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“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 10:39 (NIV)

Isn’t it odd to think we’d lose our life if we found it? But that’s not so.
No, instead we are called to lose our life. This doesn’t mean dying for Christ – though in some cases people do lose their life for believing and following Christ – think of the Church in Asia and elsewhere. I think it means we need to lose our life in the way that we die to the ways of the world we live in; die to the society that so often tells us how to dress, act, look and even love. Die to the world’s twisted definition of love. Die to the comfort of our life as a rich American. Die to the broken world that calls us and says, “This is home. This is how it should be.” This world may be our home, but only for a short period of time; we are a people who move around, never staying in one place, as Katie Davis, author of Kisses from Katie, puts it, “I am somewhat of a nomad on this earth. Human beings long for a place to call home, a nest, a sanctuary of their own. I have many and none… But God whispers to me that I really have only one home, and that is with Him,” (128).

When we lose our life; our life in this lost world, then we find our life in our Savior, for how can we strive to follow our Father’s footsteps when we don’t even have an understanding of how he instructs us to truly live? We wouldn’t of ever been able to find life in Christ had it not been for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Jesus was dead to the world, he turned his back on society’s rules and blazed his own trail. He was a rebel, he was an essential outcast, he was radical.

Refering back to the persecuted church, I recently read a book called Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand, and in the book he tells of his life as a Christian living in the Soviet Union, giving his own story along with others. He tells of how they were tortured by being burnt, starved, placed in freezing conditions that they when they were on the brink of death, that’s when the officers would pull them out and warm them up a little. They would beat them, whip them; it is unimaginable to us. The Soviet officers were trying to get them to renounce their faith. They had zero success. The tortured knew what it was like to die in the worldly way, they knew how what it was really like to know Christ. It’s in the situations of persecution, trials, hardship, and materialistic poverty that people have the strongest faith. They have died to their life and found life in Christ. They have picked up their crosses and followed Christ.

We have to ask ourselves, a people who have not really known what it is like to live in poverty, be tortured, or lose everything, the question, “Are we truly able to die to our life of comfort, pick up our cross and truly follow Him?”

Think about it.

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“See what kind of love the father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are… Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
– 1 John 3:1-2 (ESV)

Remember when you feel down, unloved, and worthless; not good enough for people’s standards – whether it be peers or family – your Father in heaven is looking down on you with pride and indescribable love. You are perfect the way you are, don’t let people change you because you don’t match society’s contorted and twisted ways and standards. You are you, and no one else; “Just be yourself, everyone else is taken,” (Unknown). When you don’t feel like you can’t please or make your parents proud enough, do remember they love you, dearly, if you need extra comfort, God is there for you; he’s ready to take you and hold you in his arms, hear what you have to say, and to smother your tears with love and joy.

We are all children of God. One day all this pain, the feeling of unwantedness, and hurt will all be gone. For one day we will join God in heaven either when our days are up on earth or when Jesus returns to claim what is his and create a new earth and heaven.

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Music of our generation. Some say it’s got “class” others “meaning.” And it sure as heck has both! But what about the influence? The actual meaning behind those words we call lyrics? The pop, country, rap, and even rock singers nowadays are almost always writing music according to love, relationships, and what happens in them… and example would be Jennifer Lopez’s song Dance Again featuring Pitbull. When you hear the lyrics first time around, you think, Hey, this isn’t so bad. But after listening over and over, as well as reading the lyrics, you start to get these feelings. And you know what the song really translates to? It transmits the message of: “Come and dance (have sex, kiss me) again with me. I really liked it the first time ’round.” Um, whoa. What did you just say? You may be thinking. Yeah, that’s right, you read it correctly. That’s really what the message depicts too.

Now, the influence, it teaches young people (people our age – highschool) that in order to be happy, you have to find love; relationships. Kissing. Sex (gross, right?). Music can be a role model for people on how to act, according to feelings, because that what it conjures. The tune puts you in a mood, the words “speak to your heart.” Music artists know how to get inside people’s heads. Especially those looking for love.

Even music by Disney has that movement. I mean, look at Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Tangled. From Beauty and the Beast there’s the song “Something There,” where both Belle and the Beast talk about something (the hint of love) that they see in each other. There’s something attracting them to one another. In The Little Mermaid, the song Kiss the Girl”, a song of where the lyrics are very direct, are in sung in the scene of were Ariel and Prince Eric are in the boat and they are about to kiss. The Lion King, the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight, takes place when Simba meets Nala after a while, and they go off with the baboon, Rafiki for a “love adventure.” And finally, in Tangled, the song, “I See the Light is played in the scene where Rapunzel and Flynn are watching the lanterns, and in the movie they realize their true love for one another.

See what I mean? Its everywhere, and you know what, everytime I see Tangled (what? I may be a high schooler, but I still enjoy Disney!) I go off imagining; day dreaming, about my crush, or the perfect guy out there. Each time I hear the song “Kiss the Girl,” it, again, lures me off in the wrong direction. I am a person of purity, and I want to keep it that way until I’m married. Don’t you? I sure hope so.

Why does this happen? Because,we are human beings; flesh. Flesh’s nature is to sin; go against God’s will. But it’s by his grace and constant reminders that we are saved from sin. Society wants us to go against our godly nature. For people that want to be accepted, well they try to fit into society doing things society says “are cool.” For some people who’ve pledged purity, or who want to keep their purity, they push the rules. “Okay, I’ll just kiss this once, it’s OK. Right?” Well, that one kiss turns into a very physical relationship, and people can end up in trouble and destroying their purity.

The influence of today’s music is alarming, that’s why as Christians we need to be aware and careful of the things we listen too, as well as watch. Here’s a small section from Proverbs 2 (2:1-15 NIV):

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.”

Remember the words of Solomon, through God, his writings are amazing and very inspirational, as well as healthy to someone who is in need of insight.

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