Transformed – teen devotion – January 17, 2021

2020 was a tough year. As we look into the new year, what are some of the lessons we learn by looking back?

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34-35

Assisted living

We learned a new term this past year: social distancing. We did it to keep people physically safe. But social distancing has revealed just how much we need each other.

As human beings, we need connection with each other. God did not design us to go through life alone. This year we saw feelings of loneliness and isolation skyrocket.

At the same time, we saw people make connections with others in creative ways. Some wrote messages on the sidewalk. Others talked to their elderly parents through the window at a nursing home. Zoom became a household name for virtual connection. It’s clear that human beings crave love from others.

Jesus tells us that as his disciples we not only need connection and love from other people, we are designed to give love and connection to other people.

The way we are to love others is very specific. It’s the way he loved us.

Soak in the type of love Jesus has for you. It’s self-sacrificing (willingly dying on the cross is the best proof of his love). It’s patient. Kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always trusts. Always hopes. Always perseveres. Jesus’ kind of love never fails.

Jesus knew that we would be a light in a dark world if we loved other people this way. The world says “treat others as they treat you.” Believers in Christ shock everyone and say, “I will treat you as Jesus treats me.”

God made us to be rivers, not reservoirs. A reservoir stores things up. A river passes things on. Jesus gives us his amazing love so that we can be rivers and pass it on to others.

Do you need to be around a love-giving Christian today so they can pass on Jesus’ love to you? Who can you then pass that love onto? Call or text that person today. Or, visit them face to face if you can!

Prayer: Jesus, you love me with the best kind of love imaginable. You gave your all for me. Let me be a river and pass that love onto others in my life. Amen.


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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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