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 links below for some daily devotional guides. Parents, there's also some follow-up material for you to use with your students!
Student Daily Devotionals
Devotions For Students
Lesson 1: Creator King
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” ¾ Job 38:4-7
If you pay attention to how many people act, it’s tempting to be an “expert” on things we know nothing about. We see this in sports arenas when a coach calls a play that the fans disagree with, or even online when a person feels slighted and rants about it. Maybe you even have this problem in your own life as you give advice to others on how they should do something differently.
Flip that around, though. Think about how you’ve felt in the past when someone tried to tell you about something you clearly knew more about than they did. You probably struggled somewhere between biting your tongue and wanting to say, “Seriously? Let me tell you how little you actually know.”
Read the passage from Job through that lens. Job is basically questioning God, asking why things in life can be so tragic. The Lord replies by asking if Job really understands what he’s asking when, as a human, he can’t even understand how the world came to be! It’s a powerful reminder to Job that God is sovereign above all others.
Think About This . . .
- How do you feel realizing that you’ll never fully understand God? Even in heaven, He’ll still be God and you won’t be. Does that bother you?
- When have you felt like your questions for God needed answers, but instead of giving you a direct response He gave you His presence instead?
“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?” ¾ Proverbs 20:24
We really like having control over our lives. Or we like to think we do. The problem is that God gets to do as He pleases, even when we want to be our own authority. We can’t always do things our way.
What symbolizes this for you? Think about something in your life that would be hard to give up for a few days. Would you let someone else in your home hold your phone for you, only letting you know when an important call comes in? How about allowing a sibling or friend to change all the work you’ve put into a video game or online simulation you’ve spent hours working on? Would you let another person pick your clothes out for you?
If you were to play out one of the previously mentioned scenarios, it would be tough on you, right? The question is, why? It almost always boils down to trust.
Think About This . . .
- Who are the people you trust? Are there any areas in your life you wouldn’t trust them with?
- Is God someone you trust? Are there any areas in your life you wouldn’t trust Him with?
- How does it feel to not be in control? Is there anything positive that you sense from it?
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” ¾ Jeremiah 32:27
If you opened the top of a grand piano and shouted into the strings underneath, a few of them would begin to vibrate more than others. These would be the strings that are most in tune with the pitch of your voice. Different people would each experience different results with the same piano.
You see this in life all the time when two or more people attempt the same task and get different results. For example, some of us seem built more for athletics than others. Even twins from the same family often develop different interests. When you “shout into” life, you find some things are easier and resonate for you more than other things.
This is another area where God is different than us. Nothing is too difficult for Him, and everything vibrates when He speaks. Your life is lived at God’s mercy, but He has chosen to have you in this world. He wants you to be a part of His plan.
Reread the verse from Jeremiah and consider if you own its truth:
- When you pray, do you pray tame prayers that ask God to “get you through” something, or do you dig deep and ask Him to do the most miraculous thing possible?
- When life doesn’t change even after you pray, do you find yourself still willing to pray the next time with as much faith? Do you still see God as powerful?
“You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.” ¾ Psalm 119:68
This verse addresses the goodness of God, which is a characteristic of His that affects all of His other characteristics. It’s the core thought that underlines a quote from “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Upon first hearing about Aslan (the powerful lion King who rules over a magical realm called Narnia), a child asks two talking beavers if Aslan is safe. The reply is well worth considering:
“If there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than me or else just silly.”
'Then he isn't safe?' asked Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”
Something to think about . . .
- Would you rather God be safe or that He be good? Why?
- If God is good, much of what He does may not feel safe, like a doctor who approaches you with a needle full of medicine. Double check your answer from the previous question – would you answer any differently?
As this is the final day of devotions for this week, take a few minutes and use the space below to personalize your trust in God. On one side of the column is the phrase “Even if you don’t…” and on the other side is a resolve, “I will trust you by…” This is one way for you to declare your trust in God’s character and sovereignty. Try to think of as many examples as you can from your life, including your past, present and future.
Even if you don’t… I will trust you by…
Parent Follow-Up Material
elements | God’s Sovereignty
This week we started a three-week study on God’s Sovereignty. It’s a bit ironic for us to study this, because it’s a topic most of us struggle to understand. After all, if God has authority over everything then why is this world so messed up? That’s a fair question, and it will likely come up somehow with your son or daughter. We’re going to sort through this, even though, for centuries, Christ-followers have engaged in discussions about how precisely this plays out. While there may never be uniform agreement on the subject among the Church, we can all agree that it involves God personally caring about us, having a great plan for creation that will ultimately play out over time, and us having some capacity of choice regarding how we’ll join into or resist that. As you can see, it’s going to be a great time of learning and growth.
This week’s lesson focused on how God is the all-mighty creator king that calls us to follow and obey Him. We can all confidently trust and follow God, knowing that His purposes will ultimately prevail. While we live in a broken world (broken because humanity rebelled against God and the great gift He gives us), we have to remember that God is still sovereign. He’s still able to repair, restore and redeem anything broken, including you, your teenager, and me. Thankfully!
We looked at the following Scripture passages:
- Job 38:4-7
- Psalm 115:3
- Jeremiah 32:27
- Proverbs 20:24
- Proverbs 19:21
- Psalm 119:68
- Psalm 34:8
- Psalm 106:1
As always, if you take a moment to read those passages yourself I’m confident you’ll have an amazing conversation with your son or daughter.
Next Steps . . .
During the next week as you have time to talk with your teenager, consider asking the following questions:
· What most stood out to you in your lesson on God’s sovereignty?
· What about life do you wish you had more control over? Do you think God really has control over that, or do you think He’s more hands-off? Why?
· How can I pray for you, particularly as it applies to you trusting in God’s authority?
Thank you for what it means to partner with you in helping your teenager grow in their relationship with God. Look for another Parent Page from me soon.