Jesus-Centered Life youth devotion no.03

What's the Big Deal About Jesus?

Hey, if we call ourselves Christians, that means Jesus is a big deal to us, right? Well, for a lot of us, Jesus isn’t really at the center of our orbit. We like to think he is, but other pursuits in our life are often a lot more important to us than the pursuit of Jesus. When we asked more than 20,000 Christian teenagers if they expected their future life to “center around Jesus,” the average response was “maybe/maybe not.” It’d be super-hard to admit that we’ve sidelined Jesus, but we have so many other must-do’s and must-have’s and must-be’s pressuring us. It’s not like we’re the first to get lured into this trap…

Incredible as it sounds, the thousands of people who were following Jesus all left him when Jesus upped the ante for them. He’d just told them they’d need to “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood” if they wanted to follow him (John 6:53). That freaks them out, so they abandon him. And Jesus asks his remaining disciples this vulnerable question: “You do not want to go away also, do you?” (v. 67). Peter responds with this equally vulnerable declaration: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God” (v. 68–69). In effect, he’s saying: “I don’t know what ‘eat My body and drink My blood’ really means, and a lot of what you say is a mystery to me, but you’ve ruined me for you.” The ultimate reason we put other things, not Jesus, at our life’s center is that we can. We’re not yet “ruined” for him.

Living It Out

For Peter and most of the early followers of Jesus, following Jesus was sometimes scary, often confusing, and occasionally painful! It wasn’t easy, but it was SO worth it!

There’s probably been stuff in your life that wasn’t easy, but was so worth it!

Getting good grades—-not easy, but so worth it!

Trying out for a school play or sports team—-not easy, but so worth it!

Breaking a bad habit—-not easy, but so worth it!

Choosing not to punch your little brother—-not easy, but so worth it!

Yet many contemporary followers of Jesus have painted a picture that following Him is supposed to be easy, fun, and full of sunshine. Maybe it’s time to re-think what it means to follow Jesus. Maybe following Him is, in some ways, more like a bunch of other stuff in your life—-Not easy, but so worth it!

Here’s an idea! Jot down your top “not easy” part of being a teenager who is trying to follow Jesus. Then, under it, write down why, even though it’s not easy, it’s “SO WORTH IT!”

Not easy, but so worth it!