August 2, 2017

It's been TOO LONG...

1 Samuel 18:1, 3-4

I just came back from Jenness Park Christian Camp last week, and I learned a lot. A lot more than I feel I can share in one devotional.  The theme for this year was: Convergence; Two Paths; Choose One. It was such an amazing, wonderful experience this year (and every year I go to Jenness Park)! 

There are too many devotionals I've missed in the past two months, and I'm sorry, from the bottom of my heart, for that.  But tonight, I'm going to talk about one day in particular from my Bible Study in which we talked about how important friends are.

The first part of this devotional comes from 1 Samuel chapter 18.  In this passage, it's talking about Jonathan and David.  Jonathan made a covenant with David.

Covenant- Promise or agreement

It says in verse one of this passage that "After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself."  Then in verse three, "And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.... Jonathan took off his robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt."

We talked about how God should be first, above all else, but then others should be second. (Mark 12:30-31) Jonathan did this. He took everything he had and gave it to David.  He made a covenant with him, loved him above himself, but kept God above both him and David.

I've thought A LOT about friends over the past couple of years. The real ones. 
I've thought about how much has changed since middle school and elementary.
I've thought about how alone I used to feel.. Isolated and alone and odd compared to everyone else.
I've thought about the friends I've lost because of my faith...
And I've thought about how many friends I've made in the last two years of high school that are real and loving and kind, and don't judge me for my faith. 
I've thought about the friends who SHARE my faith, and talk to me about their faith, and keep me accountable in my devotionals and my Christian lifestyle. 
I have thought about HOW THANKFUL I am.

I want you guys to think about your circle of friends.
Who your CLOSE friends are (the ones you would tell your DARKEST secrets to, who are ALWAYS THERE, who you'd die for, etc.), who your GOOD friends are (the ones who are next runner up, who you hang out with a decent lot but it's not QUITE the same as your CLOSE friends, you don't know them as well, and vice versa, etc.), and who the ACQUAINTANCES are (the ones you pass in the halls and say "hi" to, but don't really know very well or hang out with much, etc.).

Do your CLOSE friends encourage you and keep you accountable in your faith?
Do you feel closer to God through them?

Or do they drag you away from God and more towards the evil things of the world?
Are they bad influences?
Are they discouraging?
Are they toxic?

These are big things that you should think about.

Proverbs 27:17 says that "Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another."

This life is hard. Not going to lie. There are struggles and temptations and evil desires and trials and tribulations. LOTS.  But Jesus knows exactly what you're going through. Don't forget, He was human too. 100% God, 100% man. He experienced earthly troubles and temptations, but never fell for them. God will put people in your life who will love you and keep you accountable. He doesn't want you to go through trials and tribulations alone. 

So today, and tomorrow, and as school comes back, really think about who your true friends are.  It is very important to be friends with people who are not Christians, and people who need you. But you need help too. So go out and find the people God wants in your life. Iron Sharpens Iron. ❤❤


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