Good News Youth Devotional

By Seth Hendricks (Pastor of Youth & Congregational Life at the Manchester Church of the Brethren)

Colossians 2:8-23 “…the reality is found in Christ.”

Friends, you do not need me to tell you what a unique time we are living in. I imagine we will be hearing and sharing stories, memories, etc…about this specific time in history for many years to come. However, what will the fruits of this time bear? Does it feel like your life has radically changed? How are you living into these new realities?

As followers of Christ, those last two questions are particularly interesting to reflect on in these times. Of course things have changed dramatically and new realities exist, and yet, this should not be unfamiliar territory for us, right? This letter in Colossians is not just a reminder of that but a connection point back to the early church. Followers of Christ who don’t just need a reminder, they need a reality check. To summarize: Hey Colossians! Stop seeking to find life in what the world offers. Remember your baptism? Your call into new life, to be radically changed from dead and old ways? This reality, this fullness of life is found in Christ.

So maybe this unique time can also be a reality check for us. When we become overwhelmed by the rapid changes and shifts to our day to day realities, remember we are called into these kinds of places. To live into the reality that is found in Christ. A life in all its fullness.

Good News: We can do this! We are equipped to shine bright in these times. Remember, the fullness of life that is found in Christ.

Discussion Question: In these times, where are you uncovering and awakening this fullness of life?

Go one step further:

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”