Lesson 19: God’s Plan for You
Lesson 19, Devotion 1
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” - John 15:13
At the center of everything is LOVE! Did you know that according to psychologists, even ones who don't even believe in God, that the number one need human beings have is to be connected to one another? When that connection is healthy, it's because it is full of love. When love is absent, people act out in all sorts of dysfunctional and destructive behaviors. With this need being universally understood, we are in a very strong position to share some amazing news with our friends and family.
Check out John 15:9-17
Share this love. Whether or not your friends show it, they are in desperate need of being seen and being loved. We know that God does this perfectly for us, as He showers His people with His love and grace. Jesus modeled this for us by clarifying that a true friend is willing to lay down their lives for their friends, and then did exactly that. He now puts the question to us, “Are we willing to lay down our lives for our friends? To do whatever it takes so that some might be saved?”
Think about this:
Do you understand how deep the Father’s love is for you? Do you need to stop for a minute and soak up this reality and embrace that you are connected to the loving creator of the universe and that He sees you and loves you?
What are some practical ways that you can share God’s love with your friends and family?
What are some ways you could help your friends feel seen, connected, cared for, and loved?
Lesson 19, Devotion 2
Read this quote and think about it today:
“Courage comes from a heart that is convinced it is loved.” - Beth Moore
As you muster up the courage to share your faith, are you convinced you are loved?
How do you know?
Spend some time today reminding yourself of God’s love for you. He’s given you tons of opportunity to feel it. Look for some. And thank Him accordingly.
Lesson 19, Devotion 3
“And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” -- Ephesians 4:24
Is your faith alive in you? A good gut check is to ask yourself the question, "If being a Christian was a crime, would there be enough evidence in your life to convict you?" This question was one I was challenged with when I was in high school and one that I often reflect on. All of this talk of sharing our faith and loving our friends falls flat if it is not alive in you, to begin with.
It is important to re-set our walk with Jesus, no matter where we have been lately, today we get to start fresh. This passage in Ephesians walks us through this process.
Check Ephesians 4:22-24.
It’s like getting ready for prom after a good workout. Getting dressed up for a special occasion is always fun. But imagine you just finished working out, you are sweaty and smelly, and in an hour or so you are supposed to pick up your date for prom. What would you do? You would take off your stinky clothes, take a shower, and get dressed up in some sweet duds. This is the exact same process we go through to set apart Christ as Lord.
Think about this:
4:22 says we are to put off our old self. Take some time to confess how you have been distant in your walk with Jesus. Confess your sin, rebellion, pain, fear, anxiety. When we confess, it is like taking off smelly clothes.
4:23 says we are to renew our minds. Just like how a shower cleans your body, so we need God to cleanse our minds to wash out the lies and remind us of the truth. Think about all the amazing truths you know about God.
4:24 says we are to put on our new self. For prom, you have fancy clothes. For the life of faith, you also have fancy clothes; they are the likeness of Christ. What does it look like to wear love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control as you are now ready to engage the world for the glory of God?