Editors Note: Enjoy these two devotions for tweens, excerpted from Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional. In the devotional, each day features a scripture, an explanation, and a prayer for reflection to help young readers discover that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.
Long Before… You Were Loved
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. — Jeremiah 1:5
Let’s say you made a batch of yummy cookies for a friend’s birthday. If you left them on the counter, your brother or sister might dig in to them. To make sure they don’t get eaten, you might set them aside with a note that says, “Don’t eat!” Those cookies are for a specific purpose: to make your friend feel special on his or her birthday.
Jeremiah was set apart for a special purpose: to be a prophet among the nations.
In Jeremiah’s time, God used prophets to speak for Him. Jeremiah told the people of Israel that they had better stop doing wicked things and turn back to God, or God was going to punish them.
God had a special purpose for Jesus too. Jesus was the perfect prophet for God. God set Jesus apart to tell His people they needed to return to Him. Matthew 21:11 says that the people knew Jesus was a prophet. Even though they knew He was speaking for God, not everyone believed Him. Some people listened. But others stopped up their ears, crossed their arms, and said, “No!”
Jesus taught that when we put our faith in Him, we are set apart for a great purpose too. Our purpose is to share Jesus with others and to encourage them to return to God.
Lord Jesus, thank You for speaking for God. Help me to hear your voice and encourage others to turn to You. Amen.
The Heart of Jesus
Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people. — Jeremiah 9:1
Jeremiah was a man with a soft heart. He grieved over his people and how they turned away from God. He longed for his people to know who God is, and to love Him the way Jeremiah loved Him. He wanted his people to let God love them.
Jeremiah gave us a glimpse of who Jesus is.
Jesus carried the weight of our sins on His shoulders. That’s a lot of weight. If sins were barbells, Jesus would have more muscles than all the football teams in the world combined!
But Jesus wasn’t just big and tough. He also had a soft heart. In fact, before He brought Lazarus back from the dead, He cried because He felt the people’s pain and grief (see John 11:33–35). He cares about the tough stuff in our lives too. He loves us that much!
Lord, give me a heart for others just like You have. Help me to feel for those who hurt and show them Your loving-kindness. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional, copyright Zondervan.
What did you find most inspiring from these two devotional readings? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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