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JA N UA RY 1

God Listens I pour out my problems to him. I tell him my troubles. —PSALM 142:2

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ou can talk to God because God listens. Always. What you have to say matters in heaven. He takes you very seriously. When you speak to God, He turns to hear your voice. No need to worry about being ignored. God never says, “Not right now.” Even if your words come out wrong . . . even if what you have to say doesn’t seem important to anyone else, it’s important to God, and He listens. He listens in the morning and in the night . . . and even in math class. He listens to the joy of the ballplayer who makes the game-winning play . . . and to the tears of the one who didn’t. He listens to the sadness of someone who is sick . . . and to the fears of someone facing the first day in a new school. When the lonely ask for a friend and the frightened ask for courage, God listens. Very carefully. Growing in Grace Just as God listens to you, families and friends should listen to each other. When you take time to listen, you make others feel important. When someone wants to talk, don’t say, “In a minute.” Say, “I’m listening!” 2

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JA N UA RY 2

God Chooses You You are chosen people. —1 PETER 2:9

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o you ever feel invisible? As if nobody even notices you? Maybe some new clothes will get me noticed, you think. And maybe they do. For a little while. But then the latest craze is yesterday’s news, and you’re back to . . . invisible. Want a change that lasts? Learn to see yourself as God sees you—covered with the “clothes of salvation” and wrapped in “a coat of goodness” (Isaiah 61:10). Do you ever feel like a nobody? When you do, remember what you are really worth. Remember what—or rather who—God gave to save you: “You were bought with the precious blood of the death of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb” (1 Peter 1:19). If you ever start to feel invisible or left out, remember this: God chooses you to be His child. That can be hard to remember sometimes. So pray about it. Think about it. Let the way God sees you change the way you see yourself. Growing in Grace God chooses to see you as His wonderful creation. How do you choose to see your family and friends? They are each a wonderful creation of God. Your mom. Your dad. Even your sister and brother. Find something you love about each of your family members and friends—then tell them what it is. 3

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JA N UA RY 3

Worry Doesn’t Work I was young, and now I am old. But I have never seen the Lord leave good people helpless. —PSALM 37:25

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o you ever worry? We all do. Maybe you worry about things such as How will I do on the math test? Why is my best friend acting that way? Will my mom and dad be angry with me if I mess up? Some worries can be fixed with a little studying or even a heart-to-heart talk. But what about those worries that are too big for you—like thunderstorms, or sickness, or the terrible things you see on the news? You could spend your whole life worrying! Honestly, do you think that’s what God wants? God didn’t send Jesus to save you just so you could worry. Jesus wasn’t nailed to the cross just so He could ignore your prayers. Worrying can’t fix anything, but God can. Trust Him with all those things you worry about. God has even “put his angels in charge of you” to “watch over you wherever you go” (Psalm 91:11). Worry? I don’t think so. Growing in Grace Got worries? Try this: Imagine putting your worries in a box. Wrap it up tight with string, and tie it with a big knot. Say a prayer and hand that box of worry over to God. Then relax—and trust God to take care of you! 4

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JA N UA RY 4

God Lives Here You know the Father. . . . The word of God lives in you. —1 JOHN 2:14

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ave you ever done any decorating in your room? Maybe you added a poster here. Put out a favorite collection there. Maybe you even got to pick the color for the walls. You added this and changed that until it looked like you lived there. Well, God loves to decorate too. Actually, God has to decorate. Let Him live long enough in a heart, and that heart will begin to change. He’ll move some forgiveness into that corner. He’ll add some shelves and fill them up with His Word. It’s not always pleasant though. You might feel a little uncomfortable when He knocks down that wall of jealousy or anger, but that new spirit of kindness He puts in will look and feel great. Then He’ll paint your whole heart with love—love for Him and love for others. God wants to give your heart a complete makeover. So He won’t stop working until He’s completely finished—until it looks just like He lives there. Growing in Grace Decorate your room with God’s Word. Write favorite Bible verses on sticky notes. Then stick them by your light switch, above your pillow, or anywhere else you’re sure to see them. God loves it when you make “room” for Him! 5

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JA N UA RY 5

Don’t Give Up Is anything too hard for the Lord? No! — GENESIS 18:14

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urprise! God does it again! What did He do? He answered a prayer. That’s what He does for those who believe in Him. But sometimes it’s in the most surprising way! Look at what He did for these faithful folks. . . . Just when everyone said it was impossible, ninety-year-old Sarah had a baby (Genesis 17:17; 21:2). Just when no one else had the courage to even try, David took down a giant with just a stone (1 Samuel 17:50). And even though it didn’t make sense, Joshua marched around Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down (Joshua 6). What’s the lesson for you? Just three words: Don’t give up! Do you think you’ve got a problem too big for God? A test too hard? A fear too scary? A friendship too broken? Keep praying! God is watching. And the God who surprised Sarah, David, and Joshua is already working on an answer to your prayers. So don’t give up. For if you do, you may miss the surprise! Growing in Grace To see God’s surprising answers in your life, try this: Write your prayers on pieces of paper and tuck them in a special box. Every week or so, read over your prayers. Which ones has God already taken care of? Did any of His answers surprise you? 6

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JA N UA RY 6

At Home with God “If anyone loves me, then he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” —JOHN 14:23

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od wants to be your home. He doesn’t just want to be the friend’s house you visit or the clubhouse you hang out in sometimes. He doesn’t want to be your vacation spot or even the place you hope to live someday when you’re older. He wants to be the place where you live all the time—starting right now. He wants to be the place that you come to for answers, for help, and for comfort. He wants to be your home. For many people this is a new way of thinking. They only think of God as Someone to talk about or to pray to. He is just Someone they visit on Sundays or holidays. He is a miracle worker, not a place to live. But your Father wants to be much more. Your Father wants you to live with Him all the time (Acts 17:28). God wants to be the home that you carry with you wherever you go. Growing in Grace A snail takes his home with him wherever he goes. No matter where trouble strikes, he always has a safe house to climb inside. The next time you see a snail, think about how God wants to be the home that goes wherever you go. Be like the snail—just without the slime! 7

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JA N UA RY 7

Be Brave! I will not remember their sins anymore. —HEBREWS 8:12

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he Bible says that “those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty” (Romans 8:1). It also says that God will “make right any person who has faith in Jesus” (3:26). That is great news for God’s children! Because sometimes, even when you want to do right, you do wrong. We all do. That’s why God’s promises are so wonderful! If you believe in Jesus and obey Him, God promises that your sins will all be taken away and that they will be hidden by Jesus. So when God looks at you, He doesn’t see your sin; He sees the One who saves you—Jesus. That means that you don’t have to worry about messing up. You’ve already won because Jesus saves you. Trusting in that promise gives you the courage to try to do the right thing—even when you know you might mess up. Trusting in that promise lets you be brave. Growing in Grace Grab some friends and play a game of hide-and-seek. As you hide, remember how Jesus hides your sins and mistakes. And as you seek, remember how God promises never to seek for your forgiven sins!

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JA N UA RY 8

Washed Clean Then [Jesus] poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet. —JOHN 13:5

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n Bible times, the roads were often made of dirt, so people’s feet were caked with mud and dirt. Washing those feet was the yuckiest job around. It was a servant’s job. But at the Last Supper, Jesus became the servant. He washed His followers’ feet, the dirtiest part of them. And He will wash the dirtiest part of you . . . if you let Him. Sin makes your heart even dirtier than those followers’ feet. Jesus will wash away that dirt, but only if you confess—or tell Him—that you are dirty. Tell Him about that bad thought, that bad word, that thing you wish you hadn’t done. If you pretend your heart is clean—that you never mess up or sin—Jesus cannot wash you. You will never be clean until you first tell Him you are dirty. But if you just tell Him, He will wash all those sins away. He will wash you “whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7). Growing in Grace The next time it rains, ask your parents if you can go outside and splash in the mud. Go ahead. Get dirty. Thank God for the rain that washes the earth. Then, as you clean off your feet to go inside, thank Him for Jesus, who washes away the dirt of sin. 9

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Grace for the Moment for Kids  

Millions have loved Max Lucado’s Grace for the Moment devotional; now they can share the inspiration with their children and grandchildren....

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