THE COUNTERFEITS

 
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August 5

 

<em-John 8:24 </em

Unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins

 

In assessing counterfeits to Christianity, no criterion is more important than the Person of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote: “I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough” (2 Corinthians 11:3, 4 NIV ).

 

 

 

Other religions may talk about Jesus, but they present Him in another way than He is presented in Scripture. They may talk about the same historical Jesus, but not about the Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, and the great I AM. Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sin” (John 8:24). If you believe in Jesus in any other way than how He is presented in the Bible, you will receive an altogether different spirit instead of the Holy Spirit and an altogether different gospel instead of the gospel of grace.

 

The counterfeit spirits which are at work in the cults and the occult are nothing like the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you” (John 16:13, 14). The Holy Spirit always leads us back to Christ.

 

The counterfeit gospel is not a gospel of grace because the blood of bulls and goats will never take away sin, so you are left with a gospel of works. But the real Jesus died for our sins, the Spirit of truth has come, and we are marvelously saved by grace.

 

Prayer: Lord, I want to be so filled with the knowledge of Your truth that I may quickly recognize and turn from all counterfeits of the gospel.

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A Prayer to Raise Hopeful Kids

By Kristine Brown

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15)

Discouraging headlines top the evening news. Clashing opinions fill our social media feeds. Kids are surrounded by negativity online. Is it any surprise they would be affected by the cynicism they hear every day? Yet we know God wants us to have hope. Paul teaches in Romans 5:2 that we should “boast in the hope of the glory of God.” So as parents, how do we teach our kids to be hopeful in an increasingly cynical world?

1. Ask ourselves one question: Am I overflowing with hope?

Even though outside influences bombard our kids daily, no one has more influence over their attitudes than their parents. Changing my own actions and words can alter the entire atmosphere of our home. The best thing we can do to instill hope is to demonstrate it.

2. Look for the however in hurtful situations.

There is expectation in the word however. It speaks contrast. It declares promise, and we need that. We need the hope of a silver lining in hurtful times because we will have troubles. And as much as we’d like to shelter them from the pains of life, our kids will have troubles, too. So it’s critical for them to understand God’s desire to teach us great things through difficult situations.

3. Don’t accentuate the negatives. They get enough attention as it is.

Awareness can bring about positive change, but it can also be a burden on our children, who may feel powerless. And when kids don’t think they have a fighting chance, cynicism results. What’s the use? Nothing’s ever going to change anyway. Why even bother? 

We will springboard radical change in our homes using these steps and Scripture as a guide. Most importantly, let’s hold onto this truth. God is hope. And He gave it to us through His precious son. “In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” (1 Peter 1:3).

When we trust in that promise, we can counteract cynicism and doubt with optimism and belief. Hope begins here, with us.

A Prayer for Raising Hopeful Kids in a Cynical World

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the living hope I have today through your Son, Jesus Christ. There is nothing more wonderful. Help my kids to know the magnitude of that hope, as I show it through my words and actions. When we are tempted to be cynical, restore our joy and renew our attitudes. You are bigger than any problem in this world. I declare today that my family will focus on Your goodness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.