Most of you have probably seen the movie (and now the video) Aladdin. In fact, if you're like some boys and girls I know, you have probably watched it over and over again and can even recite some of the dialogue.
You remember the story: Aladdin is a poor street kid who comes across a magic lamp. Inside the magic lamp is a powerful genie who will give Aladdin three wishes. Aladdin loves the princess, Jasmine, and wishes to be a great prince so that Jasmine will fall in love and marry him.
But do you remember what actually happened when Aladdin and Jasmine were together? It wasn't the prince she loved; it was Aladdin, the real young man inside the royal costume.
Sometimes we think we have to pretend to be something else, other than what we are, so people will like us. The problem is, those who will only be our friends if we pretend to be something different — well, they aren't really friends after all.
There's a friend who will accept us exactly as we are, and His name is Jesus. Oh, it's not that He wants us to be less than our best; but He will be our friend and help us to become our very best.
Having Jesus as a friend is better than any magic lamp or even a genie — because He will be our friend forever, and will help us to grow and become the people God created us to be. That's not magic — that's God's love! (JMD)

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