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MATTHEW 16:24 "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."

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You are at work and a coworker tells a dirty joke; do you laugh or do you walk away?

I think peer pressure is one of the biggest temptations Christians have to face. And Satan knows that!!! He uses peer pressure against us every chance he gets, especially with our children and teens. But even we adults who have been Christians for years are not exempt from the temptation of wanting to belong.

I was saved at an early age, I was only 12. At the age of 16 I fell a victim to peer pressure. I fell in with a crowd that drank, smoked, etc. I stopped going to church, stopped praying and stopped reading my bible. I know what it is like to be dying to belong. But Jesus asked the question in Matthew 16, "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" What are we profited if we win friends but lose our souls? What are we profited if we belong to a group but cease to belong to God? We might enjoy our popularity for a season but then it will not matter to us anymore. When we grow old and are facing death, it won't matter to us if we were popular or belonged to the in crowd! The only real in crowd is made up of children of God.

This is something we need to practice every day of our lives. And we need to teach it to our children and our grandchildren. It doesn't matter what other people think about you, if you belong to God. It doesn't matter if others think you are odd or stuck up or a prude, if your Father is a King. It doesn't matter if others call you names like old fogey or old fashioned if you can lay claim to a home in heaven. The only thing that matters is what is going to happen to you after this life is over!

So the next time someone at an office party offers you a drink, stand up straight and look them right in the eye and say, "I don't drink, I'm a Christian!" Never apologize for standing up for what you believe in. Be proud of your Christian values. If others don't accept you or laugh at you it just doesn't matter next to the approval you will receive from God! The next time someone starts gossiping about a friend or coworker find somewhere else you need to be. Don't sit and listen to them for fear you will offend them. They didn't mind offending you by objecting you to their gossip! I once had a man call me and tell me several people told him our pastor was visiting a home just to be with the teenage girls. I told him I didn't believe him and (none too politely) hung up the phone. Christians must stand up for what they believe in! I can't stress this enough. We must let others know who we are and what we believe in. God expects it of us and we should expect it of ourselves. We need to be proud of who we belong to. How would it make you feel if you knew your child was ashamed of you? How would you feel if you thought your husband or wife did not want to be seen out with you? If you gave your parents a picture of you or of your children and you found that picture in the trash, how would it make you feel? Well that is how God feels when we are ashamed to let others know we belong to Him. Be proud of who you are and don't worry about what the world thinks of you. After all, you are not trying to gain the world anyway, you are trying to save your soul!

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[GOD BLESS]

Remember Lot's wife? She was dying to belong to the in crowd of Sodom. God tried to save her in spite of herself but she looked back with yearning and turned into a pillar of salt. Don't think about the world with yearning to belong, we don't belong to this world. The world is at enmity with God. We cannot be a part of the world and a part of God, too! I choose God, how about you?

LOVE
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