2 Corinthians 13:5
Sermon notes from message by Rev. Thomas Boyd on July 8, 2012
There are a lot of counterfeit goods in the world … knock-off designer bags, watches and fashion … why do people buy them? For many, it’s not about the watch; it’s about the label and the perception that people will think more highly of you if you own expensive things. Some people want to be regarded as and admired for being rich, successful and important.
There are also counterfeit Christians in the world … people who want to be regarded as and admired for being a Christian, but they don’t want to really do what it takes to follow Jesus. They “wear” Christianity like a fake Rolex. Many come to Jesus, accept Him as Savior, and are sincerely excited about it for a while. But they lose interest when He begins to point out things in their lives that need to change.
What does counterfeit mean? “…made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud.” If we are honest, we will admit that, sometimes, WE are counterfeit Christians. Every so often, all of us say one thing, but do something else. We need to examine ourselves regularly. Ask your self, “Am I living according to what I say I believe or do I justify some of the choices I make?”
“But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 If you are growing in the Lord as you should be, then every one of these areas should be increasing in your heart and life. You cannot pick and choose some of these traits and avoid others. How would you feel if your life became a reality show and everything you said and did last week was on TV for all to see? Would you be seen reading the Bible, praying, being kind to your family and others? Sometimes we treat the people in our home worse than we treat everyone else. How do you conduct yourself at work? How do you behave when you are out and about in your community? At Church, are you divisive and self-serving or, as far as it depends on you, do you make every effort to be loving and live at peace with everyone?
Don’t compare yourself to other people; compare yourself to Jesus. God will give you the strength to live a holy life in this world if you ask Him. He will give you the power you need to make right choices. We all say or do wrong things sometimes. It’s what you do afterwards that makes the difference. Do you justify your behavior or do you admit you were wrong and apologize? How do you behave when you don’t get what you want? Over time, you should become a mature Christian. The problem for some is that they like being spiritually immature. “God hasn’t convicted me of that yet.” If something is in God’s Word, then you are convicted of it. You’re just ignoring Him and refusing to grow. Let’s all grow up a little! Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are choices.
The way you act in front of other Christians at church on Sunday morning should be the way you behave all the time. You don’t take vacations from God. Wherever you go, Jesus should be going with you. When you are all alone, what do you view on your computer? What do you watch on TV? Do you think, “I can take this from my employer because they don’t pay me enough anyway.” An authentic Christian may best be defined by the choices he or she makes when no one else is there.
The world is looking and thirsting and hoping to find authentic Christians. So are you. “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi) Every moment can be a new beginning. Ask God for forgiveness. Accept Jesus as Lord of your life. Walk in the light of His Truth. Be genuine!