Below are all the daily devotionals from NYC 2019. Take some time to re-read them and reflect on what God has done.

Wednesday – Arriving…

The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is found in all four Gospels (Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19). Pick one and read it.

All the people in Jerusalem where amped up as Jesus entered the city. They were shouting the words “Hosanna (which means “Save us”)! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” However, in a crazy twist of events, at the end of that week the same people were shouting “Crucify!” at Jesus.

Why the change of heart? The answer: The people had the wrong expectation of Jesus. They wanted a revolution and for Jesus to overthrow the Roman government. They wanted Jesus to be a conquering King. Jesus did bring a revolution — not a political one but a spiritual one. The people turned on Jesus because He wasn’t what they expected.

As you enter Phoenix, what are your expectations of NYC 2019? Meet new friends? Meet your lifelong mate? Learn a deeper way to love? Don’t miss the point of NYC 2019.

Take a moment to journal about your expectations or share it with your youth group or youth pastor.

 

 

Thursday – Love God

Have you noticed that your love usually comes in the form of a response to something or someone? If you receive new pair of shoes, a puppy, new iPhone, your response is “I love it!” or “I love you” to the person who gave you the gift. Now take a moment to read 1 John 4:7-10.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

What is your response to a God that takes the initiative to love us first? Can you think of anything you’ve done to deserve this love from God? Romans 5:8 shows us how God demonstrated His love for us: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Take a moment to journal about God’s love or share it with your youth group or your youth pastor.

 

 

Friday – Love Others

Spoiler alert: At NYC 2019 you will be challenged to step out of your comfort zone and love people that you don’t know, love people that are different, and maybe even love people who do not like you. Is loving others that way even possible?

Let’s look at yesterday’s scripture one more time.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:7-10

This is what we know from this verse.
1. We are called to love one another.
2. God is the source of love.
3. When we love others, it shows that we know God.

Do you know God? Do you really know God? It will show in how you live and how you love. Remember, God is the source of love, so the love that you have in your life comes from God. If you share that love with others, all you are really doing is sharing the love of God to those who may need it more than you… or who may need it from you.

Take a moment to journal about knowing God or share it with your youth group or your youth pastor.

 

 

Saturday – Love Lived

First things first: Go get your Bible or pull up your Bible app and take a look at 1 John 4:7-21. It’s a quick read. And one word is going to jump off the page at you: LOVE. This passage is crammed full of love. For all of the books written and all the sermons preached about God, it really seems like all of them could be summarized right here in these words.

Verses 7 and 8 say this: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

And you, my friends, are the “dear friends” John is talking to here. You are the ones who are empowered to love — to love God and each other. So today — as you talk with your friends, talk about your friends, talk to God, attend another session, stand in line for food, literally whatever you do — when you do these things with a pure love, know that you are sharing God with the world, for God is love. You, dear friends, are love lived.

 

 

Sunday – GO

We have one word — love — that we use to express a whole huge range of things. I love my cat. I love all cats. I love the Dodgers. I love thunderstorms. I love my grandma. I love it when I set my alarm wrong and get to sleep in. All these are certainly loves, but they are different types of love. Some of these loves cost more and ask more from us. Your relationship with your alarm (as legit as it might be) doesn’t require nearly as much from you as your cat… or your grandma.

People require the greatest amount of love from us. Everyone we come in contact with needs love in a specific and real way that is, likely, super different from how the next person needs love. It means we need to pay attention, listen, and show up.

Jesus gives us such an incredible example of what this looks like. He cares for people differently depending on where they are at and the circumstances of their lives. Their stories really matter to Him. And He did this not just for individuals but for whole groups of people — like when He looked at a crowd of thousands, had compassion for their hunger and exhaustion, and turned five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish into a meal for all.

The love we have to give is a love straight from God. And it is more than enough to meet the needs of the individuals around us. It is even more than enough to take care of whole groups of people. So, today, how does God want to send out love through you? Who is God sending you to?

 

 

Monday – Headed home…

You’re probably a little bit ready to sleep in your own bed but probably not quite ready to leave yet. Returning home after a huge experience like NYC is surreal and challenging. You might be wondering how you’re going to keep up the commitments you made or if you’ll stay as close with your friends from youth group or when you’ll ever get back to enjoy the lovely desert heat of Phoenix in July ever again…

Take this encouragement with you today and as you leave NYC: The same God of love that met you here throughout this week is the same God of love that will meet you back home. God is everywhere, always. Through the incredible and powerful gift of the Holy Spirit, we are filled up with God, who is the very essence and nature of love.

So, you don’t leave here alone. You leave here with a ton of new knowledge, friends, memories, and tan lines. You also leave here with the friendship and nearness of the Holy Spirit, who will never leave you nor forsake you.