Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Is It Real or Is It Memorex?

Sometime ago when we used tape cassettes to record, there used to be a commercial that challenged the buyer of whether or not what they were hearing was live… was real.  Most of the commercials featured Ella Fitzgerald singing a note that shattered glass while it was being recorded to tape.  And then when they played the tape back, the glass would shatter and then they would ask the question, “Is it real or is it Memorex?”  Memorex was the name of the brand they advertised to try and get you to buy.  The point of it all was that Memorex was so close to the actual thing that you could not tell it wasn’t real.  Even in this instance, the Memorex (the artificial thing) was able to shatter the glass… or so the advertiser wanted you to believe.

Some of us are claiming to know God.  Claiming that we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, when “the evidence” against us speaks otherwise.  I once heard the question, “If you were on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  Hmmm… unfortunately, the answer for some is a resounding no.  It seems as though nowadays people want to claim knowing Christ if it benefits them at that moment and want God to do something for them, but they deny Him with how they live their lives or when it comes time to actually taking a stand.

People are not taking a stand on many of the world’s issues anymore, believing that they are being judgmental if they do.  Let me just say this, just because you call something as wrong in the eyes of the Lord, does not mean that you are judging somebody.  It simply means you are stating what is wrong.  As children of God, we have the authority to judge matters.  Not the person, but the act.  So some of us are afraid to say anything, but in doing so, we are saying A LOT.  God says you can either be hot or cold, there is no middle ground.  Time to be real.  Real in our beliefs, real in our convictions.  Either you are going to stand for the Truth or not.  But you cannot continue to hide or that would make you to be a hypocrite.

A hypocrite is a play actor.  The dictionary defines it as one who is putting on a role.  The world labels Christians hypocrites, because truth is, many of us show ourselves to be one way, and profess ourselves to be another.  We say that we are Christians and yet do the very same things that the world does.  And not only do what it does, but how it does it.  We dress like them, we “party” like them, we drink like them, and we act like them.  And then we say we go to church, we believe God, we read the Word.  No, not so.  If you are in the Word, the Word will be in you, and most importantly in your actions.   You will be real.  One way or the other.  There will be no question about what you believe and Who you believe in.

If we truly come to know Who God is and have received His Son as Lord and Savior of our lives, there will be some signs that we have.  We will speak up against those things that are wrong.  We will walk in humility, taking pleasure in serving God, no matter what it is we’re doing.  We will pray for those who despitefully use us.  Pray for those we don’t think are worth praying for (how about that one).  We will begin to love as God loves.  To hate what He hates.  We will have a desire to live holy and separated lives.  No longer doing the things that we used to do nor having the desire to do so.  When we sin, (because we all do), it will actually hurt us.  So much so, that we will make every effort not to do it again, and truly be repentant when we fall short.  (Cause we will).  And let me say this, repentance is a turning in the opposite direction from what you have done, it’s not just saying sorry or I won’t do it again.

We will learn how to truly forgive.  To let things go the way we ought to, the way that God does with us.  We will give from a place of lack.  A place of sacrifice.  If it doesn’t cost us anything, if it doesn’t “hurt” us somewhere, it’s not a sacrifice.  These are just some of the signs that we know Who Jesus is and what He did for us mattered.  The Bible says in 1 John 2, that this is how we know we belong to God, because we keep His commandments.  We do what He says.  And if we don’t, we are liars.  It says that if we claim to know Jesus that we will walk the way Jesus did, following after His footsteps.  It also says that if we claim to love God and we don’t love our brother or sister that we are walking in darkness, blind.  And the truth is not in us.  The truth is Jesus.  The Truth is real.  Jesus is real.  And what He did for us was real.  And it has to be just as real to us, as it was to Him.  That is what will make us real.   

The apostle Paul was real.  He was the real deal.  Who he was and what he did, came from a pure heart.  Even before God changed his name from Saul, he was real.  True to his character.  True to his convictions.  Too many of us waver.  And that is why the world can’t see Who God is.  And when Saul became Paul, he became even more real, because he knew he served a real God and came into a relationship with Him.  It’s impossible to be the real deal without knowing the REAL deal.  It’s impossible to be the real deal without tapping into the real power source.  Where does your power come from?  Why are you able to do the things that you can do?  If your answer is you… it might be Memorex you’re working with.  If you’re answer is Christ, than you may very well be the real deal.  You can only do all things through Christ who gives you strength.  If you don’t believe that one, your power is insufficient. 

The seven sons of Sceva were trying to do something, trying to operate like God, without His power.  They weren’t able to do what Paul did.  But yet they tried and when they did, the demons made an open show of them and said, “Jesus I know, Paul I know, but who are you?”  And the demons sent the sons of Sceva running naked.  Which is the same thing that will happen to you if you do not have a real relationship with the Living God.    Memorex.  Needing someone to play you, because you have no power of your own. 

God is the real deal.  Knowing Jesus in the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, that is the real deal.  Anything else is artificial.  Fake.  Anything else is Memorex.  A recorded copy of an original written to tape.  Is it real or is it Memorex?

Are you real or are you Memorex?  You really don’t have to answer.  How the demons respond to you and how you respond to them, more importantly, will find you out.   

Is it real or is it Memorex?

God is real.  Jesus is real.  And I am the shattered glass that proves it. 

A real (and broken) servant of the Lord,
Sis. E