If you are a pastor or lay person who wants to use this to preach in church – that is why I posted it. I don’t care about credit, I only care that God’s word is preached and Christ is glorified. I pray He uses this sermon in a mighty way through you. You have my permission to alter it and use it however God leads you. This one will need some work on your part to flow better. God bless you in your ministry. You can also bookmark this to check out the other free written sermons on my blog.
Be imitators of God – greek word mimitase – what do you think we get from that? Mimic. Imitate – mimic.
This got me to thinking about counterfeiting.
Money, jewelry, purses, shoes,
When we had the church yard sale – someone warned us to watch out, even talk about getting one of those brown markers to check the yard sale money, apparently someone had been passing counterfeit bills at yard sales lately.
They take the real thing – and make it something it’s not. They take a five dollar bill, bleach it out, and make it $100 bill. I’m guessing even the brown marker wouldn’t work on that.
Christians have to realize that satan takes the real thing – and makes it something it’s not.
God’s Love and Satan’s lust
food, sex, ads, comforts…
books, movies, clothes…
pressure to conform, praise, power, pride, re-imagining God and His Word
Just as he lied to Eve that if she ate from the tree, just as he lied to Jesus telling Jesus that he would give him the world, he lies to us.
He’s taking something real and good and true, and twisting it to make it something it’s not.
He’s deceiving you with empty words. Verse 6 says don’t let anybody deceive you with empty words.
People who tell you you’re OK when you’re not, tell you that you need things when you don’t.
One way he does it is by telling us it’s OK, everyone’s doing it.
You don’t have to be married to have sex. Live together to see if it’s going to work out.
You’ve gotta be happy. All that matters is your happiness. If you’re not happy, get a divorce.
I believe there’s a place for divorce, not limited to but especially if there’s physical or emotional abuse.
The great deceiver, or counterfeiter, tells us that the next thing will make us happy.
What would it take to make you happy and secure? If you make $20,000 a year, it’s a $5,000 raise. If you make $50,000 a year, it’s a $25,000 raise. If you make $100K a year, it’s $50,000 more. If you make $1 million, it’s another half a million, if you make $100 million, it’s another $100 million. Do you get it? Satan never wants you to be happy and content. He always has to have you wanting more.
While Jesus is telling us to sell all we have and give it to the poor,
satan’s telling us we just need a little bit more.
It’s not easy to do the right thing. Being an imitator of God is doing our best to do what’s right even when nobody’s watching.
Satan tries to imitate God. He tries to imitate God to deceive people.
We try to imitate God to influence others to turn to Him, and because we want to – NOT because we are afraid not to. Simply because we love Jesus.
When people stand before others to “preach”, it can be easy or it can be hard. It’s easy if you’re not preaching the entire Bible. It’s hard if you are. It’s easy if you’re just telling people what they want to hear, and there are some things we want to hear that aren’t wrong. But sometimes it’s hard to hear the whole truth.
Let me give you an example – This example is normally not something I would say in big church, but would say in early church – but here goes.
God loves you. It’s true that God loves you. God loves everyone. There’s the song – Jesus loves me, this I know – for…. How do we know? (For the Bible tells us so.)
Here’s the whole truth – God loves you in spite of the fact that someone had to drag your sorry rear end here to church today. Telling you God loves you is not wrong, but there’s more to it than that. God loves you in spite of the fact that you haven’t been diligent in prayer. God loves me in spite of the fact that I haven’t read my Bible as I should. God loves us in spite of the fact that we don’t treat our bodies as a temple. God loves you and me in spite of the fact that we’ve been divorced, in spite of the fact that we’ve had an abortion, in spite of the fact that we’ve denied him, in spite of the fact that we hold a grudge, God loves us in spite of the fact we’re selfish and greedy. God loves us in spite of how it may appear when we’re going through difficult times.
Is that hard to preach?
A preacher can’t preach that as his or her first sermon in a new church, but it has to be preached sometime. After trust is established that the preacher has my best interest at heart, I want to hear the whole truth. That’s the real thing. God does love us so much that he sent His only begotten Son, to die on the cross for our sins so that whoever calls upon His name will have eternal life. That’s the real thing.
Here’s how satan takes the real thing and makes it something it’s not:
God loves you. God wants to bless you. This isn’t blessing, if God rally loved you, He wouldn’t let you go through this. You need to get even. 4 steps – 4 sentences. Sounds logical.
But this is the deceiver talking with empty words. This isn’t Biblical. Christianity is not the cure to going through hard times.
Rather Jesus says in the beatitudes – Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are the merciful. Blessed are those who are persecuted for His sake.
You will mourn – and when you do you will be comforted because God loves you.
Jesus says – People will be mean to you and they will hate you, that’s OK, they hated me first.
Let no one deceive you with empty words. I’m not going to tell you you’re OK when you’re not. Here’s the cost if we don’t admit it – For you know that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
If satan can have you go to the grave thinking you’re OK, that you’re not as bad as the next person, that you don’t need a Savior, he’s created the ultimate counterfeit. It’s the great con job.
I stand here today willing to tell you the truth, as hard as that is. It’s only possible because I love you and I’m one of you. We’re all sinners – and what makes us a Christian is that we are saved through God’s grace, by our faith. We acknowledge that we are sinners in need of saving. Who doesn’t want you to go there? The great counterfeiter, the great deceiver. His words are empty. God’s Word is true.