SPRING BREAK DEVO

First things first: you’re special. I hope you believe that.

Now, let’s give it up for Spring Break! No school for a week, warm weather, best friends. Basically, vacations are the literal best and life should be an extended trip to Florida for the rest of ever.

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I think we’re made to crave things like vacations and breaks from school because we were made to rest. But, our culture doesn’t make this easy to believe. During the school year we stay up late on school nights studying for tests and finishing homework; we work part-time jobs on the weekends; and by the time Sunday night comes around, we’re studying again.

After God created the heavens + earth, water + land, animals + humans (#doingwork), He rested. He decided that the work He did was very good, and He was able to rest. If the God of the heavens and the earth takes time to rest, don’t you think we were made to rest, too? Don’t you think we’re able to?

So, this year on spring break, don’t waste your rest. Don’t miss out on opportunities to live in the moment, laugh with your BFFs, sit and read a book in the sunshine, and take some time to actually rest.

Because you’re special and because I want you to tap into this well-deserved rest that I’m saying you’re created to experience, I made a simple 5-day devotional for you. I think spending time with God is the best kind of rest we can possibly give our souls. Yeah, all of the other things in life that feel restful are good and important, but I think sitting down with a journal and Bible is rest on a whole new level.

Happy resting!

PRO TIP: Download the app Enduring Word. It’s an awesome tool to bring context to what you’re reading in the bible.


day one: KNOWN + LOVED

READ John 4:1-42

WRITE IT DOWN. In your journal, jot down some thoughts about what you just read. Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • What does this story tell you about the character of Jesus?
  • How do you relate to the woman in this story?
  • Where does water appear in this story?
      • If you’re putting yourself in the place of the woman, what does the water in this story have to do with you?
  • What’s your water jar? Make a list of things you go to in hopes they’ll satisfy your longings to be loved, accepted, noticed, and good enough.
      • Let God know you’re sorry for believing these things will do that.
      • If you believe it, admit to God that you believe that He is ultimately the one who will satisfy all of your longings.
      • If you don’t believe it, process through it… why not?

PS- going to things like sports, boys/girls, grades, etc to feel happy rather than going to God is human. A laundry list of items doesn’t mean you’re too far gone from Him. Sometimes it’s easy to believe that we need to control our own happiness because God might let us down if we trust him with it. Be honest with yourself and with Him and really process through what you’re feeling. He knew this woman’s entire story and He loved her anyway. He knows everything you’re really believing and how you’re living because of it… and He loves you anyway. So, get those burdens off your shoulders and be honest with Him.

PRAY. Take some time to talk with God about any worries or burdens you brought with you on your trip. Ask Him to take those from you; ask Him to help you find rest this week.

TALK IT OUT. With your friends, talk about these questions:

  1. When did you have an encounter with Jesus where you realized that He knew you to the core of your being and also loved you deeply?
      • Take a few minutes to talk about that time — where you were, how you felt, what you believed about God and yourself in that moment.
  2. Take some time to pray for those stories. They are important! Whenever Jesus feels near, it’s worth celebrating and it’s worth thanking Him. So, as a group, pray for each other’s stories and thank God for knowing everything about you and loving you anyway.
  3. What are some of the things that made your ‘water jar’ list? Where do you go in order to feel happy, content, loved, and known?
      • How are your ‘water jars’ working out for you? How do you see them fulfilling your needs 6 months from now? 1 year? 5 years?
  4. Take a few minutes to share what you’re thankful for right now.

GO + DO something in water today. If you’re in Florida, jumping in the ocean or the pool seems like an obvious choice. If you’re somewhere without a body of water, maybe you’ll take a long + restful shower. You’re allowed to get creative.


day two: PART OF THE FAMILY

READ Luke 15:11-31

WRITE IT DOWN. In your journal, jot down some thoughts about what you just read. Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • How do you relate to the younger son in this story?
  • How do you relate to the older son in this story?
  • If the father in the story represents God, what does this parable tell you about the character of God?
  • What specific lines or words let you know that the father desperately loves his son who disowned him?
  • Do you believe God has that much love for you? Why or why not? Just like yesterday, God already knows your heart. So take this time to be honest with him and work things out if needed.

LISTEN to Runaway by Jess Ray.

TALK IT OUT. With your friends, talk about these questions:

  1. The father gives the son his robe, slippers, and signet ring. These would have been familiar objects for someone in the royal family. The father uses these things to let the son know that he’s back in the family. In a similar way, God is a good father who welcomes you into His family, so gifts reminders from him that you’re loved and taken care of. Talk about the gifts God has blessed you with.
  2. Process through which son you relate to more often and why.
  3. “While he was still a long way off, the father saw him, ran to him, and hugged him.” What are examples you can point to in your life when you know God was looking out for you? Think of people in your life, examples of God’s faithfulness, stories of God feeling especially near to you.
  4. One friend read the following while the other(s) close your eyes and imagine this scene:

You’re a child of an incredible wealthy man, a royal man, and you’ve left it all for feelings of instant gratification. For quick fixes and control. The money you received from your share of the inheritance wasted away quickly, and now you can think of no other options than to go back to your father– who’s money you wanted more than him– and beg him to be a servant who works for money. Walking back to the home you deliberately left behind. You’re dirty, ashamed, empty. As you step onto the edge of your father’s property, you see a small figure in the distance running. You squint, unsure of who it might be. As the two of you get closer, you recognize your dad. Your heart beats a little faster as you begin to recite what you’re going to say to him — you assume he must be so angry with you. You wonder if you should turn around now. The distance between the two of you closes and you see his arms outstretched. His face looks relieved, not furious. He doesn’t even leave room to look him in the eye because he runs at you and catches you in a hug. Then he braces your shoulders, looks you in your eyes, tears filled in his, he rubs your scruffy cheekbones, and hugs you again. “Welcome home,” he says, “I’ve been waiting for you.”

GO + DO. Be intentional about caring for your immediate family today. If you’re out of town with friends, that might look like sending a nice text to your parents. If you’re with them, consider what might make them feel most loved and then do that.


day three: BORN TO RUN

READ Hebrews 12:1-2

WRITE IT DOWN. In your journal, jot down some thoughts about what you just read. Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • What’s weighing you down? What’s entangling you? Ask God to give you freedom from these things. You were born to run!
  • What’s your finish line? Is it the end of this semester? End of high school? Marriage?
      • How might your daily life look different if your eyes were set on Jesus as your finish line?
  • Jesus went to the cross with JOY set before him. That’s how desperately he loves you. He was willing to die in order to take on the wrath of God’s hate for sin so that you’d be clean and able to be in relationship with a clean and holy God. He died for you with joy! Take a couple minutes and talk to God about what that means to you.

 

TALK IT OUT. With your friends, talk about these questions:

  1. What’s your lane of ministry right now? How are you feeling about it?
  2. Take time sharing how you’d feel best set up to run a race of perseverance. Is there anything your friends can do to encourage you in your race?
  3. Share your ‘finish lines’ with each other and then talk about how your daily life would look different if you were more focused on Heaven.

GO + DO. Put this scripture into action by going for a jog together and reciting Hebrews 12:1-2 as you run. Write it on your arm or carry your phone. Take turns saying parts of the scripture out loud and try to memorize it as you run.


day four: MADE FOR ABUNDANCE

READ John 2:1-11

WRITE IT DOWN. In your journal, jot down some thoughts about what you just read. Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • What does this tell you about the character of Jesus?
  • List some times when God went above and beyond what you expected him to do.
  • Read the list of the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
      • Which fruit of God’s character do you feel like you ‘lack’?
  • If Jesus can turn water to wine, he can make anything we give him more beautiful and abundant. He can turn the fruit you believe you ‘lack’ into plentiful, healthy, visible fruit. It could become the word people use to describe you! Ask God to grow that spirit in you.

TALK IT OUT. With your friends, talk about these questions:

  1. Call out the fruit of the spirit that is most evident in your friend(s). Take turns encouraging one another.
  2. Share with one another which fruit you hope that God brings to abundance in you (the one you feel you’re currently ‘lacking’).
  3. Dream about some ways you believe God will go above and beyond your expectations in the future.

GO + DO. Celebrate your week of rest by doing something that feels extra special. You could dress up and go out to dinner or make a really awesome breakfast at your hotel. Whatever you decide, let it be a reminder of abundance.


day five: RAISING A BANNER

READ Psalm 18, Psalm 27, and Psalm 139

Underline words + phrases that stick out as you go.

CHOOSE A BANNER. Out of the words and phrases you underlined, write down one in your journal. Consider this a banner over your life as you go back to school next week.

TALK IT OUT. With your friends, talk about these questions:

  1. Share your banners.
  2. Take some time to remember the amazing memories you made this week. Laugh together about hilarious inside jokes and call out the ways you witnessed God moving this week.

GO + DO. Using pen + paper, make your banner into a piece of art. Then, take photos of each person holding her banner as a physical reminder of your week of rest and the words you’ll continue to carry with you as you head home.