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Be the Real Deal.



Before I was cleansed of all fast food unrighteousness, I used to eat McDonald’s nuggets because I thought they were 100% chicken ... but now I understand that what seems to be real isn't always real.

I remember how excited I was to attend my friend's wedding a few years ago. She was the first out of my sorority sisters to get married, and I was so happy for her.

The wedding was in Alabama, and I drove there from Atlanta with some of my friends. By the time the reception started, we were famished.

When our dinner was (finally) served to us, I questioned the chicken on my plate—it looked a little different. It was a leg and thigh quarter, but the meat was weirdly white on the inside.

I'm funny when it comes to meat, so I was reluctant to eat it. None of my sorority sisters shared my suspicions, though, so I went against my "funniness."

As if on cue, when I ate the very last bite of my food, one of the servers came over and asked us if we enjoyed the duck.

It. Wasn't. Chicken. It was duck!

I knew something was unusual about the meat, but all dressed up with gravy and garnish, it appeared to look (and even tasted) like chicken. I felt queasy and deceived.

I imagine that’s how people feel when they meet Christians who aren't the real thing. A taste of one pretender can understandably make a person question who or what to trust.

Even in a microwave society, we crave authenticity. If we don't find it in one circle, we look for it elsewhere. We look for things that make us feel good instead of what actually makes us better people.

I've met my fair share of "counterfeit Christians." I used to be one. And the funny thing is, I didn’t even know it. It wasn't until I started to grow spiritually and surround myself with mature believers that I realized how much of a fraud I really was.

There's a difference between someone who's living for God and someone who just says they are.

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." - 1 John 1:5-7

There's a story in the Bible about a group of Jews who tried to use the name of Jesus to cast out evil spirits. Big problem though ... they were fakes. They didn't actually know Jesus as Lord.

They tried to duplicate the power that God gave Paul to perform special miracles. And to no one's surprise, their authenticity was challenged.

One time when they tried to cast out an evil spirit, the evil spirit said, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” (Acts 19:15)

Even the evil spirit knew they were frauds.

I once heard that banks train their employees to recognize counterfeit money by having them study real bills, not fakes. I don't know if that's true or not, but I love the idea of going directly to the source.

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The Word of God is the source of truth. If you're unsure of something, go directly to it. People can easily deceive you, but God's Word won't.

Christianity has never been popular but so many people would be encouraged to trust God if our lives reflected what we say and believe. We may not be able to change those around us, but we can allow God to work in us.

It may look chicken and even smell like chicken, but it’s not the real deal if it isn’t 100% chicken. God desires for you to be an authentic follower.

Merely saying that you know Him is not enough. Be the real deal.

Do you have an area of your life where your authenticity is questionable? As always, I'd love to hear your feedback, stories, and questions. Head on over to the discussions page, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Did you enjoy today's message? Share it with a friend!

You were born to do great things. Keep moving forward! :)

- Mags

#real #realdeal

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