Conversations With Jesus
11 Day Devotional
Select a day to get started:
DAY ONE - Sunday, July 30 Reading
Conversation: Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler
Read: Matthew 19:16-30
Main Idea: Surrender
Jesus had a conversation with a wealthy young man who had lived well and obeyed the ten commandments. He asked Jesus an important question, “What good deed must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus explained that the only thing left for the young man to do is to sell his possessions and follow Him. The young man wanted eternal life, but he also wanted to live in the comfort of his own possessions. The main idea is that to follow Jesus, the young man must surrender every part of his life.
So what? The conversation between Jesus and the rich young ruler calls us to evaluate what in our lives we have not surrendered so that we can follow Him. It can be a possession that we need to surrender, but mostly, it is our time, our attention, our relationships, or anything that keeps us from following Jesus. The young man valued his wealth more than he valued Jesus. It can be so easy to value our status, time, and belongings more than we value spending time with God.
Next Step: Write down what you felt God calling you to surrender at MOTION Conference.
DAY TWO - Monday, July 31st Reading
Conversation: Jesus and the Father of a Boy with an Unclean Spirit
Read: Mark 9:14-29
Main Idea: Growing in Faith
The conversation between Jesus and the boy’s father shows us that faith is something that can grow. The boy's father came to the disciples because he knew their reputation for healing. When the disciples could not cast out the demon, he began to doubt. When he approached Jesus, he said, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus built up his faith by declaring that all things are possible for those who believe. Instead of continuing to doubt, the boy’s father prayed a powerful prayer, “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” The main idea is that Jesus can do anything; it is never his power that needs to grow, but rather our faith.
So what? If we want to see God work in our’s and others’ lives, it requires faith. Faith, simply put, is trust. When we believe in God, we have faith in Him, meaning we trust He is who He says He is. When we are faced with seemingly impossible life circumstances, we should not doubt God’s power, but instead, pray for God to increase our faith and help us overcome our unbelief.
Next Step: Write down what you’re believing God for and pray over it!
DAY THREE - Tuesday, August 1 Reading
Conversation: Jesus and Peter
Read: Mark 11:12-25
Main Idea: The Power of ForgivenessJesus demonstrated his power over the earth when he cursed the fig tree and it withered. Peter was stunned at Jesus’s power and Jesus responded by explaining that they, too, have power through their faith. Jesus called Peter and the disciples to pray and to forgive anyone who they held something against. Powerful prayers are backed by faith in God and the freedom of forgiveness. The main idea is that we have access to God through forgiveness.
So What? Think about a moment when you have had to forgive someone and think of a moment when you had to ask for forgiveness. Both forgiving others and asking for forgiveness requires you to humble yourself. Repeatedly God tells us that he gives grace to the humble; therefore in prayer, we humble ourselves by forgiving others and asking for forgiveness ourselves.
Next Step: Take time today in prayer to intentionally forgive those who have wronged you.
DAY FOUR - Wednesday, August 2 Reading
Conversation: Jesus and the Criminals on the Cross
Read: Luke 23:39-43
Main Idea: Compassion
While Jesus was being crucified, two criminals were being crucified beside him. Both criminals were in the same position but had vastly different perspectives towards Jesus. The first criminal continued mocking Jesus as he had undoubtedly heard from the crowds and Roman guards and displayed no remorse for his deserved punishment. The second criminal expressed deep remorse for his crimes and boldly expresses Jesus’ innocence. The second criminal had one request with one of his last breaths, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Jesus in the midst of his own agony granted access to this criminal saying, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
So what? This conversation between Jesus and the two criminals calls us to examine our own view of Jesus. Do we simply see him as a cheap way out of our problems or as a sacrificial Savior who paid the ultimate price through a sinner's death on the cross? The second criminal proves that our faith is not built on works or achievements but only on the grace and mercy of Jesus. He never attended a church service, gave a tithe, or got baptized, yet his faith in Jesus gave him direct access to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Next Step: Pray and thank Jesus for dying on the cross for you!
DAY FIVE - Thursday, August 3 Reading
Conversation: Jesus and the Blind Beggar
Read: Luke 18:35-43
Main Idea: Healer
As Jesus was on his way to Jericho, his journey was interrupted by the shouts of a blind beggar in desperate need of help. This beggar was given strict instructions by everyone around him to be quiet and save his requests for another time. Jesus ignored the loud complaints and responded to the faith-filled plea of the blind beggar. Jesus acknowledged his faith by restoring his sight and the man immediately followed Jesus expressing praise and adoration towards Him. The spectators joined him by praising God in light of this miraculous healing.
So what? Jesus was so profound in his ability to see beyond the crowd and notice the people the crowd was ready to move past. The blind beggar was probably used to shouting for attention as his well-being depended on other people’s generosity due to his condition. Jesus was not about to let the faith and desperation of this man go unnoticed. You may have expressed faith in the past and felt silenced by those around you or even the hopelessness of your current circumstance, but know that Jesus is attentive and ready to respond to the faith of those who believe in Him.
Next Step: Write down today what area of your life you need God the most and invite Him there.
DAY SIX – Friday, August 4 Reading
Conversation: Jesus and the Enemy
Read: Matthew 4:1-16
Main Idea: Overcoming Temptation
In chapter three of Matthew, Jesus had an amazing moment with God the Father. Right after this, Jesus was led out into the desert to be tempted by the enemy. While being tempted by the enemy, Jesus quoted the word of God to combat the enemy three times. The main idea is that when tempted, Jesus did not use His strength to continue; he relied on God’s Word.
So what? After a huge moment in God’s presence like MOTION Conference, you will walk back into your home, school, and other places that may not be filled with the presence of God. Unlike Jesus, we are not God; therefore, even more so, we need to rely on the Word of God to fight temptation. The enemy would love to tempt you to believe that what God did at MOTION was not real. God wants to use you to reach the world, which means we must learn to fight the enemy, not with our strength, but with the Word of God.
Next Step: Think about the area where you feel tempted the most and find a verse that you can fight that temptation with.
DAY SEVEN - Saturday, August 5 Reading
Conversation: Jesus and Martha
Read: Luke 10:38-42
Main Idea: God’s Presence
On their way to Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples were invited into the home of Martha and her sister, Mary. Martha was busy preparing a meal and doing her best to host the Savior of the universe. Martha was frustrated that while she was busy working on dinner, her sister Mary was simply lounging at the feet of Jesus listening to his teaching. Jesus lovingly told Martha that Mary’s choice to be close to Him was more important than the tasks Martha was concerned about.
So what? Have you ever been stressed or anxious? It’s a feeling that we all can relate to and it is clear to see that Martha was stressed to the max. However, the issue is not her anxiety, but her response to the anxiety by lashing out at her sister. When we are stressed our best place to turn is entering His presence, not addressing our frustrations against others. Laying unresolved problems at the feet of Jesus is far better than working tirelessly to solve our own problems without Him. We will never be problem-free on this earth, but we have access to Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, so let's make every effort to enter His presence daily.
Next Step: Go to a place of solitude and get alone with God today. Listen to worship music, pray, and read scripture.
DAY EIGHT - Sunday, August 6 Reading
Conversation: Jesus and Nicodemus
Read: John 3:1-15
Main Idea: New Life
Nicodemus was a Pharisee, so he knew the Old Testament better than most people. His people, the people of Israel, were waiting for God to send a Savior so that their Kingdom would be restored. Nicodemus asked Jesus if He really was the Savior spoken about in the Old Testament who will bring the new Kingdom. Instead of answering with a simple yes or no, Jesus told Nicodemus that to see the New Kingdom of God, he must be “born again.” Of course, no one can be physically born again, but we can be spiritually born again. The main idea here is that seeing the Kingdom of God comes after believing in Jesus.
So What? The conversation Jesus has with Nicodemus shows us that the first step is to believe in Jesus. So often, we want God to show us miracles or proof that He is the Savior. Instead of seeing to believe, Jesus asks us to believe before we can see. So how are we born again? By making the decision to believe in Jesus and live our lives in His Kingdom, not our own. The symbol of being born again is water baptism. Jesus himself was water baptized as a symbol of the new Kingdom's coming. In the same way, once you believe in Jesus, water baptism is the best next step to symbolize your new life in Christ.
Next Step: If you have not been water baptized since starting a relationship with Jesus, that is your next step! If you are a Highlands Student, water baptism will be available at Motion Night on Wednesday
DAY NINE - Monday, August 7 Reading
Conversation: Jesus and Peter
Read: John 21:15-24
Main Idea: Combatting Comparison
The story of Peter is amazing. Peter did the worst thing imaginable and denied knowing Jesus three times in John 18, but Jesus took the time to forgive and restore him. Jesus asked Peter three times in a row if he loved him to combat the three times that he denied him. After Peter was restored to ministry, he was insecure about John walking with them and asked Jesus about him. Jesus reminded Peter that his only assignment is to follow Him and not to worry about what other people are doing. The main idea is that God has a plan and purpose for each person individually.
So What? Just like Peter, we are called to do something for God. And just like Peter, most of us deal with insecurity and compare ourselves to other people. Once God has restored us from our past and given us a calling for our future, the first thing that can stop us in our tracks is comparison. Comparison creates pride or insecurity which can keep us from God. Jesus invites you to let go of striving to do what He has called other people to do and to simply follow Him where He leads you.
Next Step: Write down what you believe God has called you to do; if you don’t know, pray and ask God to show you.
DAY TEN - Tuesday, August 8 Reading
Conversation: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
Read: John 4:1-42
Main Idea: True Fulfillment
During the time of Jesus, the Samaritan people and the Jewish people did not interact with each other due to a long history of conflict. It was extremely bold for Jesus to speak to the woman and even bolder to say that if she drank this so-called “living water,” she would never have to drink again. Just like his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus did not mean she would never have to physically drink water again. He called her to believe in Him because He is the living water that does not satisfy the physical body but the soul. The main idea is that Jesus is the living water that satisfies our souls.
So What? The conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman shows us that God sees and knows everything; we do not have to hide from him but rather run to Him. Our shame leads us to look for fulfillment in everything but God. We can look to relationships, status, money, sports, fun experiences, and many other things to make us feel better. Our souls are made up of our minds, will, and emotions. Jesus steps into our lives and tells us that nothing will ever satisfy our minds, will, and emotions as He does. When you are feeling down, God sees you, and instead of running to your phone or to another person, run to Him first. He is always enough.
Next Step: Take time today to think through anything you have been turning to for fulfillment instead of turning to God. Ask God to help you turn to Him instead.
DAY ELEVEN - Wednesday, August 9 Reading
Conversation: Jesus and the Disciples
Read: Matthew 28:1-20
Main Idea: The Great Commission
Jesus lived a perfect life, was crucified for our sins, was buried for three days, and then rose to life accomplishing his mission on earth. He left the disciples with a mission of their own; to go out into all the world and make disciples of all nations. He chose twelve people to share his life on earth with. In the same way, the Great Commission calls us to go out and bring other people alongside us as we live our lives following Jesus. He came to earth to save the lost, not to puff up His followers. We can become like Jesus as we seek out those who need Him and invite them to follow Jesus with us.
So What? It can be easy to feel like we do not know what we are called to do. God has a specific calling for each of us and each of our callings ultimately revolve around the Great Commission. Therefore, take a deep breath and simply follow Jesus and bring people with you as you do. As you follow Him and make disciples, He will lead and guide you where you need to go. We do not follow Him for our own dreams and visions, but we follow Him in order to fulfill His vision. His vision is that every nation, every tribe, and every tongue would worship Him and know Him.
Next Step: Bring someone with you today as you go to Motion Night or your local youth service.