Transit New Year Devotional Content

JANUARY 23, 2021

Community

Matthew 18:20

When we are with other people, something amazing happens. We find a strength greater than our own. When we all get in the same room at Transit, we all feel that energy, right? The music is loud, the lights are flashing, and we feel a sense of community and togetherness like no other place. God uses community to show us more about him through how we love, support, and encourage one another every day. When we are together, God is with us. When we are together, we are not easily broken. God is with us individually as well as collectively when we come together. He works through you to make a difference that will impact your group. Get ready to join us tomorrow morning for Transit! Who can you invite to come with you and be part of it? Send them a text today. 

JANUARY 22, 2021

Community

John 13:34-35

When people are united, does it mean they all think and feel the same things? Not at all! God made each of us unique with different skills, strengths, and even quirky personality traits. When we learn to accept and love the things that make each of us unique, it leads to unity and togetherness. It means we are working together and encouraging one another toward the same goal. Where one is weak, another is strong. When one is hurting, another helps. That’s unity. It’s about bringing all that is unique about you to the table and loving one another's uniqueness as well. Today, ask God to show you how you can use your unique abilities to bring encouragement and love to your community. 

JANUARY 21, 2021

Community

Ephesians 2:19

We are wired for relationships and connection. We can connect with people through lots of things, like music, hobbies, sports, classes, and more. And those are all great! But there's something even better that connects us—our relationship with God. When we connect with others, it can spur us on to grow in our relationship with Jesus more than we might on our own. In other words, we are better together. Do you have a good community or small group of friends in your life? Don’t be afraid to reach out to them when you need help or have questions about life and faith. After all, you are wired for community, and you belong here with us. 

JANUARY 20, 2021

Gratitude

Luke 21:1-4

Everything we have is a gift from God. In our reading today, we see how much Jesus is pleased when the poor woman gives her two coins as a gift. She was so grateful to have those two coins and decided to give them away to honor God. It’s not about giving our stuff away. It’s about recognizing all that we've been given, thanking God for it, and then sharing our gifts with others—holding nothing back. Our generosity shows our gratitude. What is one thing you're thankful for that you can share with others today? 

JANUARY 19, 2021

Gratitude

Philippians 4:4-13

Have you ever struggled with anxiety, fear, or worry? I never realized the connection between anxiety and thankfulness before. Lately, when I've felt anxious about something, I've tried to find good things around me to thank God for, like our verse today suggests. And it has been helping! When we express thanks to God, we begin to notice we have far more good things in our life than not-so-good things. If we pause and think about the good, noble, and lovely things (no matter how small), we realize that our fears and worries aren’t so big after all. The next time anxiety creeps up on you, try to find things to be thankful for. Maybe you'll find the good really does outweigh the bad. We have much to be grateful for with God in our lives! 

JANUARY 18, 2021

Gratitude

Psalm 136: 1-9

If we take a minute and look around, we'll see that God has given us so many gifts. When we're busy or stuck in our routines, we let many good things go unnoticed. When we stop and pay attention, we can see the evidence of his love all around us. When you notice something that you love about your life, remember to take a second and thank God for it. David says in Psalm, "His love endures forever," and thanking God for the good things we have can remind us that his love is all around us, and it really does last forever. 

JANUARY 17, 2021

Bible

Romans 12:1-2

Why read the Bible? Why set aside time each day to do this? We've looked at a lot of passages found in the Bible over the last few days, and we've seen many reasons why reading God's word is important. But, perhaps one of the main benefits of reading the Bible is we are able to discover God's plan for mankind and God's plan for our lives. Taking a moment to read a little at a time helps us discover this plan, it helps us recognize God's voice in our lives, and it helps align our hearts and minds to know Him. There's peace in knowing God's voice, and their peace in renewing our minds and hearts to his grace. Post this verse somewhere you can see it daily: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2

Why read the Bible? Why set aside time each day to do this? We've looked at a lot of passages found in the Bible over the last few days, and we've seen many reasons why reading God's word is important. But, perhaps one of the main benefits of reading the Bible is we are able to discover God's plan for mankind and God's plan for our lives. Taking a moment to read a little at a time helps us discover this plan, it helps us recognize God's voice in our lives, and it helps align our hearts and minds to know Him. There's peace in knowing God's voice, and their peace in renewing our minds and hearts to his grace. Post this verse somewhere you can see it daily: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2

JANUARY 16, 2021

Bible

James 1:22-25

Let's talk about school for a minute. I think we can all unanimously agree that taking tests is one of the worst things about school! I also think we can agree that a test is even harder if our teacher decides not to give us a study guide! Study guides provide us with a view of what is expected from us, right? Well, the same can be said for the Bible. We can view the Bible as a study guide for our lives. It shows us many things about who God is, what he says about us, and even how we can live our lives wisely. There's a small book in the Bible titled James that can be viewed as a study guide for our Christian lives. This week, take some time to read a few passages from what James, the brother of Jesus, has to say about living our lives and loving others.

Let's talk about school for a minute. I think we can all unanimously agree that taking tests is one of the worst things about school! I also think we can agree that a test is even harder if our teacher decides not to give us a study guide! Study guides provide us with a view of what is expected from us, right? Well, the same can be said for the Bible. We can view the Bible as a study guide for our lives. It shows us many things about who God is, what he says about us, and even how we can live our lives wisely. There's a small book in the Bible titled James that can be viewed as a study guide for our Christian lives. This week, take some time to read a few passages from what James, the brother of Jesus, has to say about living our lives and loving others. 

JANUARY 15, 2021

Bible

Psalm 119:105

We can all agree that life can get crazy and, at times, be a little overwhelming. Did you know the Bible is full of words that can help us navigate life? Just like the flashlight on your phone can help guide you through a dark room, the Bible can do the same for your life.

If you’re having a day that seems super overwhelming, open your Bible app to Psalm 119 and meditate on a few of its hopeful passages.

JANUARY 14, 2021

Worship/Noticing God

1 Peter 5:7

There is beauty in singing songs of praise because, on our own, we sometimes can't find the right words to describe what we are feeling. As we sing, we can place our very own circumstances within the lyrics of the song and we are able to connect deeply with God in the process. Today, listen to the song "Bigger Than I Thought." Write the lyrics on a piece of paper if you need to. This song teaches us how deeply God knows us and how much he cares. It asks us to stop all our striving and to trust him. 

When you’re having a bad day or you’re feeling sad or alone, pull out these lyrics or listen to this song repeatedly. 

JANUARY 13, 2021

Worship/Noticing God

Colossians 3:16

Have you ever had a friend that didn’t want anyone to know that they were friends with you? You probably started to wonder if that person even cared or if they wanted to be friends with you at all.
Can you imagine how the God of the universe feels when we want all his blessings and yet don’t tell anyone about how amazing he is? 

Don’t settle for an invisible relationship! There is a public piece of worship that is so important. God delights in our desire to tell others about his greatness! You can certainly still worship God privately, but it’s also 3important for people to see you go to church, for your friends to hear you trust in God, for you to acknowledge God on social media. There are many ways our lives can speak to how much we value our relationship with God! Let others see you love God so that they might know God’s love too!

JANUARY 12, 2021

Worship/Noticing God

Psalm 95:1-2

When we think of worship, oftentimes we think of people singing at church with their hands in the air. But worship is so much more than that. In fact, singing songs is really just a small part of what worshipping entails!

Worship is simply how we express our relationship with God. It’s our joyful, grateful, appreciative response to God’s work in our lives. To be appreciative, though, sometimes we need to take time to look for the places in our lives where God has shown up, to see what he has carried us through. When we become aware of God’s faithfulness and his goodness and take the time to see his blessings in our lives, we often can’t help but respond outwardly. 

Take a few minutes today to think about how you've seen God show up in your life. Did he restore a relationship? Did he give you strength to overcome something? Did he provide for you or your family in some way? Write these things in a journal or somewhere you can easily find them.

JANUARY 11, 2021

SERVING OTHERS

John 13:34

There is great joy in giving. Looking back a few weeks ago on your Christmas morning, did you have more fun opening your presents or watching others open the gifts you gave them? As much fun as it probably was to open the gift that was on the top of your list, it’s so much more joyful to give. 

Jesus said in John 13:34: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Jesus loves you so much. He loves you so much that he died for your sins. While he was on Earth, he loved and served everyone around him through his words and actions. 

Jesus has also given us the gift of serving others so we can bless one another, love one another, and be filled with his joy and spirit while we do so. Experience that joy by serving and loving someone today. 

JANUARY 10, 2021

SERVING OTHERS

1 Peter 4:10

Did you know that Jesus created you uniquely with special skills, gifts, and talents within you? He created us all differently so we could use what’s unique to us to love and serve him and others around us. Peter writes in 1 Peter 4:10: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” This verse implies a lot of freedom. Peter is saying that we can simply be ourselves to serve and love others. The second part of the verse, where it mentions “various forms,” tells us that how we each serve will and should look different. So the way you serve someone can and should look different than the way your friend or family member might serve. What special gifts and talents has Jesus created in you? How can you use those to serve someone today? 

JANUARY 9, 2021

SERVING OTHERS

Mark 12:31

What do you think of when you think of serving others? Do you associate a nonprofit organization or church with serving? Do you think serving is exclusive to a mission trip in a foreign country? Serving others doesn’t require a specific location or time; you can do it anytime and anywhere. What does serving others look like for you and how do you do it? Serving others is putting the interests and desires of someone else above your own.

We serve others out of the love we have for Jesus and for the other person. Have you ever heard of the golden rule—to treat others the way you want to be treated? The same applies here. Love and serve others the way you would serve yourself. In Mark 12:31, Jesus asks you to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Think of a time when someone has loved you by serving you. How did it make you feel? How can you put someone else’s needs above your own today?

JANUARY 8, 2021

PRAYER

Matthew 6:9-13

Do you struggle with exactly what to say in your prayer time? Jesus gives us the model for how to pray in Matthew 6:9–13. The famous "Lord's Prayer" is a great starting place for any prayer. It is not something to repeat word for word as your only prayer, but it displays all the aspects of what prayer should be. The four main ideas in the prayer are: we worship God, we obey God, we depend on God, and we ask God for forgiveness. You do not have to use the same words as Jesus, but those four main ideas make up any great prayer time. The next time you pray, try to use all four elements in your prayer.

JANUARY 7, 2021

PRAYER

Matthew 6:7-8

When we do the same thing over and over, it can become a mindless routine. Routine is okay for brushing our teeth or putting on our socks, but we never want prayer to be in that category. Jesus was aware of this tendency in us, so in Matthew 6:7–8, he tells us the truth: God already knows what we need. God knows what we need more than we do, so we do not need to get in the habit of asking for the same things over and over. The purpose of prayer is to connect with God, and asking for the same things over and over with a lot of words is not the way to connect with him. So, next time you pray, focus less on saying all the right things and more on having a great conversation with your heavenly Father.

JANUARY 6, 2021

PRAYER

Matthew 6:5-6

Prayer can be awkward, intimidating, and confusing. The good news is that it really does not have to be complicated at all. Over the next few days, we are going to be learning about prayer and what Jesus has to say about it. In Matt. 6:5-6 Jesus starts off by telling us that prayer should be personal and private. We shouldn't pray just to brag about it or feel good about ourselves, we should pray to connect with out Father in Heaven. What this means for you is that your motivation for prayer should be personal and real. Bring the one or two things that you are worried about and the one or two things you are thankful for to your prayer time. This is a time for you to build a relationship with God--just you and him.

JANUARY 5, 2021

RESOLUTIONS

Joshua 1:9, Jeremiah 29:11

Looking ahead and thinking about the future can be scary. We aren't sure what it looks like. Maybe it's not being sure how a math class will go and what your grades will be. Maybe it's wondering if you will make the team. Or maybe you are worried about moving from middle school to high school. Whatever it may be, the future can be scary because we don't know what to expect. And although we will never have all the answers about the future, we do have God’s promise that he will always be with us and has a plan for us. 

JANUARY 4, 2021

RESOLUTIONS

1 Chronicles 16:11, Psalm 34:4

As a new year is upon us, you are probably hearing people talk about their new year's resolutions and goals for 2021. These resolutions or goals could be a variety of things. But let's focus on the goal of deepening our relationship with Jesus this year. What do you think that looks like for you? What are some ways you could pursue a relationship with Jesus? Our relationship with Jesus is the most important thing we have, and making that our number one goal every day will help us get through a lot. Take a piece of a paper and write down some ways you can deepen your relationship with Jesus this year. Maybe it’s taking time in the mornings before school to pray before your day starts, praying with your friends more often, doing a devotional regularly, writing down your prayers in a journal, talking about Jesus at school, or inviting friends to church with you. Whatever it is for you, write it somewhere you can see every day to remind you to try to do one every day.

 

JANUARY 3, 2021

RESOLUTIONS

James 4:8

Maybe the year 2021 means a fresh start for you—a chance to make your life better. Maybe you want things to be better with your schoolwork, your friendships, or your family. Whatever it is you are hoping for, in order to have a fresh start, we often need to say no to some things so we can say yes to better things. What are some things you could say no to so you can say yes to things that make life a little brighter? It could be saying no to talking about other people or leaving people out, or saying no to letting things get in the way of going to church or doing a service project. 

JANUARY 2, 2021

RESOLUTIONS

Deuteronomy 31:6

This past year was not what we expected. Our day-to-day was not what we were used to. But what if we looked back on 2020 and saw how God was good to us in a hard season. Think about something that came out of 2020 that you learned or are grateful for (e.g., making a new friend, discovering a new interest or hobby). Whatever that may be, write it down. Take time to reflect on the blessings God brought to you out of 2020—how he made things new for you or helped you grow in a difficult season. The biggest thing you can reflect on is that God is with us wherever we go and whatever we walk through. 

JANUARY 1, 2021

INTRO/EXPECTATIONS

Mark 1:35 

What better way to kick off the new year than carving out a little time each day for your relationship with God. It’s simple, really! Pick a time of day that works for you—early morning, after school, evening, whenever—and plan on five minutes or less to read these words, open your Bible, and pray to God. Set your phone to "do not disturb," find a quiet place to be alone, and focus on yourself and God. Maybe even listen to your favorite worship song. The point is to spend a little time with God, just like you spend time with your best friend! When you read the verse for today, you'll see that even Jesus went away to a quiet place to connect with God before he started his day. So, what are you waiting for? Make your plan for the next 23 days—pick your time, choose a place, and ask God to meet you there.