Finally Experiencing the Real Thing     

There are two important truths contained in the title of today's Lifeline: "Finally" and "the real thing". For many years people were always talking about how the Lord was going to do something "soon". If something did happen, it seemed more like a "show" than authentic Christianity. Like many others, I got tired of waiting for "soon" to become "now", and was ready for the "show" to be over and the real thing to begin. We can't make the Lord do what He doesn't desire to do. But He wants to do so much that we aren't experiencing, that there is no need to fake it and pretend that something is happening when it isn't. There is plenty available now!


Experiencing the reality of the Living God and Resurrected Lord's presence, His power, promises, love, and everything else available to us, requires us to be authentic. That's another way of saying "being real". To be real is to be transparent. With a transparent person, "what you see is what you get". They aren't hiding behind a mask, living one way at home and another in public. There is no deception. The authentic Christian is not trying to get you to believe something about them that isn't true. In other words, they aren't living in sin while trying to make everyone believe they are holy and righteous before God. This is different from living by faith. By faith, I can acknowledge how a situation or myself appears to be, but believe and confess from my heart that I am what God says that I am. There is no deception in that. On the other hand, I cannot confess to be what God says, when I am willfully practicing sin from my heart, making no effort to repent and change and hiding it from everyone else. That is deception and is not authentic.
Nothing will manifest the presence and power of God in your life faster than becoming real before God. Jesus showed us how to do it. Calling Himself the Light of God, he said in John 3:20,21...
20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light  
for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes  
to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
I am authentic if...  
* I come to Jesus regularly, with an open heart, asking Him to shine the light of His Word, Truth, and Love on me. I want Him to reveal who I am. I don't avoid Him, by being "too busy" to pray, study, etc.  
Warning Signs that "Religion" may have replaced an Authentic Relationship...
* Avoidance...

      ...Avoiding Church, other believers, or anyone or anything that brings conviction.
* Backing away from the "the works you did at first", when you were on fire for God, and replacing them with a "form of religion" that has no power.

Let us all pause, go to Jesus, and ask Him to reveal to us who and what we really are, so that God can be all He wants to be in and through us. There is so much more waiting for everyone who will simply say, "Enough of the way things used to be! I am willing to be transparent. No more lies and deception. Come and make something beautiful out of me!"  So be it!     

Thank you for helping us spread the light
and love of Jesus this Christmas!  
New Life Church
10800 Hammerly Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77043