Saturday, April 5, 2014

Real or Not?

From Christmas trees, butter, sugar, clothes, people, and a myriad of other things, we are constantly confronted with choosing between what is real versus what is fake, artificial, counterfeit, a replica or a substitute.  Sometimes “not real” can be advantageous such as having artificial Christmas tress when your family is dealing with allergies.  Even clothing items can save you money when you select an item that is not necessarily a brand name.  Teachers have substitutes, when they are not in class so that information can still be imparted for the day.  Depending on one’s needs or desired outcome, it is important to check out the pros and cons before making a decision.

At times, it can be difficult to discern between the real and the replica.  Furniture, clothing, and so many other items can be so similar to the original that it is often difficult to determine the difference.  It’s been said that when teaching agents to identify counterfeit money, they do not give them fakes to study.  They have them see, touch, view, and study the real money until they know it so well that they can spot the imitation with little difficulty. 

Jesus warned that there would be false teachers who would try to distract us from the truth and what is real.  He knew that it would be important to warn us and encourage us to know Him, read His Word, and listen to the Holy Spirit so that we would not be swayed by what the false prophets said, did, or invited us to be a part of. When it comes to being a devoted follower of Jesus, there is no room for what is fake, artificial, or counterfeit.  When people see us, Jesus wants them to know that we are His real disciples. 

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 
Matthew 7:15-20

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
John 8:31 

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:35

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