Which is the Best Bible for a Teen?

Don’t give up; nothing you could ever give your nephew is more valuable than a Bible. Remember: The Bible is God’s Word, and God gave it to us to guide us and help us come to know Him. The Psalmist wrote, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” (Psalm 119:9).

Let me suggest three things you might keep in mind as you choose a Bible for your nephew. First, get a modern translation—one that is widely used, and is easy to understand. (I mainly use the New International Version in this column.) As a footnote, choose one with decent print; my wife used to say that Bibles with print you couldn’t read were one of the devil’s most effective tools!

Second, consider a Bible that includes footnotes that will help him understand its meaning. These are usually called “study Bibles,” and they can be fairly detailed—but choose one that’s written specifically for young people. A knowledgeable bookstore assistant should be able to help you with this.

Finally, encourage your nephew to make the Bible part of his life every day. Tell him why the Bible is important, and suggest ways to get started (such as reading first about Jesus in one of the Gospels). As you have opportunity, also encourage his parents to make the Bible part of their family’s life. May the Psalmist’s experience become theirs—and also yours: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Do you know if you are saved? You can know now.

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Where in the Bible Should I Start Reading?

One thing you’re missing is an opportunity to learn more about God and His will for our lives. If we are ignorant of God’s Word, we’ll always be ignorant of God’s will.

Yes, the Bible tells about things that happened thousands of years ago, and these may seem strange or irrelevant to us. But God does not change, and neither does our human nature—and just as God worked in the lives of people then, He wants to work in our lives today. They lived in a different world—and yet they had the same problems and doubts we have. The Bible says concerning them, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

But let me suggest that you’re also missing something else: a practical plan for unlocking the Bible’s treasures. Instead of starting at the beginning (as we do with other books), I suggest you start at the center—that is, with one of the Gospels that tell us about Jesus Christ (I often suggest John). He is the Bible’s center; the Old Testament points forward to Him, and the New Testament tells us about Him. You can discover other parts of the Bible later.

Ask God to help you as you read—not only to understand what is happening in a particular passage, but what it means for your life today. May Job’s attitude become yours: “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12).

Ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart today.

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Is There Any Hope of Living Forever?

I’m grateful for the remarkable advances that have been made in medical science; like many of you, I probably wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for them. My own father-in-law was a highly skilled surgeon, and I often think how excited he’d be if he were alive today.

But in spite of all our medical advances, one thing has not changed: the death rate is still 100 percent. Nor will it ever change, because death isn’t only a physical problem. It also is a spiritual problem we all share, because ultimately death has been caused by what the Bible calls sin. In other words, death is the penalty we all share because of our rebellion against God. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and…. the wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23-24; 6:23).

But listen: death is not the end! You and I not only have a body and a mind; we also have a soul or spirit that will never die, and some day we will enter eternity and stand before God. And if we know Christ and have put our faith and trust in Him, we don’t need to fear death, because by His death and resurrection He has opened Heaven’s door for us.

Commit your life to Jesus Christ and begin living not only for this life, but for eternity. Make it your goal to live for Him, not for this world’s false promises. As the Bible says, “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is” (Colossians 3:1).

You can live forever with God in Heaven. Pray now.

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Billy Graham: God Wants You to Have Steady Faith

What you describe may be fairly common, but it’s not the way God wants us to live. Instead, God wants us to have a stable, steady faith, a faith that becomes a solid foundation for our lives, and grows even stronger as the years go by.

And God has provided everything we need for us to have this kind of faith. First, He has given us Jesus Christ, who came into the world to rescue us from sin and make us part of His family forever. Is your faith truly in Christ, or only a vague belief in God that comes and goes? If you’ve never done so, put your faith in Jesus Christ and ask Him to come into your life today—and He will.

God has also given us the means by which our faith can be strengthened. For example, He has given us His Word, the Bible. Make it part of your life every day, even if it’s only a few minutes or a few paragraphs at first. Additionally, God has given us the privilege of prayer. God speaks to us through His Word, and we speak to Him through our prayers, not only bringing our burdens to Him but thanking Him for all He does for us.

Finally, God has given us the privilege of fellowship with other believers. When we come to Christ, we become part of a new family—the family of God. You need them and they need you. The Bible says, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16).

Draw close to God today.

 

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How Could Jesus—a Man—Have Been Equal to God?

One of the Bible’s greatest truths is that 2,000 years ago God became a man—and that man was Jesus Christ. In other words, Jesus wasn’t only fully human, He was also fully God. The Bible puts it this way: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 1:3).

Can we fully understand this profound truth with our limited minds? No, not completely. We think God must be confined to one place (like we are)—but this isn’t true. We also think God must be limited in His power (like we are)—but again, this isn’t true. God is infinite and all-powerful—and when He came down from Heaven and became a man, His greatness was not diminished. The Bible says that Jesus Christ, “being in very nature God … made himself nothing … being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:6-7).

The real question, however, is this: Why did Jesus Christ leave Heaven’s glory and come down to live among us? Why was He even willing to be unjustly condemned to death? The reason is simple, and yet also profound: to demonstrate God’s love for us. If God didn’t love us, Christ never would have come into the world or died the death of a common criminal. But God does love us—and the proof is Jesus Christ.

Don’t be lost in doubt any longer. Instead, by a simple act of faith invite Jesus Christ to come into your life today—and He will. Your life will never be the same.

Find out how much Jesus loves you.

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How Can I Love God When He’s Keeping a Record of My Sins?

If God is only a strict, harsh, unforgiving judge who is only interested in punishing us when we get out of line, then I can understand why you find it hard to love Him. And I’m afraid this is how many people see God.

But this isn’t the whole story! Yes, God is holy and righteous, and every sin we commit is an offense against Him. But God is also loving and compassionate—and He wants to forgive us and welcome us into His home forever! If God were only interested in punishing us, then none of us would have any hope—because we’ve all sinned. But God also loves us—and that makes all the difference. The Bible says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (Lamentations 3:22).

How do I know God loves us? I know it because He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world for one reason: to make our salvation possible. Do you want to know if God loves you? Look at Christ, for He is the final proof of God’s love.

By a simple prayer of faith open your heart and life to Jesus Christ today. Then thank Him for His love for you. Thankfulness drives out fear and opens our hearts to God’s love. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Find out how much God loves and cares for you.

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Will God Forgive a Past Sin That I Can’t Correct?

What you did was wrong, of course, and when we do wrong we always pay a price—in your case, the price of a years-long burden of guilt. After committing a grievous sin against God, King David lamented, “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear” (Psalm 38:4).

But listen: God doesn’t want you to carry this burden of guilt any longer. And you don’t need to, because He has done everything that is necessary to make your forgiveness possible by sending Jesus Christinto the world to become the final payment for your sins and mine. We are guilty before God—not just for the sins we can remember, but for all our sins. But when Jesus died on the cross, all our sins were transferred to Him, and He paid the price for our forgiveness.

This is why the most important thing you can do is to turn to Christ and by faith trust Him to forgive you. In other words, take your burden of guilt and give it to Jesus—completely and fully. His promise is true: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

As a footnote, although you can’t repay what you owe to your original employer, may I suggest you donate it (with interest) to an organization that ministers to those in need in your community, such as a homeless shelter or outreach to youth.

Receive God’s love and forgiveness today.

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Was My Accident a Wake-Up Call from God?

Yes, God certainly is trying to tell you something—and my prayer is that you won’t ignore it! The Bible says, “If anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning … their blood will be on their own head” (Ezekiel 33:4).

What is God saying to you through this experience? First, He is reminding you of the brevity of life. Yes, your life was spared, and for that I am very thankful. But what if it had not been spared? And in any case, some day you will die and enter God’s presence, even if it’s many years from now. Life is short, and the time to prepare for eternity is now.

But I believe God is also trying to tell you of His love for you. So far in life you have ignored Him—but He has not ignored you! He loves you—and the proof isn’t only that He spared your life on this occasion, but that His Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life for you. He did this so you could be forgiven of your sins and go to be with Him in Heaven forever.

By a simple prayer of faith thank God for sparing your life, and then ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and become the center of your life. Then seek out a church where you can grow in your faith and find friends who will help you spiritually. God’s word is for you: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Pray now and ask Jesus Christ to be your Savior.

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How Do I Help My Co-Worker Be Less Arrogant and More Liked?

First of all, I’m thankful for your concern for this person. It would be easy just to write him off or assume he’ll never change—but God can change him, and God may want to use you to make it happen. Ask God to help you to see this person the way He sees him—as someone who needs God’s help.

What can you do? First, you can build a bridge of friendship to him. Don’t be put off by his arrogance or brashness; ask God instead to help you look beyond it, and even to ignore it. Thank him for the good things he does, and express interest in his concerns. My wife used to say that honey always catches more bees than vinegar! You even may find that behind his cockiness he is actually a very lonely person.

Then pray for him. His problem isn’t only his personality; ultimately his problem is spiritual. He doesn’t realize that God gave him his abilities, and some day he will stand before God to give an account of the way he used them. Pray that God will show him not only his pride, but also his need for God’s forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ.

In addition, ask God to give you an opportunity to share your concern with him—gently but clearly. He may not even realize how others see him, and you can help him face his need to change. The Bible says, “The tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).

Have you turned over your heart to God?

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Why Do Some People Refuse to Believe in God, in Spite of the Evidence?

People who deny that God exists may give several reasons for their unbelief. For example, they may say they reject God because they can’t understand why He doesn’t do something about all the evil in the world. Or they may say they’re turned off by the hypocrisy of Christians they’ve known.

But the real reason most deny God’s existence can be summarized in one word: pride. They want to run their own lives, and they don’t want anyone—especially God—to interfere with the way they’re living. They want to be in control of everything they do, and they know that if they were to believe in God, they’d have to change their lifestyle. Instead of living by their own list of what’s right and wrong, they’d have to take seriously God’s moral standards.

To live without God, however, is to live without hope—hope for His presence with us right now, and hope for eternity. Instead of knowing that God has put us here for a purpose, they end up living without any ultimate meaning in life. No wonder the Psalmist declared, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Psalm 14:1).

Make sure of your own commitment to Jesus Christ, who came into the world to demonstrate God’s reality—and also His love. Then ask God to help you point others—including your cousin—to the freedom and hope they can have in Christ. They may not believe your arguments—but they can’t deny the reality of Christ’s power to change your life.

Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior? Here’s How.

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