Good News Youth Devotional

By Marcus Harden

Colossians 1:24-2:7 “…continue to live in him…”

It’s 2020. For many of us, it doesn’t seem to be off to a good start. Parents are out of work; schools are closed; high school seniors aren’t getting to walk for graduation; loved ones are getting sick and/or passing away. Perhaps it’s safe to say we’ve all been going through stages of grief in our own ways during this unprecedented pandemic. And, when the winds and waves are rough, it can be tempting to settle for any voice that tries to tell give us meaning and purpose. Truth is there are many people and things whispering all kinds of messages into our ears and when the stakes are high, it is easy to listen to those whispers in the madness.

Consider the context of our text today. There were some false teachers speaking into the Colossian church. These teachers were trying to set aside Jesus’ work for us through His life, death and resurrection. His ministry was not enough in their philosophy. They believed that, on top of this grace received through faith—in order to truly be fulfilled—believers had to learn the hidden secrets of their teachings and follow their man made rules. They had to worship angels and understand dreams (Col. 2:18, 20-23). Do you know that modern hymn, “In Christ Alone… my hope is found?” Yeah, not for these teachers—Christ alone was not enough.

Yet in the midst of uncertainty, Paul whispered a different message to Christian believers: “…continue to live in Him, being rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith” (Col. 2:6). Paul says keep growing in your faith. Keep on the journey with Christ. Christ is your strength and portion, Christ gives you purpose, and Christ is enough. During this time when we are looking for comfort and hope in a pandemic looking for purpose and fulfillment in a new normal, may we remember to be guided and encouraged by the gospel of Christ alone. Don’t waste this moment chasing after the silly pleasures and secrets of the world. Use this time as an opportunity to grow deeper roots, to build good spiritual practices and maturity, to walk ever closer to Jesus.

Good News Prayer: God, help me to put my trust in You alone. Define me and give me purpose. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Discussion Question: What does putting trusting in Christ alone mean for you personally? What do you need to turn over to God?

Go one step further: “Walk of Faith”

Good News Youth Devotional

Colossians 1:15-23 “…now, he has reconciled you…”

By Douglas Hinton (Pastor at the Hempfield Church of the Brethren (PA))

The book of Colossians is found toward the latter half of the New Testament between Philippians and Thessalonians. In six short verses, Paul lays the foundational truth of who Jesus was, what He did, and what was accomplished through His death on the cross. Paul states that Jesus was the image, or icon, of the invisible God, meaning the exact representation. He further states that by Jesus, all things were created and hold together. Jesus was the firstborn from the dead and is the head of the church. And here’s the thing: the fullness of God…His very presence, essence and life, dwelt in Christ on the cross – reconciling all things on earth and heaven back to Himself through Christ’s blood. Blood=life of a being. In order to make things right between all of creation and God, Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, gave up everything so that we can have a life of peace with God. If Immanuel, God with us, stood before you and I, would we recognize Him, follow Him, do as He did? Jesus built a bridge between God and man through His life and death. How are we being called to continue the work He begun?

Good News: Jesus bridged the gap between God and us – we need only accept His gift!

Discussion Question: What does it mean in your life for Jesus to build the bridge between God and you?

Go one step further: Who do you need to bridge the gap with? Ask God to bring someone to mind in prayer: maybe a parent, teacher, friend, or sibling. Start the conversation, seek forgiveness, follow Jesus and bridge the gap.

Good News Youth Devotional

By Linetta Ballew ( Assistant Director, Brethren Woods Camp & Retreat Center (VA))

Colossians 1:1-14 “…we have not stopped praying for you…”

Today we begin to read someone else’s mail. What we call Colossians was originally a letter, sent by Paul who was in prison, to the church in Colossae, a small and insignificant city in the Lycus Valley, about 100 miles from Ephesus. Even though Paul had never been to Colossae to meet with the church there, he begins his letter by telling them that he, and Timothy, “our brother” (vs. 1) and partner in sharing the Good News, have been praying for them and thanking God for them because they “have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven” (vs. 4-5).

Paul and Timothy “have not ceased (stopped) praying for you” (vs. 9) and he outlines specifically what they have been praying for. First, they have been asking that the Colossians would be “filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (vs. 9). This knowledge and wisdom and understanding is not an end to itself. Instead, like good soil, they are praying secondly that it will produce “lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him” (vs. 10), as the Colossians continue to bear and grow good fruit among themselves and throughout the whole world. Their third prayer is that they may “be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power” so that they will “be prepared to endure everything with patience” (vs. 11). And finally, Paul and Timothy have been praying that the Colossians will continue to remember the hope of the Good News they have through Jesus Christ and will keep on “joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light” (vs. 12).

Knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Practical, worthy living. Spiritual strength to endure. Hope and joy. These are the promises made to, and the signs of, those who have been “rescued…from the power of darkness and transferred…into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (vs. 13-14).

Good News: Even when we feel small and insignificant, because we are part of the family of God, by the grace of God, we are remembered in prayer, rescued, transferred, redeemed, and forgiven.

Discussion Question: Do you know someone who prays for you and thanks God for you? Someone who never stops praying for you? What do you feel like you need most for the coming day or week – knowledge/wisdom/understanding? worthy living? spiritual strength? hope and joy?

Go one step further: If you know someone who never stops praying for you, reach out to them today to say thank you for remembering you. Share with them what you feel you need most right now so they can be praying specifically for that.

Consider who God might be calling you to remember in prayer and give thanks for. Choose a creative prayer reminder (like a photo of that person placed where you’re sure to see it, a post-it note on your mirror or fridge, a task or location that’s part of your daily routine, or an object you’ll carry with you) to prompt you to pray.

Check out some Simple ( and Creative ( Prayer Ideas from 24-7 Prayer, including ideas for Praying on the Move (