“Cindy, is your faith as genuine as it seems?” She asked not out of disbelief so much but in comparison to her own faith walk that she was feeling inadequate in.
“Great question”, I replied with an inviting grin hoping to encourage her as we made the exchange of goods for money over the countertop.
That was the entry into a brief but meaningful discussion about Jesus. He is the source of “genuine” in my life and hope for hers as well.
How do you sum up your life story of 41 years in less than 10 minutes? You don’t. But I went to the heart of the matter that I was still very aware of my sinful, broken down human nature, and ability to be anything but genuine.
The reality is that I had a day of reckoning years ago where I could see the ugliness of my sin and felt the sting of my shame.
God did not leave me there. He completely comforted me. I was drawn close with the unmerited grace of His love through His Son, Jesus, who was taking all of that guilt upon His cross, for me.
My response to His gift that day was nothing less than a miracle. He softened my heart and granted godly sorrow that led to repentance. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Now, I’m like anyone else who wakes up one day realizing that I’ve wandered again from my Lord. That lady found it comforting that I would admit that openly. While she doesn’t see it on a day to day basis and found it hard to believe; it’s true! Somedays I get distracted and realize, “Wow! I didn’t spend time with the Lord talking to Him or reading His Word.” I don’t forget to eat, EVER! But I have forgotten about Jesus.
“Me First” can easily become my mantra.
“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
Real life comes from abiding in Him! Remember this:
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
I am pleased to know that spiritual fruit is bearing in my life through the power of the Holy Spirit.
People, fake fruit doesn’t fool anyone for long! It doesn’t last! It also doesn’t stand the test of living in a fallen world. “Fake it til’ you make it” does not work with God!!!
Fruit of the Spirit can only come from Him through your yielding to His work in you.
“Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness and Self-Control” Galatians 5:22-23
God. Brings. The. Genuine.
He is the Author and Perfector of our faith! He gets the glory and honor due His name!
Time for talky talk, Sister! How are you doing in the area of yielding to the Spirit?
Have you drifted? If so, it is time to return to the Cross in remembrance of what Christ has done for you? Confess the burdens. Release the strongholds to His nail pierced hands. Receive His grace and refresh your soul in His genuine love. A broken and contrite spirit He will not turn away. (Psalm 51:17)
“Father, we want to be genuine. Our heart’s desire is to be totally overhauled from our sin sick selves to be more like Christ and only You can do that work of transformation. Relationships can be hard, but You can provide everything we need for life and godliness if we’d only trust and obey. May our love be genuine. Abhoring what is evil; holding fast to what is good. (Romans 12:9) Your word reminds us that if we say we love You, we will keep Your commandments. (John 14:15) Help us to abide in Your presence so we can walk in Your Spirit of truth and love. It is so good for us to remember Your wisdom to treat others the same way we want to be treated. (Luke 6:31) We look to You, Father, to make us a genuine people for Your good use in this world. Amen in Christ Jesus.”