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How do you decide what’s truly real?

You’ve got to get this _____. It’ll make you (look/feel younger, skinnier, more handsome/beautiful, healthier, ….)”

Want to be rich? We’ve got just the thing for you!”

Here, try this. It’ll make you so strong, you’ll survive anything!”

It seems we hear more and more “information” which sounds much like these words I’ve heard over the past weeks. I’m sure you’ve heard similar things too. How do we decide what’s real, true, encouraging, and life-giving? How would you define the (too often heard) cry of “fake news!”? In the midst of all this confusion and clamoring for our attention (and time, and money, and votes, and….), Jesus gives guidelines which His disciples (followers) should always use as we seek to determine what is TRULY real. Here’s the “main idea”: Is it encouraging? Is it life-giving? Is it God-focused?

Consider what (or who) you let define your priorities and life pathways. What guidelines do you tend to follow as you daily decide what to hang onto – and what to let go of; and what to collect – and what to give away? In other words, how does the world’s definition of wealth differ from Christ’s? Jesus desires for each of us to be truly wealthy – ALL of us. The world tells us there are only so many resources to go around. So what does REAL wealth look like?

We all want to be strong; we want to endure the struggles and trials of life. More than that, we want to remain strong to the end of our earthly lives. Jesus tells us there’s enough strength and endurance for ALL of us, and not just enough to crawl across the finish line of our earthly lives, but such an abundance that in Him we’ll end our earthly lives with victory over death itself! The world tells us there’s only so much strength and endurance to go around – survival is victory. So what do REAL strength and endurance look like?

We all want to have purpose for our lives. Many times that purpose looks different in the various seasons of our lives, but we all need a reason to be. The most common question throughout human existence is this: Why am I here? Jesus tells us that each of us is born with a God-given purpose. It’s up to us to build a strong relationship with God in order to identify that purpose and live into it through each season of our lives. Then world often tells us that purpose has two sides/choices: to use others or to be used by others. So what does REAL life purpose look like?

May each of you live truly wealthy, strong, enduring, and purpose-filled lives – walking in the footsteps of Christ.

Now that’s REAL!

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