isn’t exact, it shows how much God cares about our fears. He knows our deepest thoughts, even before we know how to express them (Romans 8:26-27). He knows why we fear what we fear, and yet the Bible says He “has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). • What are some fears you have, based on society’s pressures? • What do you think God has to say about those specific fears? • If you know Jesus, how can you live bravely knowing that God is always with you, even when you are fearful (Matthew 28:20)? Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

The Reflective Life

November 23, 2019 • November 23, 2019 • Courtney Lasater

It didn’t matter how good people tried to make themselves look. The mirror never lied. Not to Amiah. She could see a person’s true image in their reflection. And what she saw were monsters. She didn’t know why no one else saw them, but the monsters were always there, flickering across sheets of glass and curves of metal. A spoon at a restaurant would betray the maniacal rage of a friendly waitress, her yellow, blood-rimmed eyes popping out of her head. A subway window would illuminate the green, slimy jealousy of the well-dressed man sitting next to her. On the street, the side of each building became its own danse macabre as grotesque figures stumbled across the glass. But they weren’t the reason she avoided reflective surfaces: she was. She was the worst monster of them all. Whenever she looked in the mirror, she shuddered at the horrifying creature gazing back at her, hatred and rage rotting the flesh off her bones. She wanted to scream and run away, but it followed her from one pane of glass to the next. One day, a man sat down across from her on the subway. He had long, stringy hair and wore a faded T-shirt and tattered jeans. Before she could stop herself, Amiah turned toward the window to see what monster he was hiding—and felt the air go out of her lungs. There was no monster. Only his pure reflection smiling back at her. She was suddenly pierced with the realization that he could see the monster she was, and her face grew hot with shame. But as the train screeched to a halt, he nodded toward the exit. "Come," his eyes said. "Follow me." He pushed open the doors and walked out. This wasn’t her stop, but everything in her propelled her to follow him off the train. She hurried toward the beeping doors and stepped out just as they swooshed close behind her. She joined him on the platform, and as the train pulled away, she caught a glimpse of herself in the window and gasped. For the first time ever, she saw her face. Soft black curls fell across her shoulders, and her eyes shone clear and bright. The monster was gone. • What monsters (sin and brokenness) have you seen in the mirror—even if no one else can see them? • Read 1 Samuel 16:7. How does God’s view of people differ from the way humans see each other? • Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. What does it say about how God sees those who belong to Jesus? How should this change the way we see ourselves? This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

The True Director

November 22, 2019 • November 22, 2019 • Hope Bolinger

As a shy stage manager for our high school’s production of "Tarzan," I did as I was told. And our assistant director told us to tape the side doors that opened into the aisles so the actors could sneak into the walkways during one scene. Apparently, the monkey costumes made clicking open a door just about impossible. When I asked the assistant director how to tape the door, she shoved a roll of black electric tape into my hands and said, “Just do it so the actors can open the door without having to click the door handle.” So, a fellow stage manager and I started taping down the door handle to the knob to make sure it stayed down. Sure, the door opened on its own like it was supposed to, but when the director found us mid-tape, his face harshened to a dark pink. “What on earth are you doing?” His yell carried in the echoing backstage walls. “T-taping down the door.” My tongue tripped on a quiver. “Who told you to do that?” By now, tears had started to brim. “The assistant director.” He grabbed the tape out of my hands and jerked his hand to the door. “You’re not supposed to put this tape on metal. The door handle and knob may be stuck together permanently. I was planning to show you the right way to do this tomorrow.” He sighed. “From now on, listen to me, the director, before you make any major decisions.” Later, it hit me. I often listen to “assistant directors” more than the Director of my life: Jesus. Just like the director in the play knew the right timing and placement of that tape, Jesus knows everything. Even if an assistant director tells me that a lie is the truth, I need to consult and trust the true Director and His Word, the Bible. • What are some assistant directors in your life that you tend to listen to instead of the Director? How does what they say they line up with what God says in His Word, the Bible? • The director in today’s reading shared some important truth—but not in a loving way. How is God’s response different when we ask Him for wisdom (James 1:5)? Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. Psalm 86:11 (NKJV)

Purity Problems

November 21, 2019 • November 21, 2019 • Robyn Mulder

Have you ever heard a speaker talk about how important it is to be sexually pure? Maybe they said, “God has someone special in mind for you, so save yourself for that person. You can unwrap the gift of sex with that person on your wedding night, and it will be worth the wait.” Those ideas are helpful for many teens, keeping them from sinning sexually. But, shared without the good news of Jesus, these ideas can be damaging. If someone has sinned sexually, they can experience so much shame from a talk like this that it can be traumatic. They figure, "I’m already damaged, so why even try? Does God even still love me?" While sexual purity is important, sexual sin is not the ultimate sin. All sin makes us guilty before God, but, through faith in Christ, we can be forgiven of any sin—free from condemnation, loved by God, and covered by Christ’s purity and obedience (Isaiah 61:10; Romans 8:1, 38-39). In Christ, you are no longer defined by your sins, because they are nailed to the cross; you are a loved child of God (Romans 6:6; 8:12-17). Through the power His Holy Spirit, you can begin to seek to honor Christ in all areas of your life, including through sex (Ezekiel 36:26-27). And what does that look like? Sex within marriage is God’s plan (Hebrews 13:4). In that context, sex is good and glorifies God. But it’s important that you understand that sex is not what you see in the media. The first time two people are sexually intimate is not the perfect time depicted in movies or books. It’s worth the wait, but getting to know a spouse intimately doesn’t magically happen as soon as someone gets married. Intimacy takes years of work, love, and trust. This is a way that spouses show the love of God to each other (1 Corinthians 13). Talk to Jesus about all aspects of your future. If it’s His will that you get married, He’ll guide you to the person you’ll grow to love with your heart, mind, soul, and even body. • Why is it important to remember the good news of Jesus whenever we talk about sex (or any other tough issue)? • Why can we talk to Jesus about any sin we have committed or have been tempted to commit (Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 1:9; 2:1)? For we know that our old self was crucified with him [Jesus] so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin. Romans 6:6 (CSB)

Power and Pain

November 20, 2019 • November 20, 2019 • Savannah Coleman

"God won’t give you more than you can handle,” many well-meaning people have said. However when you’re going through that dark night of the soul—such as the death of a loved one, an unexpected diagnosis, or other deep pain—this saying does not ring true. We may start to think, "Why does God allow these hard things we don’t, and may never, understand? Is He even still good?" Whenever I read the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6, I feel comforted. He endured so many hard things for the sake of Christ, including beatings, prison time, and hunger. Instead of making light of his trials, he acknowledged them for what they were: painful! But what gave Paul the endurance and the ability to stand up under his troubles? The answer is in verse 7: “The power of God.” He relied on God to give him strength. As children of God, we belong to Jesus, so we have His power, allowing us to demolish the lies we believe during the hard times: we have the Holy Spirit’s help to take our every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Even though Satan would like to keep us in our place of pain, sorrow, and discouragement, he doesn’t have the final word—because Jesus Christ has defeated sin, suffering, and death through His death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-26; 1 Peter 2:22-25). Perhaps you feel like Paul felt many times, beaten and broken. Be encouraged, for you are not alone. If you know Jesus, He has given you His power and He is with you! • You or someone you love may be in a place of deep pain and sorrow right now. We live in a broken, sin-filled world. God never promised an easy life, but He did promise that He will be with us always (Matthew 28:20). How does knowing that the God of the universe will never leave or abandon you bring you comfort (Deuteronomy 31:8)? • Do you ever feel like God doesn’t want to hear about your troubles and your pain? God loves you and wants you to share the good and the ugly, your joys, and even your cries of anger (1 Peter 5:7). What are some things weighing on you that you would like to share with God? By the word of truth, by the power of God; through weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left. 2 Corinthians 6:7 (CSB)

Heart Transplants

November 19, 2019 • November 19, 2019 • Rosemarie Pagano

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Just follow your heart!” or “Listen to your heart!” These seem like cheerful, loving sentiments, don’t they? The only problem is, apart from Jesus, our hearts are sinful, and they are definitely not worth following or listening to. In Jeremiah 17:9, the human heart is described as “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Later, Jesus said that it isn’t what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out of a man (Matthew 15:11). And these are not the only verses in the Bible that refer to the heart! Ultimately, some of the meanest and most evil things in the world come out of the human heart. That means we all have a kind of heart trouble because our personalities come from the heart, the center of our being. Similar to how cardiac surgeons can remove a failing physical heart and replace it with a healthier donor heart, our Lord can give us new hearts through the Holy Spirit. When we come to Him through faith, He gives us new life. We are born again and given a new nature—a heart transplant (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Great Physician replaces our sinful and stony heart with a heart of flesh. He has been performing spiritual heart transplants for a long time, so no case is too complicated for Him! What good news! • What surprised you in today’s reading? • If you have questions about what it means to have a new heart through Jesus, check out our "Know Jesus" page. Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 11:19 (NKJV)

Hold on to Hope

November 18, 2019 • November 18, 2019 • Savannah Coleman

I can be strong and encouraged because my hope is in Jesus (Psalm 31:24). He is my help and shield—I will wait on Him; I will rejoice in Him; I will trust in Him (Psalm 33:20-21). Keep showing me Your faithful love, Jesus, because my hope is in You (Psalm 33:22). You are faithful, and You won’t leave me or abandon me (Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 57:10). Sometimes it is hard to imagine how a painful situation can ever change for my good and Your glory. Help me to remember my hope in You, no matter how I feel. I know the truth, and this truth is that You are worthy of my hope. You are worthy of my praise (Psalm 18:3). Even when I am feeling discouraged about the circumstances around me, remind my heart of what You have done for me on the cross. You are my Savior and my God: my hope, forever (Psalm 42:11)! Looking back on my life, I remember how I put my hope in You, and I recall Your faithfulness. There were times when I couldn’t understand the purpose of my pain and sorrow, but You worked out even those times for Your glory and my good (Romans 8:28). Some days, I feel hope welling up within me, and other days, I feel so discouraged. During those times, cause me to remember Your goodness and faithfulness. I do have a living hope—a living Savior—no matter what my circumstances are (Job 19:25-26; 1 Peter 1:3). May I praise You through it all! You are a rock of refuge: I can always run to You (Psalm 71:3). • How does remembering what God has done for you in past seemingly hopeless situations help you hold on to hope even in the darkest of circumstances? • What are some of the hope-filled promises that Jesus has given to His people (Romans 8; Ephesians 1:3-14; Revelation 21:1-5)? • How can you remember these promises in difficult situations? But I will hope continually and will praise you more and more. Psalm 71:14 (CSB)

Healed by the God of Life (Part 2)

November 17, 2019 • November 17, 2019 • Taylor Eising

Editor’s Note: Today’s reading addresses abortion. When is the last time you were utterly broken by sin? The last time you felt so far away from God that the idea of prayer seemed laughable? The last time you felt so covered in sin that you were drowning in it? The last time you felt abandoned, alone, and unlovable? We’ve all been there or will be there at some point. Maybe you are there right now. One of the many things that can bring us to this place of utter hopelessness is abortion. It feels like something has ended, like the door between us and God has been slammed shut, locked, and barricaded. Like we will never see Him again. All sin does that. It builds an impenetrable wall between us and God. But Jesus gave His life to break down that wall of our well-earned despair, guilt, and shame. Because of His death and resurrection, that wall crumbles when it hears Him speak a single word. He pulls us to the other side, and He weeps with us over our sin. It breaks His heart, until we rely on His strength to repent and ask forgiveness. Jesus loves us more than we will ever know. If we are recovering from an abortion (or any sin), He is walking this rough road with us. Jesus feels our pain, even when we feel like He is distant (Hebrews 4:14-16). He offers forgiveness to us (1 John 1:9–2:2). He is working to restore us. He has a plan for us. We are not alone. Abortion isolates people in their shame, but Jesus reaches into that shame and isolation and draws us to Himself. Sin and death break us, but the God of Life will never stop healing us. • When you feel far away from God, who are some Christians in your life you can talk to about it? • When you ask God to forgive you, do you believe that He does? Why or why not? In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:10 (NLT)

Serving the God of Life (Part 1)

November 16, 2019 • November 16, 2019 • Taylor Eising

Editor’s Note: Today’s reading addresses abortion. Our God loves life. Every creature on this planet is alive because of His incredible love. And He calls that life “very good” (Genesis 1:31). The natural consequence of God’s presence in the world is abundant life, but the natural consequence of sin’s presence in the world is death. One example of death in our world is abortion. The Bible talks about life inside the womb several times. In Genesis 25:21-26, we hear about Jacob and Esau fighting before they are even born. In Luke 1:41, John the Baptist leaps in his mother’s womb when he meets the pre-born Jesus. God also makes it clear He knows and loves us before we are even born (Psalm 139:13-14; Jeremiah 1:5). Although God loves life, sometimes people feel they have no choice but to abort their baby. Abortion is a heartbreaking decision to make. It comes from feeling alone, helpless, and hopeless. Satan loves to isolate us, insisting that there is no solution to the problems before us, so the only way out is death. But that is a lie straight from the pit of hell. God, who is in absolute control over life and death, is with us in every circumstance. If He has created a life, however that life was created, He will provide a way to care for it. We are never, ever alone. God is with us, He loves us, and He is lavishing His incredible grace on us. God loves life so much that He sent Jesus to defeat sin and death. He did that so all life, including ours, could be reconciled to Him in love and peace (Colossians 1:20). One day, He will come back to resurrect all His people from the dead, killing death once and for all (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). In the meantime, celebrate the God of Life. • How can you show God’s love to people who have had or who are considering an abortion? • How can living as a loving community of believers focused on Jesus make it easier for people with unexpected pregnancies to care for their babies? He [God] created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth. Isaiah 42:5 (NLT)

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