Daily Devotionals and Parent Pages
for our current message series at LIFT!
Our current message series at LIFT is all about God's sovereignty. Check out the daily devotional guides below. Parents, there's also some follow-up material for you to use with your students!
Student Daily Devotionals
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” ¾ Colossians 1:15
There’s a difference between acknowledging that God created the world versus thinking that what exists today is what He created. We are in a broken world and only see the shadow of the way things were supposed to be. We can get confused when we read something like this passage from Colossians and think things like, “The way I am today is the way God made me to be. The Bible even says so.”
That’s like walking into a museum where all the art has been destroyed by vandals and thinking, “Artists can be creative, right? I’ll bet the artists wanted it that way.” Meanwhile, the Mona Lisa is on the ground in pieces.
Read Colossians 1:15-18 with this in mind. As part of the Trinity, Jesus made all things exist to be at their best. Thankfully, even when we’re at our worst, or only have a broken world’s version of love, He still steps in and makes all things new again.
Think About This . . .
- What truths about yourself, good or bad, are you afraid to claim?
- Knowing that God is sovereign and Jesus is working to hold all things together, how does this give you hope for the future?
“No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” ¾ John 10:18
There are many needs within your circle of friends and family that may not ever come to the surface unless given the opportunity. Spend some time asking people the question, “I’d like to pray for the needs in your life. Is there anything you would be willing to share with me?”
As you pray for them, invite God to move you to consider stepping up to assist with any hardship they may have through an offering of your time, resources, or abilities. For instance, if someone is failing a class they need to pass you might tutor them (or find another person who is willing to tutor them). If there’s something more relational needed, such as someone who says, “I feel alone right now,” consider that God may be tapping you to meet the need.
In all of these scenarios, remember that Jesus, while still the Son of God, willingly offered Himself to serve needs. You don’t need to do anything out of guilt, but out of your heart. That’s what makes it a true gift anyway.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ¾ Mark 10:45
Jesus is a servant. When He walked this earth, He stopped for almost anyone who wanted to talk with Him. He even made time for little children, making sure no one prevented them from knowing Him.
Here’s a simple thought for today: When was the last time someone made a sacrifice for you? Think about this. Think about how it made you feel. Think about what impact it had on your life.
Now, as you continue to learn about serving others, keep this in the back of your mind: When you serve others, you impact their lives just as much as that one person impacted you. Let this motivate you to go out of your way to serve someone else.
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” ¾ Philippians 2:4
Every generation faces two competing temptations. On one hand, you feel the world pulling you to pursue a life measured by comfort and personal pleasure. On the other hand, God’s sovereignty says that something greater is possible – a life lived with selfless love and sacrifice. Tragically, even Christian teenagers mess this up and would rather be thought of as “great” and “significant” instead of being known for serving like Jesus.
Read Philippians 2:3-8. The people who did the greatest things for God were the ones who weren’t necessarily trying to do anything other than simply be obedient. This what Jesus did, resisting the fanfare He could have easily claimed and instead letting greater values invade this world through Him.
Are you up for following in His footsteps?
Think About This . . .
- How do you feel when someone serves you without asking for anything in return?
- Should a “servant” receive applause? Why?
- What do you think a whole community of unselfish people would look like?
One of the more difficult places to be a servant just may be in your own house. Ironically, the people in our lives who deserve the most respect are the very ones we often take advantage of. We tend to think about walking by people on the street who are in need, while you may actually be walking by someone who sleeps just one room away from yours.
The problem is we see these people so often that we forget they need the best of us, too. Consider these quotes from Mother Teresa, a woman who when she lived on earth was a Catholic nun, inspiring missionary and caretaker of the sick in Third-World countries:
“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”
“The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.”
It’s easy to consider these ideas in terms of how you’re affected by them. In the space below, or in a journal or a note-taking app, write out a few thoughts that these quotes inspire in regards to what’s going on in the lives of the people in you household:
Parent Follow-Up Material
This week we looked at the second lesson in our three-lesson look at God’s Sovereignty. It was a really great time of discussion and Bible study. We covered a lot, and hopefully we really challenged our students. I want to make sure you’re up to speed on what we covered so you can continue the discipleship process in your home. In this lesson your teenager learned that Jesus set aside His rights as sovereign king to come and suffer on behalf of sinners. Your teenager was challenged to practically define what it looks like for him or her to follow Christ’s example of humility towards others.
We looked at the following Scripture passages:
- John 10:11-18
- John 1:1-4
- Colossians 1:15-18
- Philippians 2:4-11
Take some time to review those together this week and add some of your own observations.
Next Steps . . .
During the next week as you have time to talk with your teenager, consider asking the following questions:
- What was the one thing you recall from your time in Bible study?
- Why do you think being humble isn’t something that’s really valued by our culture? What emotions or thoughts come to mind when you think about showing humility to your friends?
- How do you see humility playing out in our home life? Who in the family has shown humility lately? What did that make you feel like?
I’m so thankful to be a part of this with you. Know that I’m praying for you even today!