May 6, 2010

Authentic or Artificial

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- May 6, 2010

Authentic or Artificial… “But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared” (Matthew 13:25-26)

Is my faith genuine or only a replica of someone else’s religion? I may look and smell like a Christian, but is my faith just a product of a conservative culture? Am I engaged from my heart in eternal matters? It haunts me to think that I may have fallen into a routine that has lost the freshness of a faith walk with Jesus. Am I authentic or artificial?

An artificial Christian speaks the religious rhetoric, but acts insensitive and harsh. An authentic Christian measures their words well—not to impress—but to bring attention to Christ who lives His live through them. An artificial Christian, on the surface, looks deceivingly like a disciple of Jesus, but masked below their beliefs you find obsessive fear and faithlessness. An authentic Christian admits their fears and is motivated by faith.

As Jesus describes: is your faith the real deal represented by wheat? Or is your faith only a shell of what’s real represented by weeds? Both grow together and both look the same, but one originates with the Almighty, while the other grows forth from the enemy’s work. At the day of Christ’s judgment, it will be made clear: who really knows Jesus by faith?

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers’ (Matthew 7:21-23)!

So how can we know—that we know—that we know Jesus? Scripture teaches, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:12-13). Start with confession of Christ as your Savior.

Once you have, by faith, invited Jesus into your heart, the Holy Spirit will affirm His presence in your life. “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16). Also you will bear good fruit that remains for the glory of God. The Lord is the fruit inspector, ever looking for the luscious and juicy harvest of authenticity. And who in turn, judges the hard and plastic crop of artificial living.

“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 7:19-20).

Is my life an outflow of a real and robust faith? Have I genuinely confessed Christ as the Lord and Savior of my life?

Related Readings: Proverbs 22:10; 1 Corinthians 11:31-32; James 2:12; 3 John 1:9-11

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