It's never too early to start making good decisions. This journal will teach you the how to know Jesus, how to love people well, and why God's design for family makes life better.
A few minutes a day will open up new opportunities to grow in faith and get you moving towards the future you want.
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Learn to Love People Well
Establish Your Connection: Learning to love people well positions us to be in healthy relationship. Ask Holy Spirit to help you to recognize areas where you can grow and connect with joy in your relationships with other people.
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Day 1: Journal Pg. 20-23
Question: How's your heart? When you deal with your friends, do you lash out or get irritated easily?
Commentary: Gills Exposition says people tend to look at beauty, size, height, which have little affect on the way people behave. God looks at the heart; and knows what fills it, things like wisdom justice and integrity, mercy and goodness. (Biblehub.org)
Question: Why do you think people put so much emphasis on appearance, while God puts emphasis on what people have in their hearts?
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)
Day 2: Journal Pg. 24
Commentary: Ellicott's Commentary says that this verse reveals an eternal law of divine order. Repentance is a condition of being forgiven. The person who doesn't forgive is incompatible with being repentant for their own sins. (Biblehub.org)
Thought: Biblically speaking showing love and having a pure heart requires forgiving people. Refusing to forgive is a form of control that is a flesh response.
Reflection: Ask Holy Spirit to bring to mind someone you need to forgive.
Take time to share why you are struggling to forgive.
Ask Holy Spirit to reveal how unforgiveness is affecting you.
Picture the situation as a bubble that holds the experience, the feelings, the person, and all the things that come with it. Hand it over to Jesus.
Ask Jesus what he has in exchange. Thank him. Then tell him you forgive the person.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14 NIV)
Day 3: Journal Pg. 25
Definition: Restoration-a bringing back to a former position or condition (MerriamWebster.com)
Question: When someone restores a house, what does that mean?
What condition is the house usually in before it's restore?
Commentary: Barnes' Commentary explains that restoration means that every human disorder be removed and is returned to what God meant them to be. To be of one mind means to lay aside disagreements to be be united and live according to the Holy Spirit. (Biblehub.org)
Question: If we live with anger and fighting, are we truly surrendering to the will of God?
Why do you think a heart that is full or anger, unforgiveness, and strife affects your relationship with God?
Reflection: Draw picture of a heart that needs renovation. What do you think it's full of? What does it look like?
What areas of your heart need to be restored?
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV)
Day 4: Journal Pg. 26
Commentary: Ellicott's Commentary says that to love one another, and sacrifice yourself for another person's good is the realization of his presence. Jesus' acts of love should be an example of how to lover others. This new commandment is in contrast to what was taught in the old testament. (Biblehub.org)
Thought: Christians are to be distinguished by the way that they love people. Instead of self-seeking, we are called to have a deep attachment, endurance in relationship, and an ability to forgive each other.
Question: If Holy Spirit lives inside of Christians, how should that allow us to love others and ourselves better than anyone else?
When we don't follow this command, how does it disrupt our relationship with God and the people around us?
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34 ESV)
Call to Fellowship
Intro: Journal Pg. 27
Commentary: Cambridge Bible for Schools says that some Christians were neglecting to gather for Holy Communion and worship. They were told to encourage each other, instead of trying to be controlling or shaming. The "Day" is referring to the end times or the last day. (Biblehub.org)
Thought: People haven't changed much since Bible times. They were skipping church. Some reasons could've been fear of what others thought, no interest, the feeling that there was no need to gather, or possibly even conflict.
Question: Why is gathering together a problem sometimes?
How does it benefit Christians to gather?
What are the benefits to going to church?
Can you think of examples of when you enjoyed a Church activity or going to church? Describe what made it a good experience for you.
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25 ESV)
Day 5: Journal Pg. 28
Definition: Like-Minded-having a like disposition or purpose : of the same mind or habit of thought. (Merriam-Webster)
Commentary: Matthew Henry explains that this verse points out Christian duties, such as being like-minded and together in oneness. Experiencing God's compassion for yourself means you should show the same to others. Kindness is the law of Christ's kingdom. (Biblehub.org)
Questions: Compare how people in church would behave if they were being like-minded, showing love, and being of one mind. Versus people who were not like-minded, loving, and of one mind.
Question: In your opinion do you think the Christian duties in the verse come easily to people or is it hard for them?
Question: How do you think it disrupts a church's impact when there is fighting and conflict in a church?
then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. (Philippians 2:2 NIV)
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