Good News Youth Devotional

By Eric Kauffman (Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adults at Bufffalo Valley Church of the Brethren)

John 14:18 “I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you.

Have you ever felt like you just didn’t belong, or like nobody sees you, or would miss you if you were gone? Have you ever felt abandoned? Have you ever felt like something must be wrong with you?

You are not alone! Apparently even people who walked with the Son of God felt this way. As Jesus said these words, He was getting ready to die and apparently leave the disciples – which is why Jesus gave this promise. Jesus is comforting his disciples before he leaves, and part of that comfort is direction in what to do when he isn’t there to show them. Several times in this teaching time, Jesus says – “if you love me, you will do what I command… my command is this – ‘Love each other.’” This is NOT a condition that we must fill so God will love us. Jesus is giving direction and purpose even when we are in the pits of despair. We need to lift our eyes beyond ourselves and show love to others. In this time of social distancing and quarantine, showing love to others might mean a message, a quick note or comment, or maybe even a phone call. It’s amazing how reaching out to someone else lifts OUR spirits. We realize not only that we are not alone, but that we do matter to someone else. We can help someone else. In giving love, we experience love; even more, we experience God.

Good News: We can experience God even when we feel alone. By loving others, we experience love and we experience God.

Discussion question: How can you reach out to show love to someone today?

Good News Youth Devotional

By Tyler Goss

John 14:1-17 “…trust in God…”

The first verse of John 14 doesn’t quite have the same punch unless you consider the passage before it. Chapter 13 ends with Jesus saying, “yeah…not trying to point any fingers here, but…one of you is definitely going to betray me **cough, cough, Judas, cough**” and then, after Judas awkwardly slips out, you, as the reader, think, “oh, Judas must just be the one bad apple out of the bunch. Surely, no other disciple will abandon Jesus like that.” But then good ol’ Peter chimes in, “Jesus, I would die for you.” Jesus, not missing a beat, replies “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” Or, as I like to think of it, Jesus says, “Die for me? Boy, please! You’re gunna turn your back on me before the rooster rolls out of bed in the mornin’!” Jesus’s closest friends don’t have his back when he needs them most. It’s like he’s saying, “friends…I can’t trust you.” But then Chapter 14 starts, and Jesus says, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” Whoa! Wait up. Hold the phone. Did you catch it? You put the end of Chapter 13 right up against the start of Chapter 14 and it’s like Jesus is saying, “Friends…I can’t trust you anymore…but you can trust me.” We don’t have to be perfect to still trust in the Lord. We can come with our doubts, our insecurities, even our denials of Jesus, but Jesus still says, “Trust me.” You may say, from time to time, “Jesus, I don’t know if can follow you like I once thought I could”, and Jesus lovingly replies, “that’s ok…I’m still in it for you.”

Good News: You can bring your doubts and insecurities to Jesus and trust that he will still be there for you.

Discussion question: What does it look like to trust in God?

Go one step further: Check out this song, “I Have Made Mistakes” from The Oh Hello’s