No Longer an Island – Today’s Youth Devotion

No Longer an Island

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:13, 23-27

All the members care for each other equally. 1 Corinthians 12:25

KIMIKO’S MOM had to work long hours to keep the family afloat after she and Kimi­ko’s dad separated. As the divorce was being finalized, bitterness overwhelmed her, and Mom cut herself off from fourteen-year-old Kimiko. Kimiko felt doubly rejected­ first by her dad, then by her mom. When Kimiko accepted a friend’s invitation to her youth group, she found people who understood her problems. “Finally,” she says, “I feel like I belong again.”

God knew we might have a hard time grasping two enormous facts: that he finds us lovable, and that we belong to him. So he built us a support system. He gave us his church as our spot to find love and acceptance.

Before Jesus died and returned to heaven, he proclaimed, “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:11, NN). He mentions two persons in that union: God the Father and God the Son. The next few verses talk about God sending a third person, the Holy Spirit. And then Christ said, “On that day [perhaps referring to Pentecost and the birth of the church] you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (verse 20, NIV).

What in the world did Jesus mean by that? Well, when you believed in Christ as your Savior and Lord, you were placed in Christ and Christ took up his residence in you. And since Jesus and his Father are in union, you are also in the Father and the Father is in you. Talk about belonging!

But there’s more. If the Father is in you-and if you are in the Father-you and I have an incredibly close relationship. You might even say that our mutual relation­ship with God means I am in you and you are in me. As a Christian, you’re not an is­land. Neither am I. We’re in Christ, so we’re in each other.

Besides that, you and I are just two small parts of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:13, 23-27). There’s a whole world of members who are to show equal concern for one another. We’re to get together regularly so we can show each other that we’re lovable-and that we belong.

When you fumble or fail or feel rejected, someone in your church or Bible study group is there to remind you that you are loved and accepted no matter what. And when someone in your group goes the wrong way and feels ashamed, you get to come alongside with encouraging words (see 1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Hanging tight with other Christians is one way you transform a warped sense of identity into God’s beautiful picture of you.

REFLECT: Have you planted yourself in a group of loving believers and let God’s unconditional love touch you through them?

PRAY: Ask God to strengthen your relationships with your Christian sisters and brothers.