I made a joke once during one of my live messages about a particular butter substitute that defies me to tell the difference between it and real butter.
I said I can believe it's NOT butter.
Why? Because IT'S NOT BUTTER! Sheesh.
I have used enough butter in my life so that I can tell by the taste, consistency, and color, the difference between the two.
Those of us who accept that it tastes like butter do so probably because of a lack of comparison.
In other words, we haven't had real butter for so long that we have forgotten what it looks and tastes like.
We have accepted less. We have accepted a substitute.
It's as if our taste buds have become "dumbed down"!
It never works when we accept less of what we are accustomed to.
Remember the 1994 Major League Baseball strike?
Remember how pathetic it was watching a game with "replacement" players?
It's just not the same.
It's not the same when we are less than we need to be to others.
It's not the same when we are less than what God has created.
He designed us to be His handiwork.
We in turn end up as a cheap knockoff.
Often the world looks at the precious gift of His Son Jesus Christ and replaces Him with a false idol.
Even some factions of the church transform Him from a mighty Savior of the world, into a cheap pimp for their own interests.
I think that we have been bombarded so thoroughly in every facet of our lives with cheap imitations, from politics, to sports, to religion, that we struggle with what is real.
This is why it is important for us who follow Christ to make sure we do not get our noses turned upwind at the first whiff of a better "savior".
The person who coined the phrase "build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door" knew what he was talking about.
We are a fickle and conniving people, and left to our own carnal desires, we will run after what even remotely resembles a better deal.
People will trade their very soul for a leg up on the next guy.
Even Jesus is for sale or trade on the open market.
This is why it is important to stay connected.
Staying connected to the church, the hearing and reading of the Word of God, spending time in prayer and fellowship with other believers, discussing the events of the world with each other through a Christ-like perspective.
Remember. Religion says to be a follower of Christ you HAVE to go to church, read your bible, pray, and act right.
That's the watered down substitute.
Jesus says you will do those things BECAUSE you are His followers.
2 John 1:9 - "Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son."
There's the danger. Are you running ahead of God today?
Are you not abiding?
Are you living IN the doctrine of Christ?
You don't get this by acting religiously.
You get it by being His disciple.
Disciples want to be around Jesus and other disciples as often as they can.
The hunger and thirsting for righteousness becomes insatiable.
Accept no substitute today!
Run it all past Jesus first.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><