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Day 146

Monday, April 29, 2019 -

God wants us to be genuine. He wants us to be real. Hence, we need to live our lives in a manner that when we are genuine about who we are, it won’t embarrass us. In other words, we don’t say one thing and live another way.

Ananias and Sapphira are prime examples. They lived during the early church when everybody put their resources into one pot as Jesus called us to live! The fact of the matter is, there may not have been anything wrong with keeping back a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their property. But they lied, apparently making everyone think they put the entire amount into the pot when they didn’t. God hates deception! Ananias and Sapphira lost their lives over it.

You’ve heard the old adage, “Honesty is the best policy.” Well, it’s a Biblical principle.

God also tells us not to be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s part of being real. If Christ means everything to you, you need to live like it, and proclaim it!

When I first arrived in prison, I was apprehensive coming to a place full of criminals I thought would probably hate Christ. And I’ve never been the most outspoken person - - much more of an introvert than an extrovert. But I made a determination to be real because I knew that’s what God wanted. And so I told people, every opportunity that I got, that I was a Christian, and even told them why I was put in prison. Instead of the ridicule I expected, I received respect, almost across the board, without exception. Granted, I know God and His angels were all around me, as many on the outside were diligently praying. But if I hadn’t tried to be the genuine thing, hiding the fact I am a sincere Christian, I am sure I would have had a difficult time.

And there’s one added benefit, I know people are watching me, wondering when I’m going to slip up and reveal I’m not the real thing. Well, that just keeps me on my toes, it keeps me in His Word relying completely on Him. I pray diligently for the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in my life to those around me.

I challenge you to do the same with your life. Be bolder in your faith. Be real. But at the same time be the genuine thing.

I see many men in the chapel who are one thing, holding their hands in the air, praising the Lord, but then you talk to them outside of chapel, and their lips are full of bitterness, profanity, and unforgiveness. Not all, but many. God despises that in those who claim to belong to Him. Don’t fake you’re the kind of Christian you’re not. Ultimately, God wants to refine you into the kind of person who has “a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (I Timothy 3:7).

God loves it when we’re real. And when you happen to be struggling with something, say anger or bitterness, or lust, tell Him you just can’t deal with it on your own. Because you can’t! But you know what? Once you’ve come to that realization, you’re halfway there! Confess it to God, repent of it, and let Him know you’re helpless in that area, and by so doing, you are turning it over to God to take it from you completely! And do you know what? He will! But the first step is that you be real. Be honest. You need God’s help. We all do! For there is no other way to be real. That’s one reason He sent His Holy Spirit. When that temptation or thought or word comes, rebuke it, and give it over to God, reminding Him He promised to deal with it because you are unable. It works, especially as you draw closer to Him and spend time in His Word and communing with God each day.

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