CATEGORY ARCHIVES: Girls

As You Go

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Reflect on what you’ve learned about Jesus’ resurrection over these last few weeks. Keep those things in mind as you read today’s devotion.

• Quickly list some of the truths you’ve learned as you studied the narrative accounts of the resurrection the last few weeks.
• At the beginning of this series, we studied Jesus’ promise that He would be betrayed, put to death, and raised again. How should these truths affect the way believers live?

Read Mark 16:14-18 in your Bible.

“Then He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.’” —Mark 16:15

• Underline the words “go” and “preach” in verse 15.
• Highlight the phrases “all the world” and “the whole creation” (v. 15). Why is it important that disciples not leave out anyone when sharing the message of Christ? Explain.
• Record what Jesus said about the two different types of people in verse 16.

Now, read Matthew 28:16-20 in your Bible.
• List the four commands Jesus gave to His followers (v. 19-20).
The word go can better be translated with the phrase as you are going. This small difference carries huge implications. Yes, God calls us to go on mission trips, but He also calls us to make disciples as we go about our normal routine.
• Record the promise Jesus made at the end of verse 20 in your own words.

RESPOND

Understanding that the God who has all authority on heaven and earth will be with us as we go is a great comfort to believers. His presence within us, the Holy Spirit, enables us to make disciples. He goes with us and gives salvation only He can give.

• Meditate on what it means that the Holy Spirit dwells within us, enabling us to do God’s work.
• Journal a prayer of thankfulness to God for His constant presence and help in your life.

BEHIND THE STORY

The instructions Jesus gave in both of today’s passages are commonly referred to as The Great Commission. The word commission here means an instruction or command. Though Jesus spoke these commands directly to His 11 disciples, they weren’t a one-time deal. Believers are still called to go, make disciples, teach, and baptize in His name. How will you obey?

THE POINT

Jesus commands us to go and share His message with others. He promised to be with us as we go.


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No Nonsense

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Turn off all your electronic devices and prepare to spend some time alone with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to learn new things through today’s Scripture.

“Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest.” —Luke 24:9

Read Luke 24:9-12 in your Bible and think through the following.
• Record the differences between Peter’s and the rest of the disciples’ responses to the women’s testimony.
• Verse 12 says Peter “ ______ __and ______” to the tomb. Why do you think he reacted this way?
• At this time, the testimony of women was highly disregarded. When the disciples heard their story about Jesus being resurrected, they thought the women were babbling nonsense. What are some things that cause us to disregard others’ testimony today? Why?
• Peter raced to the tomb to discover the truth for himself. How did his actions support the importance of testimony? Explain.

RESPOND

• Believing that Jesus was resurrected is crucial to the Christian faith. How would you explain the resurrection to someone else? Practice what you would say in the mirror.
• Ask God to bring to mind a few people in your life who don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead. Jot down their names in the margin.
• Look back over your list of names. Prayerfully consider how you can share Jesus’ love with them this week. Ask God to give you the opportunity and courage to speak.

BEHIND THE STORY

Throughout the Gospel narratives, Peter was shown as a passionate and often impulsive person. He jumped out of the boat to walk on water, cut off the ear of a high priest’s slave during Jesus’ arrest, and denied Jesus three times at His trial. In today’s passage, Peter displayed his passion yet again , evidenced by his immediate reaction to the women’s testimony.

THE POINT

Followers of Jesus should share the good news of His resurrection and what that means for us.


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Bribes and Lies

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Reflect on your actions and words from this week. Ask God to reveal any sin and then ask Him to forgive you.
• The women obeyed the angel’s command to go tell the disciples the good news that Jesus had been raised from the dead. For followers of Jesus, this was terrific news that caused great rejoicing. However, for those who opposed Jesus, this created a problem. Why?

Now, read Matthew 28:4, 11-15 in your Bible.

“After the priests had assembled with the elders and agreed on a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money and told them, ‘Say this, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’” —Matthew 28:12-13

• List the priests’ actions upon hearing the guards’ testimony.
• What did the priests’ reaction indicate about the importance of Jesus’ message?
• What plan did the priests devise in order to quiet the news of Jesus’ resurrection?

The priests didn’t want the soldiers to admit that Jesus had been raised from the dead because that would have affirmed His identity as the Son of God. So, the priests who had sentenced Jesus to death bribed the guards to lie.

RESPOND

• How would you have responded if you were one of the Roman guards bribed by the priests? Journal your thoughts.
• Have you been asked to lie before? How did you respond? Record your experience in your journal.
• Consider this: The truth of Jesus’ resurrection was so powerful that the Jewish religious leaders bribed elite Roman soldiers to lie about the occurrences outside the tomb. Ask yourself: Do I understand the powerful message represented by the empty tomb?
• Look back at the previous question. Ask God to continue to help you understand the truth of the resurrection and what it means for you.

BEHIND THE STORY

The Roman soldiers were the most elite of the military. Being caught sleeping on the job was punishable by death. The description of verse 4 in today’s passage implies that the guards actually saw the angel, so it is unlikely that they were asleep when the stone was rolled away. Rather than holding firm to the truth that they saw an angel of the Lord roll away the stone blocking the tomb, they risked their lives with a lie crafted by the religious elite. If anyone asked, they would say that Jesus’ disciples stole the body while they slept.

THE POINT

The truth of Jesus’ resurrection gave hope to believers, but caused fear among the religious leaders.


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Mourning to Rejoicing

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Walk outside and consider how God uses creation to proclaim His goodness and authority.

Read Matthew 28:1-8 in your Bible.

“So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news.” —Matthew 28:8

Complete the following.
• Jot down details about the physical appearance of the angel of the Lord (v. 3).
• No human deception could have mimicked an earthquake and the appearance of the angel. In your journal, sketch a picture depicting the scene in verses 2-4.
• Think back to previous accounts of this scene. With the inclusion of the angel’s appearance and the earthquake, why is the angel’s statement in verse 5 so important? Explain.
• These were extraordinary events that caused the guards to faint in fear. However, when the angel spoke to the women, they had a different reaction. Describe their actions upon hearing the angel’s good news.

RESPOND

• Jot down the last piece of great news you received. Who brought the message?
• Now, think about the first time you heard about Jesus’ resurrection. Who told you about Him? How did they tell you? Describe the conversation in your journal.
• Hearing that Jesus had risen from the dead was the best piece of news these women received. How did the news of His resurrection change your life? Journal about your experience.
• If you’ve never trusted Jesus as your Savior, find a trustworthy adult such as a parent, Trailstones leader, or pastor and ask them to share with you about how to become a Christian.
• If you have placed your faith in Jesus, pray for an opportunity to tell this news to others this week.

BEHIND THE STORY

Only Matthew recorded the earthquake, descending of the angel, and fainting of the guards. This is actually the second earthquake in his narrative, the first one is found in Matthew 27:51 at the moment of Jesus’ death. Just as the earth quaked, so did the guards when they saw the angel.

MEMORY VERSE

Say Matthew 28:8 aloud as you do the dishes, clean your room, or make a snack.

THE POINT

The angels’ appearance frightened the women, but the message caused the women to rejoice.


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No Reason for Fear

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Before you dig into today’s devotion, consider this quote by J. I. Packer:

“Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God’s own commitment, that the best is yet to come.”

As the women walked toward the tomb, they were convinced of what they would find—the tomb, sealed by a large boulder, with Jesus’ body inside.
• Imagine you were walking with the women that day. Describe what you would have thought.

Now, read Mark 16:1-8 in your Bible.

“’Don’t be alarmed,’ he told them. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been resurrected! He is not here! See the place where they put Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there just as He told you.’” —Mark 16:6-7

• In verse 5, Mark said the women were ______ and ______. Why do you think they reacted this way?
• What were the first three words the young man said to the women? What’s the significance of his statement?
• Why do you think the angel encouraged the women to look at Jesus’ empty tomb for themselves? Explain.

Biblical scholars suggest that the angel’s command for the women to go and tell the disciples demonstrated Jesus’ love and concern for them. They were dejected and afraid—their Master had been crucified!
• How would physical proof of His resurrection reassure the disciples? Show them Jesus’ love?

RESPOND

Just like the women in today’s passage, you have also heard about Jesus’ resurrection—the empty tomb signified His conquering of death.
• Consider what Jesus’ resurrection means to you. Journal a prayer of praise to God for raising Jesus to life.
• In the margin, jot down the names of two people who need to know God’s truth. Commit to sharing Jesus’ message of salvation with them this week.

BEHIND THE STORY

At one point, all of Jesus’ disciples committed to stick with Him despite what He prophesied about His arrest and crucifixion (Mark 14:31). The text surrounding that particular prophecy demonstrated Jesus’ faithfulness to His disciples despite knowing they would “run away” (Mark 14:27) when He was arrested and crucified. Jesus said, “But after I have been resurrected, I will go ahead of you to Galilee” (Mark 14:28). In verse 7 of today’s passage, the angel referenced this statement as a prophecy that would be fulfilled on resurrection day—He was on His way to Galilee.

THE POINT

Jesus’ resurrection was not cause for fear, but for rejoicing. His resurrection provides us with assurance of the truth of His promises.


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Evidence: An Empty Tomb

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Turn off your phones and kneel on the ground. Ask God to use today’s passage to help you understand the importance of the empty tomb.

• Have you heard the phrase “you have to see it to believe it”? List some things that are difficult to believe without seeing any physical evidence.
• Why do you think people struggle to believe in what they can’t see Explain.

“The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then entered the tomb, saw, and believed.” —John 20:8

Read John 20:1-10 in your Bible. Explore the following:
• List the details about Mary’s visit to the tomb and what she found (v. 1).
• In your own words, explain Mary’s conclusion about the empty tomb in verse 2.
• Do you think the women and disciples expected to find Jesus in the tomb? Why or why not?

Despite all of Jesus’ teachings about His resurrection, most of the disciples rejected Mary’s report. Of the two disciples who accompanied her on a return to the tomb, the Bible says they “saw and believed” (v. 8); meaning they likely believed Jesus did rise from the dead as He foretold. However, verse 11 indicates that the disciples didn’t fully understand the connection between Jesus’ resurrection and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.

RESPOND

• Think about your own life. Would you have overlooked the fact that Jesus had been raised from the dead? Why or why not?
• Many people today still don’t believe Jesus rose from the grave. How would you respond to someone with this belief? Journal your thoughts.
• Do you know people who are skeptical when it comes to believing Jesus’ resurrection? List their names in your journal. Then, throughout the week, pray that God would open their hearts to His truth.

BEHIND THE STORY

Though all four Gospel authors gave slightly different details about resurrection morning, each noted that it occurred on the first day of the week after Passover. Before Jesus’ resurrection, the Jewish tradition was to worship on the Sabbath, which was the seventh day of the week. For us, this would be Saturday. However, Jesus’ resurrection is such a vital truth to God’s story that Christians began to worship on Sundays as early as the book of Acts.

THE POINT

The empty tomb was proof of Jesus’ resurrection.


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Promises Fulfilled

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Close your eyes and meditate on what Jesus did for you. Thank Him for enduring the cross and ask Him to help you understand more about His love.

“He is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day?’”
—Luke 24:6-7

Read Luke 24:1-8 in your Bible and think through these questions.
• Why did the women go to the tomb?
• Summarize the angels’ message to the women in verses 5-7.
• Luke’s account of resurrection morning emphasizes that the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection fulfilled His prophecies. Luke recorded three times that Jesus predicted His betrayal, death, and resurrection.

Describe each of the predictions in your journal based on these verses: Luke 9:22, Luke 9:44, Luke 18:32-33.
• Jesus clearly articulated to His disciples how His life would end. Why do you think they were still surprised when His prophecies came true?

RESPOND

Instead of finding Jesus’ body, the women found an empty tomb. This caught them off-guard, but signified the truth of Jesus’ words about His resurrection. The empty tomb meant that He was no longer dead, but alive forever.
• Think about the words alive forever in the statement above. What does it mean to you personally that Jesus is alive forever? Journal your thoughts.
• Have you ever doubted that God would fulfill His promises? Honestly confess your struggle to Him and ask God to help you trust Him no matter what.
• If you have not trusted Jesus as Savior, talk to your parents or your Trailstones leader about the Gospel.

BEHIND THE STORY

Resurrection is a word many modern Christians take for granted because we read about it in the Bible and celebrate it each year at Easter. But to the disciples, resurrection was a foreign term. Resurrection comes from the Greek word egeiro, which means “to rise”. The Gospel writers used this same word when Jesus restored the dead to life. In this instance, God restored Jesus’ life.

MEMORY VERSE

Hum the tune of your favorite song. Now, sing Matthew 28:8 to that same tune. Use this song to help you memorize this verse for the week.

THE POINT

Jesus fulfilled His promise that He would be betrayed, crucified, and rise again on the third day.


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Message Sent

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Glance over the past month’s devotions. Think about all you’ve learned about Jesus. Thank God for teaching you and changing your life through His Word.

The moment you trusted Jesus as Savior you were fully forgiven and your relationship with God was restored. Your restoration did not happen because of anything you did, but because of what Christ did for you. Now, read Colossians 1:20 in your Bible.
• According to this verse, what is the only way people can find true peace Now, read 2 Corinthians 5:15-21 in your Bible.

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” —2 Corinthians 5:20

Answer the following:
• Verses 17 and 21 are like bookends, reminding us of what God did for us through Christ. Summarize these verses in your own words.
• According to Paul, after Jesus reconciled believers to God, what ministry did God give to us (vv. 18-20)?
• Highlight the word “plead” (v. 20). What does this word indicate about the urgency of sharing God’s message of reconciliation?
• Explain what reconciliation means. What is Paul’s challenge to people who have experienced reconciliation?

RESPOND

We can be ambassadors of reconciliation through our interactions with others—how we treat them and what we say to them.
• Are you pleading on Christ’s behalf for your friends and family to be reconciled to God? In the margin, jot down the names of those you know who need to know Jesus as their Savior. Pray for each person on your list and look for ways to show His love to them.
• Ask yourself this question: Am I acting as an ambassador for Jesus by pursuing reconciliation with those around me? Journal your response.
• Think of people you may need to reconcile with. Ask God for the strength and wisdom to reach out to them.
• For further study on what Christ’s reconciliation has done for you, read Ephesians 1.

BEHIND THE STORY

In order to satisfy God’s wrath against sin, someone had to be punished for the sins of all people. Jesus’ death paid the price for our sins, which should encourage believers to turn from loving self to loving God above all. This intense love for God calls believers to carry God’s good news to people who do not know Him.

THE POINT

We are not only reconciled to God through the blood of Christ, but also to one another. We can work together to take His message of reconciliation to all people.


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Live Humbly

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

To prepare your heart for today’s devotion, ask yourself this question: In what ways am I becoming more like Jesus in my attitude and actions?

“For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” —Philippians 2:13

Read Philippians 2:1-13 in your Bible and explore the following.
• In verses 1-2, Paul reminded the Philippians that they were one in Christ. List the ways Paul said believers could be encouraged in that oneness.
• According to verses 3-5, how do people treat each other when they live humbly?
• The world tells us to live for ourselves. However, Jesus’ teaching was counter cultural and He perfectly modeled a humble life. Using verses 5-11, describe Christ’s humility.
• Living in full obedience to God isn’t easy. In fact, without Jesus’ presence in our lives, there is no way we can follow His example for living. In what way does verse 13 encourage believers?

When you become a Christian, God gives you new life, changes the way you think and act, and gives you the power to live out all He commanded you to do.
• How should these verses challenge believers?

RESPOND

• Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you examine your heart. Typically, what is your attitude toward serving God? Do you live in constant obedience to Him? Journal your thoughts.
• Do you live in full obedience to God? Talk honestly with Him, confess any disobedience in your life and ask Him to help you obey His commands no matter what.
• Journal some ideas of different ways you can show Jesus’ love to others. Under your list of ideas, name a few people who need to know His love. Using both lists, choose a way to show Jesus’ love to one of those people this week.
• For further study on how Christians should love, read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

BEHIND THE STORY

In verse 12, the phrase “work out your own salvation” does not imply that works save people. This phrase instructs people to bear the fruit of their faith. (See Gal. 5:22-23.) Put simply: Paul encouraged the Philippians to live out their faith in their daily lives. As James also said, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Faith and works combined demonstrate the saving grace of Jesus Christ in our lives.

THE POINT

Jesus lived in humility and obeyed God. We should also obey God and model Christ’s attitude toward serving Him.


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Live Transformed

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Take a moment and examine this quote by J. I. Packer, “The truth is that, though we were justified by faith alone, the faith that justifies is never alone (it always produces fruit, ‘good works, … a transformed life).”

Review last week’s devotion before digging into today’s Scripture. At the moment of your salvation, the resurrection of Christ reconciled you back to God. Read 1 Peter 1:22-25 in your Bible.

“Since you have been born again—not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God.”
—1 Peter 1:23

Ask yourself:
• How should believers live out the change brought about by Christ’s presence in our lives?
• According to these verses, how should believers treat one another? Now, read Isaiah 40:6-8 in your Bible.

“The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever.” —Isaiah 40:8

Consider the following:
• In these verses, humanity is described in terms of the temporary and insignificant. List the two things the Book of Isaiah compared to humanity in verse 6.
• According to verse 8, what quality does God’s Word possess? Explain.

RESPOND

Christ’s resurrection changed everything, so when Christ redeems us, everything about our lives should change as well. His resurrection leads to us living a new life.

• In your journal, quickly list anything in your life that comes to mind when you see the words temporary or insignificant. Pray, asking God to help you focus on meaningful things.
• Prayerfully examine your life and your heart. What does it mean to live a transformed life? In what ways does your life need to change as you live out your faith? Journal your response.
• For further study on what a transformed life looks like, read Colossians 3.

BEHIND THE STORY

Peter quoted Isaiah 40:6-8 to make a point of contrast between the temporary nature of human flesh and the eternal nature of God’s Word. As His people, believers will live with Him eternally though our lives on earth are “like smoke” (James 4:14)—we’re here for only a short time. Life may be tough at times on earth, but Peter encouraged believers in the future hope we have because of our redemption in Christ.

THE POINT

Christ’s resurrection enables us to live the Christian faith in the most transformative and meaningful ways.


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