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Forever Friends

1 Corinthians 15:53-55 (NLT) For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,   this Scripture will be fulfilled:  “Death is swallowed up in victory.   O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” I spent last evening in a youth service with grieving young people. The young girl killed in a horrible tragedy had touched many and her kindness rippled through the crowd as many shared of her character even at the tender age of 16. Their sobs racked my heart. Why God? The grief counselors from the local high school were there – all believers – they talked with some, embraced others tightly and prayed with those who requested it. I was moved by the Presence of God in the midst of such sorrow and heartache. Hugging her mother, I prayed peace and strength walking through this week into her new normal. I could

Who’s Blocking the Light?

Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6


You are all children of the light and of the day. Thessalonians 5:5

YESTERDAY ON the way home from school, a passing truck splashed a sheet of mud across Brent’s windshield. No big deal-except Brent had let his car run out of wiper fluid. He could see so little through the smears that he almost swerved across the center line into oncoming traffic. Close call.

Your culture is like that mud-splashed windshield. It doesn’t always let a lot of God’s light into your life. An environment chock-full of apathy or antagonism to­ward God, the Bible, and Christianity makes it hard for you to see God’s truth. And your true identity is one of the first things covered up by the cultural slop.

How? Well, your culture blinds you to truth through the media. The TV shows and movies you watch and the Internet sites you visit splatter you with misinforma­tion about God and his people. They blind you with a view of you that is far from God’s view.

Your friends might even toss another blinding bucketful of mud your way.

Ask yourself these questions: What kind of people do you hang out with on a daily basis? What do your friends, classmates, and other members of your peer group think about Jesus Christ and the Bible, the two primary sources of God’s light in your life? If you are having difficulty seeing yourself as lovable, valuable, and competent the way God sees you, it might be because God’s truth is being blocked from your view by peers who don’t see you as God does. They might be covering up the truth of your true identity.

The view you have of yourself is powerfully influenced by your peers because you and every other human being alive wants and needs close, personal friendships. To the extent that your all-important peers keep you from seeing God’s view of you, however, they put you at risk of becoming an emotional wreck.

God’s portrait of you shows that he sees you as lovable, valued, and competent. But what if your friends and peers don’t see you that way? What if many of those close to you treat you as if they didn’t give a rip about you? What if your peers subtly or openly avoid you, ignore you, or ridicule you? The more they blind you with lies that you aren’t lovable, valuable, nor competent, the harder it is to see that you are.

REFLECT: Do your close friends see you as God sees you? Is it time to get some new friends?

PRAY: Ask God today to help you allow plenty of his light to flood into your life through your environment and your friends.

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