Welcome to REBOOT Devotionals!
Every day from now until Amplified, we’ll have a devotional from one of the youth pastors to help guide you as we spend this week thinking about and meditating on what God is like!
We’ll be exploring all about God’s: Beauty, Power, Holiness, Justice, Mercy, Faithfulness, and Gentleness.
We hope that this week leading up to Amplified, you will join us youth pastors in seeking to get to know God better by meditating on what he is like. King David in the Bible wrote about this when he said:
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
We pray that this week will be one where you “gaze on the beauty of the Lord and seek Him”!
March 9th — REBOOT Day 7
The Goodness of God
by Austin (KG)
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:8-9
Hey everyone! Amplified is tonight and I hope you are getting pumped up to worship and have our hearts fully focused on God! One of my biggest struggles is trusting on whether God really has a good plan for me, but I hope this devotional will show you how amazing our Father is!
The best way to start off this devotional is to really pause for a second and reflect on all the blessings in our life. If you really break down our lives, nothing we have right now can be attributed to us! Praise God for loving parents who sacrifice for us and allow us to go to school. Praise God for the mind he has given us to be creative and to comprehend the things around us.
Sometimes we can’t see it, but our God is TRULY GOOD and desires for us to be more like Him. The keyword to God’s goal for us is to be “In Christ” in all that we do. He is not ultimately interested in our academic success, in good health, or in having a good relationship with others, but he is ultimately interested in our holiness and being more like Him.
To that extent, it means that God will do what he thinks will make us more willing to trust Him and to see that this world is fleeting. God is interested in our eternal salvation and our eternal relationship with Him. The only way to God is through the repentance of our sins and to fully trust in Him.
Psalm 34:8 says to “Taste and see that the LORD Is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” This is my prayer for you all today. That you will recognize that our God is good in any situation. That the pains and bad things you might be going through, is to lead us to repentance and to not rely on our own strength anymore. Praying for you all and hope you had a really good time with Jesus today ?
March 8th — REBOOT Day 6
By Allan (Journey)
“By the humility and the gentleness of Christ I appeal to you,” – 2 Corinthians 10:1
A darkened sky during a dark hour filled the backdrop of a small hill in Jerusalem, where three crosses stood. Three warnings, three expressions of Roman justice and power, three reminders of how “the world” works. There upon the middle cross, with his hands and feet pierced, his naked body beaten and scourged, hung the Son of God. Innocent and betrayed, surrounded by insults and slander, God made flesh, looked down. His brow swollen from a crown of thorns, he spoke to the very men, to the authorities, to the leaders who had sentenced him to execution, to the men who hammered the long spikes into his body. In one of the clearest depictions of God’s power he said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
Too many people today, still think of God as this bully in the sky waiting to zap them for what they do wrong. They depict a God who basically hates us, whose constantly in a terrible mood, and the best you can do, is not get on his bad side. When we want to know God, to know what he is really like, we have only one place we need to look: to Jesus. Jesus is the very image of God, an exact imprint of who God is. He is God made flesh. When God became flesh in Christ, he showed us himself in a way far beyond anything before, not by giving us a list of his attributes, but by giving us a life, a witness, an example. The life of Jesus shows us that God is gentle, not a violent, angry bipolar bully. He showed us that God’s power isn’t coercive, isn’t vindictive. God has no interest in flexing his muscles. He shows us that true strength, real power, is gentle.
Gentleness is the demeanor of a people who are formed by compassion and patience. Another way the Bible speaks of Gentleness is with the phrase meekness. In God’s kingdom, the meek are blessed, not the bullies. Gentleness in our culture isn’t valued, especially for young men, but there is nothing strong or manly about being tough, harsh and callous. Truly righteous people don’t subdue the world, they don’t conquer others, they don’t spend their time trying to win, or picking on other peoples faults and failures to make themselves feel bigger or better; they make peace. The gentle are bridge builders, using the bricks of forgiveness to make paths in the desolate places of our world.
This is what God does, this is who He is. Father Greg Boyle, ministers among some of the most violent gangs in Los Angeles. He says, “Kindness is the only strength there is.” There is nothing weak about Jesus decision to forgive even those who murdered him. The cross, in all it’s brutality, exudes God’s power more clearly than all the miracles and wonders of the biblical heroes. Scriptures tells us that God’s kindness draws us to repentance.
The psalmist tells us that God is slow to anger, rich in love, abounding in mercy. We need to get the angry bully in the sky out of our head and start reimagining God more accurately in the gentleness of Jesus.
God is like a shepherd who searches for his lost sheep.
God is the Father longing for the prodigal to return home.
God is like the mother hen who gathers her chicks under her wings in the midst of fire and storm.
God is like Jesus forgiving his enemies.
And because this is who God is, we can know that he relates to us the same way. We can trust that he is good, that he is for us and not against us, and that God is gentle with us. We need God to be gentle because the truth is, all of us are much more fragile than we want to admit. We turn to those bullying ways to mask our weakness, to give the illusion of strength. So not only must we get rid of the bully in the sky, we need to let go of the bully in our heart. The one too afraid to admit our pain and weakness, too afraid to be really seen.
Take some time to think about the character of Jesus. How did Jesus treat others, who did He spend time with? How do you think Jesus would speak and act with you, what do you think he wants to say to you?
March 7th — REBOOT Day 5
by Jamieson (AGIF Youth)
I love movies. Movies take me away to an imaginative place of fantasy, romance, drama, and of course ACTION. One of my favorite movies of all time is an old Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer box office smash called Armageddon. Armageddon is a science fiction film which follows a group of blue-collar drillers sent by NASA to stop a gigantic asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
In this epic comedy action film, there’s a scene where they have to diffuse a nuclear bomb in order to save humanity… In my own imagination, I’ve always
wanted to be that hero that diffuses a bomb, saves the world, and of course falls in love with the amazingly beautiful girl from next door.
Did you know that the Bible says that diffusing bombs is an essential component to being a Christian?
Have you noticed that society has become more and more performance based, with harsh demand and merciless fight? Have you also noticed that these days our society is one where an argument can easily escalate to the point where a single harsh word can cause an explosion of anger? A quick look at the news reveals school shootings, hate crimes, and acts of terrorism. A small single incident can start the timer on a bomb whose blast can deal out sorrow and endless regret.
God knew society would move in this direction, and He armed us with the BOMB DEFUSING TOOL KIT! In a passage dealing with trouble between believers, Paul advises, “Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5). He lists gentleness among the qualities with which we should cloth ourselves: “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12). And the apostle Peter says that a gentle spirit “is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4).
In this BOMB DIFFUSING TOOL KIT, we find that a gentle word, with a feather-light touch, can remove the timer, fuse, or whatever might trigger such an explosion. And those who were arguing can step back, take a breath, and avoid incalculable damage to their relationships.
This is all well and good, you may say, until that someone spreads false rumors about you, or someone bullies you and makes you a social outcast, or someone acts in a condescending manner toward you because of your race or nationality. Is it even possible to show gentleness all the time? When we look deeper into the BOMB DIFFUSING TOOL KIT, we find this thing called a yolk. A yolk was a heavy wooden bar that a farmer would place across the necks of two oxen so that they were forced to work together. The purpose was not just to get twice as much work done; more than anything, the yoke was a training device.
How the heck do you use a yolk to be gentle and diffuse a bomb?!?!
When an ox reached the point when it could begin plowing, a farmer would team it up with an older, more experienced animal. In this way the younger, more stubborn ox would be forced to walk in step with the stronger animal who led the way.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest …”
Matthew 11:29 —
The yoke Jesus refers to has a lot to teach us about how to produces gentleness within us. We don’t need to worry about producing gentleness ourselves. All we need to do is to stay closely connected to Jesus and you’ll find us liberally diffusing the real bombs in our personal lives today.
March 6th — REBOOT Day 4
by Cameron (Reflect)
Through reading the news or even looking at your own life you may commonly encounter stories about one or even all of the following situations: abortion, racism, mass shootings, prejudice, being lied on or about, people who are mean, and bullies. In fact, you might not have just heard of one of these stories, you may have lived through similar stories. The fact that such situations happen so regularly lets us know that our world is broken and hurting. These things cause us to cry out for justice. Yet, in today’s world, justice seems to be in short supply. As a Christian, you will be taught not to take revenge, because revenge is something God will do on your behalf.
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Yet, in a world where justice seems to be lacking, as the unrighteous thrive and those who try to live righteously seem to be rolled over, questions might arise in your head.
Why, is God’s justice taking so long?
Is God’s justice coming?
When will God’s justice arrive?
Has God’s justice already come, and this is it?
Why is it best for God to take revenge on my behalf, instead of me giving out my own brand of justice?
God’s justice seems too harsh and may even not be effective, why should I follow God with his type of justice?
Those are some great questions. Let’s dive into God’s justice and hopefully many of those questions will be answered for you.
Part 2-Describing God’s Justice
God’s Justice Is…
1. Based Upon God’s Awesomeness, His Holiness, and His Eternal, Unchanging Standards
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear.
God is our creator. Therefore, he is the greatest, the mightiest, the most awesome being in existence. He alone is holy, all knowing, eternal, and unchanging. Human beings are frail, limited, and prone to error. However, Christ is none of those things. He is all powerful. He is limitless, and he is perfect. This enables the “work of justice to flow freely from his holy nature.” Who God is, allows his justice to be the best justice anyone could ask for.
So, the burden of carrying out justice (i.e. judging what consequences someone should face), and making the world just, does not ultimately fall to us. It falls to Jesus and God’s standards. I hope that this is a relieving and unburdening truth.
Yet, this truth doesn’t change the fact that sometimes it seems like the world isn’t fair and justice doesn’t exist.
2. Patient (Just Deserts)
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Desert is often the part of a meal saved until the very end. It is many people’s favorite part of a meal. Typically, it is sweet, high in calories, and low in its ability to fill up someone’s stomach. That’s why it works perfectly at the end of a meal, because by that point you don’t have to worry about saving room in your stomach for your tasty, nutritious, main course. The term “just deserts” usually refers to someone finally getting what they deserve. Much like with deserts in a nice meal, “just deserts” don’t happen until the very end. That’s how God’s justice works.
God’s justice is only delayed, but its closing in. The delay is not due to incompetence, nor is it an oversight. The delay is purposeful. God is seeking to give all a chance to repent. To turn their thoughts, feelings, and actions from where they were before, towards him. In doing so, all receive the equal opportunity to gain forgiveness of their sins and to enter into a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
God’s patience requires us to exercise our own patience, as God’s justice rarely occurs on our timetable. Because God’s timing is different than our own, it may be easy to get discouraged if you don’t hold on to the fact that God is the greatest, the mightiest, the most awesome being in existence and that on a day appointed by God, everyone will receive their “just deserts. “Moreover, because of who he is, none are better suited to give out “just deserts.”
3. For God’s Glory
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Human justice has many different motivations. Sometimes it’s based on favoritism. Sometimes it’s based on our fickle feelings. Other times it’s based on a desire to gain an advantage. Most humans feel good about a form a justice based on some sort of moral or ethical code. Yet, God’s justice is for none of those things. God’s justice is ultimately for his glory. God’s justice is about applying consequences that meet his standards and in doing so gives him the most glory. That is why, when God would rather have changed the standard then see his son die, God still allowed his only son Jesus Christ to die a horrible death on the cross for all of our sins. The results of that death allowed God to receive the most glory through human beings now having the opportunity to have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Part 3-Reflection Questions
God’s justice is unlike any other form of justice this world has seen or will see. Sometimes you may not fully understand God’s justice and it may be hard to wait for his justice to arrive, but in the end, it will be well worth the wait.
1. What are some benefits of God’s justice over all other forms of justice?
2. What situations in the world do you feel currently require God’s justice? What situations in your life are you hungry to see God’s justice?
3. Take a moment to pray for the things you mentioned in question 2. Pray that God’s favor, grace, and justice enters those situations.
March 5th — REBOOT Day 3
The Holiness of God
by Austin (KG)
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the
grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be
conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who
called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy,
for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:13-16
On the third day of your Reboot fast, we are going to focus on the Holiness of God and what
that means for us. I think when we see the term holiness and how the Bible tells us to be holy, it
is so easy to feel self-doubt because we know we fall so short and holiness sounds like a set of
rules we have to follow. But when you actually look at the definition of holiness, you can see
that its not necessarily how we need to behave but to have a relationship and perspective on
who God is.
The first thing is to recognize that our God is Holy! He is completely separated from Sin and
Death. He is the eternal one, the beginning and the end! Our holiness can only come from a
right relationship with God which starts by believing in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. If we
do not place our faith in God’s son alone to save us from sin, then it is impossible to recognize
that we are set apart from this world and we cannot truly pursue holiness.
So what does it mean to be holy? When God told Israel to be holy in Leviticus 19, He was
encouraging them to be distinct and different from the other nations around them by giving
them specific instructions on how to live. God wanted the world to know that his people are
special and they are no longer governed by the rules or culture of this world.
In 1 Peter 1:13-16, you see a very clear encouragement for us to be sober and thoughtful with
how we follow God, to be focused on his grace through Jesus Christ, and to flee from lust so
that we can be fully engaged in following God.
I think that’s what my prayer for you today is. To not just blend in with the world but to be
distinct and different. I have heard so many stories of students coming to Christ because they
saw that their Christian friends approached life and school differently, and had a clear peace
about them when trouble arose. Please continue to pursue holiness because it is a great
witness to others. Continue to live in the word of God and to love others all around us and you
will see God do incredible things for His Kingdom!
March 4th — REBOOT Day 2
The Power of God
by Kenny (SOAR)
You’ll need a open word document or preferably a pen and paper for today’s devo. Go and get it! I’ll wait for you here. Today we’re gonna spend time meditating on the power of God. There’s some things that may seem like school assignments (yuck!) but try not to treat them that way. They’re meant to be tools you can use to spend time thinking about what God is like. So if they make it harder, don’t use them! But give it a shot and see if they help you spending some time focusing on God’s greatness and power.
Pray and ask God to reveal his POWER to you during this time.
Read Job 38-41.
(I know it’s long, but hey, you’ve got time)
As you’re reading it, keep a list of “Things God Understands” and “Things God Controls”
After compiling this list, how do you compare to God? How does man compare to God? Write a comparison. Read Job 40:3-5. Write out a prayer of humility to God.
Think about implications. An implication is what follows from a fact. For example, IF God is King, THEN _______ (he has authority to tell the world what to do).
Finish these sentence and take some time to meditate on these truths about God and what they mean for you, your life, and the world. Write down as many endings to these sentences that you can think of, and meditate and think about them.
If God created the whole world, then ____________________________
If nothing exists without God sustaining it, then ____________________.
Come up with a couple more “If… then…” sentences from what you’ve read.
Write out a prayer of worship to God, praising him for all these things you’ve just meditated on.
March 3rd — REBOOT Day 1
by Annalisa from Anchor
The Beauty of God
Stradbroke Island, an island off the coast of Australia is the second largest sand island in the world. It’s a veritable treasure trove of rare and endangered land and sea creatures. I happen to live quite close to this exotic island and although I have been there many times, when overlooking the cliffs and shorelines it always seems to leave me breathless. I am struck by its beauty. What strikes me most are all the different shades of blue that the waters seem to possess, and the way the light reflects off the water… And if you look closely, in the distance whales are springing out of the water. I can’t help but be overwhelmed by such splendor.
There are times when creation at its best can reveal something of God’s nature. We read in Romans 1:20 (AMP) where Paul writes…
“For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made].”
While looking out at the brilliance of all the colors in the water and nature, I see the power and genius characteristic of our God… the beauty of the Lord.
An unknown author once wrote, “Creation reflects this beauty the way a piece of art reflects its artist.” David seemed to also have this revelation about the beauty of God through creation and sings, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And the expanse [of heaven] is declaring the work of His hands.” (Psalm 19:1)
The Lord reveals Himself through worship as this is the place where we can express our wonder and “gaze upon the beauty [the delightful loveliness and majestic grandeur] of the Lord and to meditate in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
When the apostle John encountered God, he saw Him sparkling like precious stones, encircled by an emerald rainbow (Rev 4:2-3). When God reveals Himself, He is found to be not only good and powerful, but beautiful too.
A common mistake we tend to make is getting caught up in worshiping the creation (Rom 1:25) instead of the Creator, which is a shame. Instead, may the grandeur of this world’s creation from the ocean to the mountains and valleys reflect the beauty of its Creator and it may it leave us in awe and wonder. As John said when He encountered God, “Holy Holy [is the] Lord God, The Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all], who was and who is and who is to come [the unchanging, eternal God].” (Rev 4:8)
Let’s join creation and enter into worship together, focusing on His immeasurable beauty.