By Julia Schumacher-Martin
Power Up with Jesus!
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the preteen Ministry Message for the Power Up with Jesus! line of products.
(In preparing for this message, allow your smartphone to run out of battery completely. You want the device to respond only with a black screen or the “out of battery” symbol when someone pushes a button. In addition to your “dead” device, have a Bible by your side.)
So, I was thinking of going for a hike next weekend. It’s good to get outside and enjoy the fresh air . . . But I don’t really want to go hiking if it’ll be raining. I wonder what the weather will be like on Saturday. (Hand someone your device.) You know how to use one of these things, right? Could you please look it up for me?
(The young person will be unable to work the device.) What? It’s not working? Why not? (Allow participants to suggest that the device is out of battery.) Oh, wow—that’s right! I forgot to charge it last night! Now I can’t get my messages or take pictures—or check the weather for next weekend.
Without my phone, I feel pretty helpless—kind of cut off from the world. Usually when my phone dies, I feel a little panicked and powerless—literally!
But it just so happens that I brought along another device today. (Pull out your Bible.) You’ve seen one of these before, right? This is God’s Word. It’s full of information: about things that happened, about how God wants us to live our lives . . . But most important of all, it tells us about Jesus.
You may know already that Jesus was born in a stable a long time ago. He grew up and became a famous teacher and healer, traveling around with a group of followers called the disciples. When he was an adult, he was betrayed, arrested, and killed on a cross.
But Jesus isn’t just an ordinary person, is he? He is the Son of God. That’s the same God who created the universe! The all-powerful God who parted seas and spoke through fire in the Old Testament. God’s Son was born in a stable and traveled around teaching people. God’s Son was betrayed and killed on a cross. Why would he do that? (Allow participants to answer.) Because God loves us. He loves us so much that he didn’t want all the sinful things we do to keep us from him. Listen to this. (Read John 3:16 from your Bible.) So Jesus took our wrong, hateful thoughts and actions upon himself and paid for them with his life on the cross. Because he loves us!
Whew! Death is the ultimate empty battery, isn’t it? Well, our Savior is so much more powerful than any iPhone device, so much more powerful than death, more powerful than we can even imagine! Jesus rose from the dead—he came back to life! And when he conquered death by rising again, it wasn’t just for himself, it was for all of us. He paid the price of our sin, so we’re forgiven and perfect in God’s eyes. We have new life, eternal life, in Jesus because of what he did!
What’s more, Jesus didn’t leave us after he came back to life. He didn’t say, “Well, good luck with everything!” and disappear. Instead, he promised to be with us always. And he is! He literally never runs out of battery.
The Bible tells us, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20 ESV). Jesus lives in us! That means that we have a source of constant, tireless power in us at all times. When we feel panicked, our Savior holds us close and safe. When we feel cut off from the world, he reminds us that he loves us. When we have little questions (like “How did I do on that test?” or “Should I smile at that new person in class?”) or big questions (like “Why do bad things happen to good people?”), Jesus powers us up with his strength and the wisdom of God’s Word.
(Hold up your “dead” device again.) So, my phone still isn’t working. But, you know what? I’ll be okay. Maybe instead of checking the weather for next weekend, I can pray for good weather for my hike—and I can also pray for the patience not to be disappointed if it rains. Remember, you and I have a power source much stronger and more important than a phone charger. In Christ, we have forgiveness, eternal life, and never-changing, ever-present love. Thanks be to God for charging us up with our Savior!