Author: Savannah Coleman — Host: Natty AndersonPosted on: November 30, 2023

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens

READ: PSALM 1:1-3; JEREMIAH 17:7-8; JOHN 7:37-39; 15:4-17

Minutes before sunset was my favorite time of day. I sat on an outcropping of rock, dangling my bare feet above a crystalline spring of water. My home, this floating island in the sky, was level with the setting sun precisely at this time. Golden light skimmed the surface of the water as I splashed my feet in, smiling.

Overhead, the wind rustled the leaves of the silvery bark tree I sat beneath. The roots of the tree stretched out like fingers, thirsty for the life-giving stream water. It was like this all over the island, roots running to the streams, streams spilling over the rocks, water cascading off the island into the sky.

Before my people trusted Yahweh, our home was devoid of all this life. Try as we might, the roots of our trees were withering, and there was no fruit to fill our families’ aching hunger. When Yahweh came, He taught us a better way. No longer did we place our trust in ourselves, but we listened to the One who gave us life.

Yahweh showed us how to plant our trees by the streams so the roots could reach deep into the water. Day after day, we experienced growth—and, finally, fruit. I pulled a golden fruit from the tree I lounged under and took a bite. I sighed as I tasted its ripe juices, sweet and nourishing.

Yahweh, help me trust You each day, I prayed as the leaves above me rustled in the evening breeze. I want to delight myself in You and meditate on You. Sometimes my heart quakes when hard times come, but I know I don’t need to fear. Your love is constant as a stream that flows and never runs dry. May my roots be deep in Your life-giving water. • Savannah Coleman

• In today’s allegorical story, we see that when we are apart from God, we are devoid of life. But when we are with God, we have life to the full (John 10:10). Though we have all been separated from God because of sin, He made the way for us to be near Him through Jesus: Because of His great love for us, God the Son came and lived among us. Yahweh, the great “I AM,” took on human flesh, and gave up His life for us so that our sins could be forgiven. And the God of life could not be held by death—three days later He rose from the grave. Now Jesus gives eternal life to everyone who puts their trust in Him. If you want to know more about this good news, check out our “Know Jesus” page.

• Jesus is “God with us” (Matthew 1:23), and He taught His followers, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:5, 9). What do you think it means to remain in Jesus’s love?

• Jesus invites all who are thirsty to come to Him, and He promises them living water—this living water is the Holy Spirit (John 4:10-14; 7:37-39). Once we’ve put our trust in Jesus, His Holy Spirit begins to transform us, helping us grow to become more like Jesus and bear fruit. According to Galatians 5:22-23, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Have you ever tried to produce these fruits in your own strength? How did that work out?

• Our lives bear fruit when we are living in reliance on God, resting in His love and following His lead. He invites us to trust Him and rely on Him for everything. Even when hard times come, He will never fail us. In what areas of your life do you find it difficult to rely on God? Consider taking a moment to come to Jesus in prayer (Matthew 11:28-30). You can be honest about all your struggles, frustrations, fears, and hurts. He longs to remind you of His deep love and help you with everything you’re facing.

“Lord [Jesus], to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:68-69 (NIV)