What Now? New Believer Plan For Teenagers

8 Day Devotional for teens 
A new believer reading plan specifically designed for teenagers. This plan includes 8 lessons that help a new believer understand the decision they made to follow Jesus, the basics of their new faith, an introduction to Bible reading and how to start following Jesus.
We would like to thank Youth for Christ USA for providing this plan. 
Day 1:
Welcome to a reading plan that will help you begin a life-long friendship with God. The truth is, God is HUGE! There’s so much to learn, you might feel a little overwhelmed. This plan will help you take steps toward knowing God and understanding the Bible. Here are a couple of suggestions: 1. Read through these lessons with a friend or leader who has also decided to trust Jesus. When you come to questions in a lesson, talk about your answers with your friend. 2. When you read a lesson, keep paper and pen nearby in case you want to write down something important. 3. All you need for these lessons is the YouVersion electronic Bible. But you might want to look for a printed Bible too, so you can find the Table of Contents and write notes in the corners of pages. Some people even write out their prayers to God.
2 Timothy 3:16 What does this verse say about who inspired the Bible? What does this verse say about how the Bible is useful? Now, try putting that verse in your own words.
Think about this 
When you need to get someplace you have never been before, what are your options? You could try to make it on your own…but you might get lost. You can watch how other people get there…but they might take you the wrong way. You can ask for directions. You can follow a map. No matter what, getting someplace you want to be takes time and focus. It helps if you are traveling with someone else who knows where he’s going.
The Bible is an ancient book that was written in different languages. God motivated men to write down all that God had done for them, and they did.
The Old Testament is the part of the Bible that talks about how God was in relationship with mankind before Jesus was born. The New Testament is a collection of short history books and letters written by the people who lived with Jesus and followed him. Some of the Bible can confuse us if we don’t know the WHOLE story. You could even end up thinking that “God is a jerk” or God doesn’t really love people if you only read one section without understanding the WHOLE story. So give yourself time. Allow yourself to be confused and ask for help. The Bible is true and it’s God’s way of helping us understand how He loves us. It’s totally worth your time!
Try This:
As you begin this reading plan, try to work through it with a Christian friend or leader. It’s so helpful to travel with a trusted partner! If you are reading through the plan on your own, use the helpful tools in your YouVersion Bible. Under settings, turn on “Footnotes.” These will be notes that help explain verses and settings. You can turn on “Red Letters”; when words are highlighted in red, it means that these are the words that Jesus spoke. If you have a paper Bible, look in the first few pages and find the Table of Contents. It helps a lot to use this as you get used to finding Bible stories. Consider yourself an explorer as you enter this new life with Jesus!
Day 2: Read the verses below by clicking on them
What did I just do?
Saying YES again
There’s a chance that you are reading this because in the last few days or weeks, maybe even in the last few hours, you decided to say, “YES” to trusting God. That’s a HUGE decision. Maybe you are still thinking about it, trying to decide what does it really mean? How do you trust God? How do you follow Jesus? What’s it mean to be a Christian? What am I saying “yes” to?
It might help if you imagine a friend. Even if you have never had a really tight friendship, you can imagine the kind of person who is a real friend. He would be totally trustworthy. He would want what is best for you. He’d be easy to be with. He might go so far as to care more about you than about himself. You would want to be around him as often as you could. God wants this kind of friendship with you. God actually made you especially for friendships. He’s always wanted your most important friendship to be with Him.
You could read the very first pages of the Bible, Genesis 1 and 2, and find the summary of how God created everything, including men and women. And then God started a friendship with the people He created. Notice that when God created all the animals and the sky and stars he said, “This is good.” But later, when he created man and woman, he said, “This is VERY good.” Genesis 1:31 Learn even more about how God created you and wants a friendship with you. Read Psalm 139. Pay special attention to verses 1-18.
Made for RELATIONSHIP God created humans because He loves humans. He made you because he wants a friendship with you.
Think about this
What do these verses tell you about how much God loves you and wants a friendship with you?
God created us to be in a friendship with him. But, we humans usually like to do things our own way. It wasn’t long after God created the first people, Adam and Eve, that they decided to leave God. They wanted to make their own rules. In fact, they did exactly what God asked them not to do.
WE RESIST GOD That’s what sin is; when people decide to make their own plans and ignore the directions that God has given. The Bible says that ALL have sinned and don’t live up to God’s amazing glory.
Can you think of times when bad decisions have separated you from God?
JESUS RESTORES RELATIONSHIP God’s love for you never stops. It can’t be broken by anything we do. God never holds his love back from you. That’s because Jesus restored our chance for relationship with God by dying on the cross.
HOW WE RESPOND TO GOD MATTERS When you say, “YES” to following God, you admit that you’ve made bad decisions and that you have resisted God’s friendship with you.
Is there anything you want to tell God you are sorry for? In the same way that you ask a friend to forgive you when you have hurt them, you can ask God to forgive you.
When you say, “YES” to following God, you’re saying that you don’t want to resist anymore. Instead, you want this friendship with God who made you, just like those verses said in Psalm 139. You might even stop here and say “yes” again. When you say “YES”, you are inviting Jesus to fix the broken relationship that you have with God. Jesus is the only one who can fix that. When Jesus allowed the people to murder him on the cross, he did that to pay the price for sin. When he died and then rose again, he restored the relationship we can have with God. What are some ways you can thank Jesus for what he did by dying on the cross?
You are made for this friendship with God. He will never leave you. He will walk with you and lead you and comfort you.
Try This
Go back and read Psalm 139 again and as you read it, insert your own name whenever you see “I” or “me.” If you are reading through this plan with a friend or leader, you could read it out loud and insert your friend’s name and then they could do the same for you. When you realize you have a friend like God, who knows you and loves you, even with your failures, it makes you want to stay close and follow His lead, which is exactly where He wants you!
Day 3: Read the verses below by clicking on them
God in Us, that’s what makes us NEW
Starting this journey of faith in Jesus makes you a new creation. Maybe you don’t feel different but it’s true, you are a new creation. The Bible actually says, “The new has come, the old has passed away!” That is exciting news! But what does it really mean?
When Jesus died on the cross, it was about even MORE than forgiving sins. He died so our old life could die with him and our new life could begin! This means Jesus’ forgiveness was not a one-time thing. It happens over and over again as He keeps making us new. It is a new life every day. Do you remember being young and wishing you were older? You knew it was impossible but wanted automatic fast change. Life is not like that and neither is following Jesus. “New creation” means you are in process, growing as you get to know Jesus better and better.
We don’t follow Jesus on our own. With new life, we get God in us all the time. Jesus promised that he would send the Spirit of God to live with us and in us. This is the Holy Spirit. Now that you are a Believer you have the Holy Spirit in you. The Holy Spirit is your helper. The Holy Spirit is your comforter. The Holy Spirit is a wise counselor, who helps you understand God.
John 14:15-17
Think about this.
The Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is the part of God that lives inside you. Sometimes the Holy Spirit can be a voice of peace, joy, or comfort. Sometimes the Holy Spirit reminds you that you are going in the wrong direction and leaving God behind. The Holy Spirit helps us live the way that Jesus lived.
Being made new happens because the Holy Spirit moves inside us to live when we say YES to God. We can celebrate that every day because we are becoming new over and over again! It’s a process that doesn’t go away and the Holy Spirit doesn’t go away either.
Try This
Read this with a Christian friend or leader and then talk about your answers to these questions 2 Corinthians 5:17 What does being “made new” mean to you? Are there parts of your “old self” that you want to depart from?
Galatians 2:20
How are you different if Christ is “in you”? In your own words, what does it mean to have “Christ in you”?
John 14:15-17 What does the Holy Spirit lead you to? When you think about the Holy Spirit do you feel comfort, joy, fear or just confusion?
What’s the best way to know if the Holy Spirit is leading me of if I am just telling myself what I want to hear?
Spend some time journaling this week. Write down all the ways you are made new. Write down the emotions that go with that (joy, gratefulness, uncertainty, etc.).
Day 4: Read the verses below by clicking on them
The Whole Story
Open any book to a random page. Close your eyes and stick your finger somewhere on the page. Read the sentence your finger landed on. Does that one single sentence tell you what the whole story is about? Do you know the characters, the plot, the high points, the low points and the conclusion? Of course not. There’s no way you can understand an entire story by just reading one sentence, one paragraph, or even one page!
The Bible is exactly the same. We are often taught to read the Bible by looking up verses by topic. We might start to read the Bible one verse or paragraph at a time. However, just like reading any other book, we have to take time to understand God’s entire story. Each page of the Bible adds to the whole picture.
God’s story is big and you play an important role in it. The Bible is true and the best way for us to understand who God is, what he is like, how He feels about us and how he wants us to live.· The stories in the Bible are meant for us, today. The same God that we read about in the Bible is the same God who walks with you right now, wherever you go. As a new believer it can be hard to know where to start. Don’t be discouraged. It’s a growing process and you can take it slow.
Don’t worry, we have a lifetime so we can slow down and take small steps at first and learn more as we grow. Each time you read a piece of God’s story you will learn new things about Him and the life and story He is calling you to take part in!
It’s helpful to start reading the Bible with a friend. That way, you can talk about questions you have, things that felt confusing or things you are excited about.
Don’t try to read the Bible cover to cover right away. Get started with the basics to gain a solid introduction. First, try reading the book of John. John gives us a great overview of the life of Jesus and who He is. Remember, Jesus may not show up until halfway through the Bible, but the whole Bible is HIS story. It shows us how God loves us so much that he saves us through what Jesus did when he died on the cross. Jesus’ story is found in the whole Bible, even before he was born!
Begin with John, Chapter 1, Verse 1 and read for a little while. Read it like a story, not like a textbook. Go at your own pace.
Think about this
What are you learning about who Jesus is? Who is “the Father” and what is He like? Picture yourself as one of the people in the scenes in John Chapter 1. How does God feel about you? If it is helpful to you, feel free to take notes, jot out questions and ask God what He wants to show you through His story.
If you have questions, talk through them with a friend or leader. These people will be important in helping you learn and share what you’re learning. Sometimes the Bible takes effort to understand and a Christian leader can encourage you and point you in the right direction. Connect with that Christian friend or leader and talk about these questions:
Which people from the book of John stood out to you? Why?
Did you learn anything new about Jesus from reading His story in the book of John?
Try this
Based on what we’ve learned here, think about ways you can regularly read or listen to God’s Story. What will you read next? Here are a few options to consider, but remember; you can always ask God what He has for you to read next. He may surprise you!
More Places to Start Reading:
Start at the beginning. Check out Genesis and read about how God created the earth and made men and women in His image.
Read more about Jesus. The rest of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) are a great place to go.
The Old Testament is full of great stories about imperfect people chosen by God to make an impact in the world. A great place to start is the book of Jeremiah!
Day 5: Read the verses below by clicking on them
Am I doing this right?
Sometimes new Christians ask, “Am I doing this right?” You might wonder if there is more you should be doing, reading or crossing off a list. You might even look for rules to follow after saying, “Yes” to Jesus. You might not know what “following Jesus” really means for you and it’s ok, you aren’t alone!
In the Bible there is a section written by a man named Matthew. He was a friend of Jesus and he wrote down what Jesus said and did. Matthew wrote down a story in which some bigheaded teachers asked Jesus a question. They called Jesus “Teacher” because he was known throughout the area as a teacher from God. They asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” The Pharisees (the hot-shots) lived by a list of rules and wanted Jesus to answer the question with a list of rules. Jesus answered differently than they had hoped. It shocked them and maybe will surprise you too.
Matthew 22:26-40 Jesus made the answer both simple and complex. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Loving the Lord with your heart, soul and mind seems simple enough but to live this out consistently can be difficult. A list of rules may be easier to follow!
Think about this.
What does it look like when I love someone with all my heart? What would it look like to love God with my entire mind? What are things I think about that could get in the way of me loving God with my entire mind?
God desires our hearts be turned fully toward Him. He wants a true friendship. Imagine a friend who gives you a list of things to do to make sure you do your friendship right. Would that feel like a real friendship or like a list of tasks? It’s the same with God. He wants you to spend time with him, to love him, to respect him. What can that look like in your life?
Scripture reading:
Matt 22:36-40 Hebrews 13:8-15
Try this
Read these Bible stories and talk about these questions with a Christian friend or leader What does it look like to “be” in relationship with God? Is it easier to do things “for” God than to “be” with him? What does it mean for you to truly love God? What does that look like? What are some tangible ways that you’ve loved others as yourself?
Sit with God this week for 5 minutes a day. In the same way you would hang out with a friend, get someplace quiet and invite God to that space. Then tell him what you like about Him. Tell him what you need. Ask him to show you how to love him with all your heart and mind and strength.
Sometimes when we do that, God asks us to do something for him, like give up a TV show or an app on a phone. Sometimes he guides us to love other people the way He would love them. For example, he might stir in you the idea to eat with a kid who is a “loner” or say a kind word to someone who seems sad. If you sense that God wants you to do something so that you can love him better, write it down.
Sometimes when we do this, God tells us what He loves about us. He tells us, “Good Job” and reminds us that He is with us, and we are never alone. If you sense that God is saying something like that, write it down.
Tell a Christian friend or leader what you think God is telling you. Talk about what your next steps should be.
Day 6: Read the verses below by clicking on them
Better Together
You were designed to be in relationship with God and with others. The Bible is full of stories that remind us that we are better together. But sometimes the brokenness of our world makes us think it is best for us to just try hard, look out only for ourselves and to not let anyone get too close. So even though the Bible says we are “better together,” sometimes that is hard to believe!
Thinking too much about ourselves and being fearful about what others think will hold us back from experiencing God’s design for us; living life more fully together.
You have already read about how God loves us deeply and made it possible for us to be in relationship with Him, but it gets better. He has given us details about how to live more fully when we are a part of something bigger than our individual selves. It’s like the difference between winning a basketball game by yourself or with a team. Team is better. So even though it might feel like a challenge, God tells us how to do it!
In these Bible passages, you will read about how the earliest of believers shared life, their faith, their stuff and so much more as their normal way of life. What would it look like for you to find a team of believers you could share life with, even the hardest parts?
Acts 2:42-27 Acts 4:32-37
Think about this
What could it look like?
●To have fun with a group of people on a Friday night and still honor God?
● To share your struggles with a trusted believer
● To ask for help as you figure out life
● To have a team of people praying for each other
● To have a team of people encouraging each other
● To have a team of people making time to share life together
What kinds of relationships could you look for?
●Who is an older and wiser Christian you could invite into your life?
● Who are friends that are also following God?
● Is there a local church you could get involved with?
● Is there a local youth group of people your age to participate with?
These are all places to start experiencing that “team” feeling with others. The ultimate goal is to walk closely with other believers in a way that helps us all grow to reflect Jesus more.
Building a group with other believers is an important part of walking with Jesus.
Try this
Pause for a moment and consider what might be one place you could move closer to other believers in hopes to share life. Choose one action you can take and do that this week.
Try this extra Reading: “One Anothers” of the New Testament
[One Anothers]
Day 7: Read the verses below by clicking on them
Prayer: A.K.A. Talking with God
Not all dads do a great job with fatherhood. God is different. He is the PERFECT father. God really cares. God wants to be close to us and have us close to him. God does what He promises He will do. God never leaves us. God is looking out for our best, all the time.
One of the simplest, most powerful ways that we can grow close to God is to pray, or more simply, talk to God.
Do you have any strong friendships where you and the other person never talk to each other? You never call. You never text, but you have a great friendship? Probably not many. Talking with each other is a huge part of relationships, and God wants to hear from you!
You don’t have to use any fancy religious words. You don’t have to put your hands together a certain way. You don’t even have to close your eyes if you don’t want to! You can pray with other people, you can pray alone, out loud, or silently. The point is however you choose to do it, God just wants you to talk to him.
Matthew 6: 9-15 Jesus was talking with his friends and they asked him how to pray. So he gave them an example and we can use that example too.
You can read this prayer out loud, or silently or use it as a guide and make it your own. Jesus’ example shows us to: Respect God in our prayer Ask God to do his will Ask God to give us the food and things that we need each day Ask God to forgive us and help us forgive others Ask God to help us not to sin.
This really covers a lot of areas, but ultimately God just wants you to talk to him. If you need a little more help deciding what to talk to God about, below are some questions that might give you some more direction.
Think about this
What are you most excited about? Is there anything happening in your life worth celebrating? Take a moment and thank God for those things.
What are you sad, scared, stressed, or worried about? Ask God to help you deal with those things.
Do you have relationships that are difficult, where you fight or disagree? People you have wronged? Ask God to help you forgive those people, or ask God to forgive you for what you did.
Have you sinned, or done something that you know was wrong? Tell God about those things.
Do you know anyone else who is dealing with tough stuff? Are there things happening around the world, which are troubling? Ask God to help those people, and those situations.
Do you have questions for God? Doubts? Worries? Tell him about them.
Try this
God wants to hear from you, so find a quiet place and start talking! If it helps you to keep focus, start by writing some things down, as if you are writing a letter to God. It’s ok to start slowly with small prayers. You can even set your timer on your phone for 5 minutes and then take those 5 minutes to go over the questions above.
Day 8: To read the scripture click on the verses below
Faith Where you Live
Well done! You have made it to the final lesson in this YouVersion Reading Plan. It’s an exciting and sometimes challenging journey to be a new follower of Jesus, but reading and exploring the Bible will continue to point you towards Jesus for the rest of your life.
As you move forward, it’s important that you feel like you can represent Jesus in your neighborhood, where you live, where you go to school, and other places you spend time. Because Jesus has become such a part of who you are, it means that whenever you are with your friends, Jesus is also there. Think about that! It’s not just you hanging with friends anymore. Now it’s you AND Jesus. As you share who you are with friends, you will naturally tell parts of God’s story and who He is becoming in your life.
Check out this story from the Bible often called, “The Woman at the Well.” You can find it in the book of John, Chapter 4, Verses 1 – 26.
This woman has a rough story. She has had multiple husbands/partners and she is a Samaritan (a pretty despised race of people back in those times). Jesus spends time with her and her life is changed. Jesus encourages her to start living differently and to share her experience back in her neighborhood. When she goes back to her neighborhood after meeting Jesus, her neighbors and friends hear her story, notice she has changed and they start to look for Jesus themselves!
Your story is likely different from this woman’s, but your experience might not be too different! You’ve recently met Jesus. You have decided to start a relationship with Jesus. Jesus has changed your heart; he is making you new. And now He is asking you to represent Him to your friends and neighbors. Jesus said that the most important thing you can do is LOVE GOD. The next most important thing is to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR.
Think about this.Think about your closest friends. Have you told them that you’ve chosen to follow Jesus? If not, try and share this news with them. Don’t worry; you only need to share your story and your experience. You don’t have to change anyone. You don’t have to argue. You just talk about why you have chosen to trust Jesus. The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest – you don’t need to be a religious expert to do this!
Try This
After sharing with a few friends, try asking God how He’d like you to talk about him where you live and where you hang out. With some practice, and as Jesus becomes more and more a part of who you are, sharing with friends and family will become more natural. In the same way, reading the Bible and talking to God will also become more normal and natural in time.
As a final encouragement, remember that we are all in this together. It’s important to have a Christian friend or leader to walk this journey with you. Keep talking with them and with Jesus about how you can share your story and help point others to Him!