Devoted: 31 Days with Jesus (youth devotional) 

Tested in the trenches, with proven results: download a free Bible study devotion for youth, written by DOUG FIELDS. 31 DAYS WITH JESUS is a student devotional that will deepen the spiritual health of your youth group. This Bible devotion will help your students will explore the gospel of Matthew and be encouraged to respond in prayer and reflection. These youth devotion ideas are ready to be applied to your ministry setting. 


This resource is for your ministry! Feel free to adapt this as your think is best for your students. Take the headers off, fix the typos, correct the theology (DOH!); do what ever it takes to make it great for your students. We ask that you don’t sell this devotional or distribute it to other ministries, send them to www.youthministry.com.

Doug Fields

Who Is Jesus?
He is God (Matthew 26:63-64)
He became a person (John 1:14)
He taught with authority (Mark 1:22)
He healed the sick (Matthew 4:23)
He hung out with the outcasts (Matthew 9:10-11)
He got angry at the religious fakes (Matthew 23:27)
He was persecuted unfairly (Matthew 26:59-60)
He was tempted in every way (Hebrews 4:15)
He never made a mistake (Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5)
He died, rose from the dead, and continues to live to this day (1 Corinthians 15:20)
He made it possible to have a relationship with God (John 3:16-17)
He can sympathize with our struggles (Hebrews 4:15)
He Loves Us (Ephesians 3:19)

In this devotional, you’ll get to explore for yourself the life of Jesus as told by one of his followers. Matthew was one of the twelve disciples and walked with Jesus for three years. When Jesus found him, his character was questionable: as a tax collector he was cheating his own people. Jesus transformed his life, and Matthew would later write the story of Jesus’ life so others might also be transformed.

Each day includes a scripture reading, a short inspirational thought, and space for you to reflect on what God is teaching you. Having a quiet time 31 days in a row is tough! Pick a time when you are at your best: if you’re a morning person, consider the morning. If your a night person…you get the picture. Pick a place that is free of distractions. Disconnect from the internet, your phone, anything that’ll grab your attention away from God.

Having a quiet time for 31 days is REALLY tough. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up! Jump back into the swing of things, don’t stress yourself out by trying to “catch up.” The point is to grow closer to God, so read at your own pace. The goal is not to “finish,” but to grow.

Excerpts from 31 days with Jesus

Day 1 – Matthew 1:1-25
You may be thinking, “what a crazy way to start the New Testament . . . with a bunch of long, too-many-syllable names. If there’s 30 more days of this I’ll have had some good pronunciation practice but reading the New Testament is going to be a drag!” ……

Day 2 – Matthew 2:1-23
Today you read about God’s sign (a star) signaling the birth of Jesus. As I read this chapter I realized that all the key players were confronted with the news of Jesus Christ and they acted in different ways. ……

Day 3 – Matthew 3:1-17
About thirty years has passed from the time you read yesterday (in chapter 2) to what you read today (in chapter 3). Now, you read about John the Baptist, a prophet, a man chosen by God for a mission to set the stage and prepare people for Jesus. John the Baptist’s mission included a message–“repent.” Repent is basically a fancy word which means, ……

Day 4 – Matthew 4:1-11
As you take this daily walk with Christ you’ll discover that although Jesus was human, he was also divine (meaning he was God). This is both difficult to figure out and exciting to comprehend. ……

Day 5 – Matthew 4:12-25
If I walked up to you at Taco Bell and said, “drop your burrito and follow me” you would probably think I was crazy and you’d call the police or punch me out. But for the guys you read about today; Simon, Andrew, James, and John it was a different story. They followed. They dropped everything and followed Christ. Why?……

Day 6 – Matthew 5:1-16
I often imagine being one of Jesus’ committed disciples and sitting near him as he talks about living. Here, he speaks to his closest followers about attitudes that flow from a pure heart. Jesus’ words are very exciting to read and yet very difficult to apply! ……

Day 7 – Matthew 5:17-48
If I only had a few verses of the Bible to read every day, this section would be among my top choices because it is so practical. When I read this section of scripture I often personalize the tender words of Jesus saying something like, “I want you to grow up spiritually so ……

Day 8 – Matthew 6:1-34
It is clear that Jesus knows the inside of our hearts. He knows that we humans tend to go for whatever is the easiest way or for whatever will bring us the most attention. Since that is our human nature, he knows he must give us specific instruction regarding even the normal activities of our faith; prayer, giving, and fasting–some spiritual habits that are foundational to Christian maturity. Jesus wants to ……

Day 9 – Matthew 7:1-29
In the last two verses of chapter 7 we read that the crowds were amazed at the teachings of Jesus. No doubt! God in flesh, the Creator of the Universe, the designer of all humanity, teaching people about how to live their life right. That’s awesome! “Amazed” almost seems too ……

Day 10 – Matthew 8:1-9:39
As you read chapters 8 and 9 you’ll find that Matthew has written about ten miracles of Jesus and placed them together. Did you find all ten in your reading? Isn’t it exciting to read about the power of God that was displayed in Christ? Can you imagine what ……

Day 11 – Matthew 10:1-42
Wow! There’s a lot to unpack after today’s reading. This is one of the those chapters you could study for days and then, when you think you really understanding everything Jesus communicated, you’d probably only be half way to the depths of his work. ……

Day 12 – Matthew 11:1-30
I hope that when you came to the end of chapter 11 you got a smile on your face. Read this paraphrase of verses 28-30 from The Message and imagine Jesus saying these words directly to you……

Day 13 – Matthew 12:1-50
God in the flesh is standing before religious leaders and they don’t recognize him. Jesus is a mystery to them. The Pharisees had spent so much of their growing and learning years studying about how to act religious that they actually missed God in action. It’s almost comical, but ……

Day 14 – Matthew 13:1-58
Everyone likes a good story! As you walk with Christ, you’ll find that Jesus tells a lot of stories. It’s his number one way to communicate truth. Not all this stories are easy to understand and ……

Day 15 – Matthew 14:1-36
Try to imagine what this one day would have been like if you were able to walk around with Jesus. You’d have seen our Lord in all types of situations; from grieving the death of a friend, to feeding 5000, to walking on water, and calming the seas…unbelievable! ……

Day 16 – Matthew 15:1-39
Sometimes I lack faith. I hate to admit it…being a pastor and all…but it’s the truth. I know I should have total faith in God’s way and not question or worry, but that’s not always the case. I’ve seen God work in the past and yet I still wonder if he’s going to work in the present. ……

Day 17 – Matthew 16:1-12
Pharisee and Sadducee yeast sounds a little weird. At first the disciples didn’t know what it meant, so if you were a little confused with today’s reading you’re not alone. Again, in these few verses of chapter 16, Jesus uses another illustration to communicate the essential truth that the inside of a person is more important than their actions…….

Day 18 – Matthew 16:13-20
Okay, now that you’ve read these verses …who do you say Jesus is? Do you have an answer? Do you think he was just a good teacher? What about a nut-case who claimed to be God? Maybe just another prophet who made a lot of noise and put himself in high-profile positions? A lot of opinions are out there, but ……

Day 19 – Matthew 16:21-28
I’m amazed at how quickly Jesus’ words turn on Peter. A little earlier Jesus calls Peter “a rock” because of his professed faith believing Jesus was the Messiah. Now, Jesus says to Peter, “get behind me Satan.” Wow! Imagine how Peter must ……

Day 20 – Matthew 17:1-27
Peter confessed that Jesus was the Messiah (Mt. 16) and now he got to see firsthand that Jesus really was the Messiah, the Son of God. If Peter would have been asked that same question, after the Transfiguration (17:1-13), it would have been a no-brain-needed answer to the question “who do you say I am?” He would have said, “Without a doubt, you’re God. I saw it on the mountain while you were with Moses and Elijah…that was awesome…can you do it again?”……

Day 21 – Matthew 18:1-14
It appears that the disciples might have lost a little of their focus on what’s important when they began to argue about positioning (the argument is more clear in Mark 9; Luke 9). Their pride had become an issue. It may have been that they were jealous of Peter, James, and John for going to ……

Day 22 – Matthew 18:15-35
When we say “yes” to living God’s way we are also saying “yes” to living in harmony with others. Healthy relationships are a strong theme in the Bible and God has made sure we have some practical instruction on how to make relationships work, even in the midst of conflict. Most people hate conflict! Do you? Conflict can produce feelings of hate, revenge, and withdrawal…….

Day 23 – Matthew 19:1-12
he Pharisees couldn’t trap Jesus on other issues so they went after a biggie—divorce (isn’t it interesting that divorce continues to be a controversial issue today?). The Pharisees didn’t seem to care about the truth regarding marriage, they were eager to see Jesus fumble his words and contradict himself regarding his interpretation of the Mosaic Law of Divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4). ……

Day 24 – Matthew 19:13-30
The first time I read this passage I thought all Christians had to sell everything they owned in order to follow Christ and make it to heaven. Jesus told the young man those very words, and the disciples left everything they had follow Jesus so poverty seemed like a natural consequence to obedience. I began to wonder if ……

Day 25 – Matthew 20:1-34
My mom is a great lady and one of my biggest fans. I’ll never forget when she gave my baseball coach a hard time because she thought I deserved to bat higher in the lineup than he did. They discussed my batting average, she reasoned, he countered, and my mom came out victorious. While I may have ……

Day 26 – Matthew 21:1-27
While Jesus was trying to teach the religious leaders that they didn’t understand true religion (that it was heart not actions), he also was trying to teach his disciples about true faith. He wanted them to understand the importance of faith. Jesus knew that the only way to please God was through faith…….

Day 27 – Matthew 21:28-22:14
God doesn’t show favoritism. That’s good news! The doors to his Kingdom are wide open to any race, color, language, or painful past. God wants the banquet of heaven to be full…but, unfortunately, some will refuse the invitation. Just think about all the different types of people that have said “yes” to God’s invitation………

Day 28 – Matthew 22:15-46
I’m a pretty simple thinker and I love simple answers! The religious leaders thought they were asking Jesus tricky questions, but Jesus immediately gave simple, straightforward answers. When they asked the question about marriage after the resurrection it sounded as confusing as a present day word problem from math class. But, instead of ……

Day 29 – Matthew 23:1-39
I’m not sure it’s possible to read this chapter and not think, “wow, Jesus sounded mad!” We’ve seen all throughout the Book of Matthew that Jesus attacked the hypocritical attitudes and lifestyles of the religious leaders and it seems to come to a moving crescendo in this chapter. Religious frauds did upset Jesus 2000 years ago and it can’t be any different today…….

Day 30 – Matthew 24:1-51
Any discussion of the end-of-the-world gets a little spooky at times. Even though you might think it’s weird and try to avoid talking about it, Jesus taught on it. The disciples asked for a sign of his coming again and Jesus told them there will be a day when he returns (known as the second coming) No one knows when this time will be—Jesus didn’t even know (v. 36)…….

Day 31 – Matthew 25:1-46
In this chapter, we not only find more teaching on the end times but also on the responsibility of the believer to do something with his or her life. We’ve read enough by now to know that the arrival of Jesus (the second coming) is going to be sudden and many won’t be ready (vs. 1-13). But the rest of this chapter is a solid wake up call that our life is meant to account for something…….




Tested in the trenches, with proven results: download a free Bible study devotion for youth, written by DOUG FIELDS. 31 DAYS WITH JESUS is a student devotional that will deepen the spiritual health of your youth group. This Bible devotion will help your students will explore the gospel of Matthew and be encouraged to respond in prayer and reflection. These youth devotion ideas are ready to be applied to your ministry setting.


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