Believing and Loving

Author: Emily Acker — Host: Natty AndersonPosted on: May 30, 2024

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Believing and Loving

READ: MATTHEW 22:35-40; JOHN 6:27-29; 1 JOHN 4:7-19

There’s so much pressure on me…I can’t do everything my parents want me to do. I can’t please all of my teachers. I can’t be someone others look up to. I can’t do it all. What does God require of me? How am I going to do that—how am I going to please Him, on top of everything else?

Have you ever had thoughts like these? You’re not alone. Life gets busy, and it gets hard. In these times—and everyday—what is it that God requires of us? His command for us is a simple one: believe and love. The apostle John writes, “Now this is his command: that we believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as he commanded us” (1 John 3:23).

First, we are to believe that God has saved us. We are to believe in the cross, the sacrifice, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are to rely on what He has done—not on anything we do or don’t do. Once we’ve put our trust in Jesus, we can know that He is always there for us and that we will have everlasting life with Him (Romans 10:9-13). Isn’t that wonderful news?

Second, we are to love. Because God first loved us, we are able to love Him and others (1 John 4:19). Once we know Jesus, we have His Holy Spirit living in us, so we are able to love like Jesus does. Love our families. Love our friends. Love our enemies. See the world with His loving eyes, looking for those who are hurting and showing them His love.

So, when we start to feel overwhelmed by the expectations others have put on us—or maybe the expectations we’ve put on ourselves—we can remember that Jesus has freed us from all this condemnation and fear (Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 8:1; 1 John 4:18). God has kept things simple for us. He simply calls us to abide in Jesus (John 15:1-17), to live a life of believing in Him and loving Him and those around us. • Emily Acker

• Do you ever feel like there is so much required of you that you are overwhelmed and you just want to give up? Who are trusted Christians in your life who can remind you of how much God loves you, what He truly expects of you, and how eager He is to help you?

Now this is his command: that we believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another as he commanded us. 1 John 3:23 (CSB)