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DECEMBER 2004
ISSUE HOMEPAGE

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TeensQuestion:

How do I turn my life over to God when I have to live an everyday life at school with my friends and with my family?


Answer:

When we turn ourselves over to our Creator, God, it is the most important decision of our lives and the first step toward fulfilling our purpose in life.

You chose a good word (turn) to describe the process of repentance and renewal. The Bible tells us that we must "...put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." (Colossians 3:10 NIV) We gradually move closer to God and confess our sinfulness and dire need of Him. Then He forgives, blesses and gradually recreates us into who He always meant us to become.

God provides for us in ways we are unaccustomed to (Psalm 34:8-10). He first loved us by giving His perfect Son (John 3:16) and for that unfathomable act of devotion to us, He is worthy of our unfailing gratitude (Psalm 50:14-15).

Adamís one sin condemned humanity to a state of sinfulness, but Jesus Christ interceded for us (Romans 5:8) and rescued us. All we need to do is pour out our hearts to Him and believe that He cares (John 3:36) and when we do, we gradually turn our whole lives over to God and begin our spiritual rebirth into becoming a beloved child of God, created for the abundant life now (John 10:10) and destined for eternity later (John 14:1-4).

Gradually, our friends accept us as we are, or, we end up with different friends who also love the Lord and want to serve Him. Family may or may not understand, but they will eventually accept your decision simply because they are family.

God becomes the only source of your life (1 Samuel 6:9; Psalm 125:1-2) He is always happy when His people choose a love relationship with Him, instead of sin and death. God spared Noah and his family and made a covenant with him (Genesis 6:22). God spared Noah because Noah loved God and followed Godís Will in humble obedience.

When we love God and turn our lives over to Him, completely, He is there with open arms to receive us. He speaks to us and guides us in several different ways. He gives us visions (Genesis 15), sends angels to help us silently, or sometimes they even speak to us (Genesis 28:10-19), there will be symbolic actions (Jeremiah 28:1-10), miraculous signs (Exodus 8:20-5) and even gentle whispers (Kings 19:12).

Once you have truly committed your life to God, take the first few moments when you wake up each day to thank God for His great love and for choosing you to follow Him. Visualize yourself lying at the foot of Godís throne, emptying all selfishness and independence from yourself, and then rising up as a vessel for His use to share His grace and love with all the people that you encounter each day Ė family, friends and classmates.

Let Christ shine through you so that the world can see Him in you.

This is the way to turn yourself over to God. You need only make that decision. So, remember that you are truly forgiven (Ephesians 1:7; Act 10:43), you are justified (Romans 3:28; Acts 13:39), you have become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), you are sanctified (1 Corinthians 1:30), sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30), made literally into the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), delivered from condemnation (Romans 8:1; John 5: 24), given peace (Romans 5:1; John 14:27), blessed with all spiritual blessings and delivered from this evil world (Galatians 1:4).

Once you grasp the enormity of Godís love for you, it becomes easier to succeed in the Christian way of life.

Please take the time to look up all the Bible references I have given you. I know there are a lot, but Godís Word is alive and will speak to you in ways my words never could. Use whatever Bible you prefer see for yourself what Iíve been saying to you. Rely on the Holy Spirit for comfort and guidance (Ephesians 5:18; Acts 1:8). Confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10; Philippians 2:11), pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:27; Luke 18:1), study your Bible daily (John 5:39; Acts 17:11), go to church regularly so that you worship God publicly, grow in fellowship with your Christian brothers and sisters and learn tolerance and patience for others (Hebrews 10:25; Psalm 50:5). Give liberally to your home church and to other charitable organizations because you want to share what God has given you (II Corinthians 9:7; Luke 6:38). Give attention to missions (John 4:35-36; Matthew 28:19-20), forget yourself and live for others (Matthew 26:26-28; I John 3:16).

Also, witness to someone daily (Acts 2:42, 46-47) and keep growing in grace (2 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:12-16). Commit special Bible verses to memory (Psalm 119:11; Daniel 12:3).

All these things are part of turning your life over to God. But donít worry Ė though it may sound difficult, Godís ways are so much higher than our ways and living for Him gives us incomparable peace and joy. It all takes time, study and learning to lean on Him because none of it happens instantly (except on rare occasions, like the total change in Paul, the persecutor of Christians, into one of the best evangelists of the early Church).

May God bless and embrace you as you lean on Him completely!
 
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