Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tell a Friend (John 1:50-51)

Did you know that more people come to know a personal relationship with God because of a friend or relative who told them about how much God loves them? It's true. Why would your friend trust a stranger?

When is the best time to talk about God with your friend? I found that when I see my friend lonely or in despair, or suffering I can say, "I've felt like that before." But if I haven't felt like that, if I haven't had their sickness, I can say I know Someone who cares because He showed me how much He cares for me.

Jesus called Andrew one day and Andrew felt so wonderful that he went and brought his brother, Simon (also called Peter) to Jesus. The next day Jesus called Philip and He couldn't wait to tell his friend, Nathanael, about the Messiah, Jesus, the Son of Joseph from Nazareth.

"Nazareth? Can anything good come from Nazareth?" asked Nathanael.

"Come and see," said Philip and convinced Nathanael to come.

Jesus said, "Here is a true Israelite; no deceit is in him."

"How do you know me?" asked Nathanael.

"I saw you under the fig tree," said Jesus.

Then Nathanael recognized Jesus as the Son of God.

Jesus said, "You believe because I said I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than this."

Think About It
This is how our lives with God begin. First we accept what others say about Him and then we accept Him into our lives. We learn how to have a relationship by reading His word and talking with Him in prayer. He becomes our Friend, a Partner in all we do. Is there someone you would like to tell about Jesus? Pray for an opportunity and then watch what God will do.

Pray About It
Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me how much You love and care for me. I pray for an opportunity to tell my friend, _________, how You made me feel when I was [lonely or sick or intimidated]. I pray for courage to speak boldly and lovingly. Amen.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Back to School and Your Peers

Have you had a lot of time with your friends this summer? Maybe not. Maybe you spent a lot of time with your brothers and sisters while your parents worked or participated in sports or other organizations.

After a long summer, I was always glad to get back to school. It was great to spend time with my friends again. Peer pressure was big, even when I was young. But I'm thankful parent pressure was stronger. I remember thinking to myself, "My mom would kill me if she knew I had a beer or if I went all the way with a boy." So I didn't do those things.

Peer pressure is stronger today. Do you want to be accepted? Does that mean taking a drink, or smoking a cigarette? Does it mean using bad language? Has anyone dared you to steal candy out of the bulk bins in the grocery store? or something out of another's backpack?

When you know your peers are planning or doing things that are wrong, you can stand up to them. Be confident when you say things like, "I don't do that," or "I have to get my homework done," or just plain old "No." Did you know that is not only being true to yourself; it could help a friend who is thinking about doing wrong. You could help a peer make a right decision by choosing wisely for yourself.

Learn how to manage your peer pressure or it will manage you in ways you may not be prepared for. It is not fun to be laughed at or made fun of, but when you rise above insecure feelings to do what is right, you'd be surprised how people will respect you.

Think About It
Peer pressure dates back to the beginning of time. Jesus had peer pressure. He helped His friends make wise choices, but there were plenty of others who laughed at Jesus. They didn't like His message or miracles and in the end, they killed Him. Most likely you will not die for doing what is right. Just know that Jesus has traveled this road a long time before you, and He can be your best Friend. He knows the things that concern you. He wants to offer counsel and comfort. Just say His name and know He is near.

Pray About It
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your faithfulness. Thank You for never leaving me but being with me through good and difficult times. Amen.