A 3 Dollar Bill
I was looking through a book and a line in the book stopped me cold, I am going to have to paraphrase it because I do not have the book as it belonged to someone else.
It said something like, “satan has a counterfeit for everything God has. You do not see counterfeit $3 bills because there are no real $3 bills.” Rick Joyner, The Final Quest
This line started my wheels turning with questions like how do you tell a real Christian from a counterfeit? The Bible only has one way, by their love.
“For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” 1 John 3:11
There is a song, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”
So, if God is love, and we are to love like Him, what would be “counterfeit” love?
Logically, Jesus laid down His life for us, so the opposite would be not laying our lives down on behalf of other people.
“But…” we say. Laying my life down would be uncomfortable, awkward, not convenient, and really not what I want to do, I have a family to think of, I have to work, I do not have time.
How would you know a counterfeit Christian? By their lack of love. Their life would show some good stuff, they might love God, go to church, work at some charities or ministries, they might pray really well but does their life show “love”? Is it only a convenient kind of love? That would be a kind of love that they do only when they feel like it. Life rarely comes out of their comfort zone.
I have come to realize that Jesus was never linear. What I mean by that is that when He spoke, it was never surface value, it has much more importance than simply the face value of the statement.
Jesus says to Peter, “Feed my sheep,” this line was not only for Peter, it was for us all. This was not simply take some sheep out to a pasture and let them graze. It was not take a bag of grain and stick it in a trough. It was give your life for the sheep. Be with them, care for them, lead them, talk to them, value them, bandage them, find them water, find them shelter, fight off their enemies. Just to clarify – Jesus was not even talking about “sheep”, He was talking about people.
Sheep are not the cute and cuddly animals we think they are. Man, they can smell. They are dirty because all the dust, dirt, grass, and twigs gets stuck in that mass of curly fluff. They are bossy, pushing their way into places they do not belong. They are hard to shear, they do not simply stand there quietly and let you shave them – it takes work! They cannot fight off their enemies, they need help. They are followers not leaders.
When Jesus says to Peter, “Feed my sheep,” (John 21:17) He is really saying lay down your life, exactly as a shepherd lays down his for his sheep; sheep who really do not care much about you, they just want their next meal.
Jesus has some unkempt, smelly, rude and obnoxious sheep. Sure there are the cute little lambs in the spring, but they grow up into sheep and sheep are known to not be the brightest animals in the kingdom.
A Christian who is not willing to lay down their life on behalf of others, including others they do not even like, at times when it is not convenient, that person is like a $3 bill, they are not real.
I have been talking to a couple people and studying the Experiencing God book (almost done) and the line that parallels this concept is: “You cannot call Jesus Lord and say no.” Henry Blackaby
When Jesus is at the core of your life, He is in control and when He tells you to do something the answer always has to be, “yes Lord,” whether you want to or not.
If you feel you can say “no”, then He is not really your Lord. Harsh, but totally true.
I was talking to a fellow who had some wandering eye issues. I asked Him if Jesus was His Saviour and Lord? He said yes, so I asked Him what the difference was.
He could not define the difference and for a long time when I first was a Christian I did not know either.
Jesus as Saviour – has saved us. His death on the cross took all my sin, past, present, future and Jesus paid the cost for me. He saved me.
Jesus as Lord – recognizes that Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit are the “boss”. Just as in the workplace when your “boss” tells you to do a job, if you turn around and say “no” – you won’t be their employee very long. God as Lord takes His rightful place at the center of our life and when God asks you to do something (comfy or not) the only response can be “Yes Lord.”
This is the cost of obedience, the road to be saved is easy because it cost God so much. The road to Lordship is the one that costs you.
I explained to this fellow that God has saved him, and God as His Lord has also told him what to do with his wandering eyes. The scripture is pretty clear:
Matthew 18:9 – “If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.”
Give it up or pluck out your eyes. His response has to be “yes Lord” and walk the other way or to pluck out his eyes. To not walk away and keep looking is to not have God as Lord of our life – it would appear to be a counterfeit way to live.
In my talking with people it is common to hear people say they have been hurt in the church, someone did something, said something or did not do something. It is not surprising then that the church is not growing by leaps and bounds because without true love, the love that costs something, perhaps maybe forgiveness, kindness, and grace, it really rings true as a counterfeit, much like a $3 bill.