"O taste and see that the Lord our God is good!"
Psalm 34:8, Amplified Bible
Expectation #1 - The person will be who they say they are. The keyword is: Genuine.
"Genuine" - Not counterfeit. Free from hypocrisy and dishonesty. Pure. Authentic. Sincere. Produced by the original source or author.
What do you think it means to be "genuine"?
"And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, ‘Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another?' When the men were come unto him, they said, ‘John the Baptist hath sent us unto Thee, saying, ‘Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another?' And in that same hour He cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind He gave them sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, ‘Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he."
Luke 7:19-23, King James Version
Many years ago, I received a call from a gentleman whose company was looking for graphic and printing services. He had been referred by a mutual friend to the small company my husband and I owned. When I got the phone call, I have to admit the request played right into my ego. First, the referral was from a much larger and very respected organization and I was thrilled they chose to send the potential business our way. Second, from the sound of what this gentleman needed, he would be providing our company with a great deal of business.
My husband and I set up an appointment to meet with the man at what he told us were, "his offices." It was a lovely group of buildings and our meeting went splendidly. He told us we had exactly the services he was looking for. On the ride home I remember telling Jim that either our ship had just come in and we had hit the mother lode or we might be booking passage on Titanic #2 if things didn't work out the way we expected.
Call it woman's intuition or just an upset stomach, but something in my inner-self felt uncomfortable about the whole situation. I told my husband I'd like to do a little checking around and he agreed wholeheartedly. I put a call in to an older, very experienced businessman in our city who always seemed to know somebody who knew somebody. To say this man had connections would be an understatement. I asked him if he would be kind enough to do a little checking for me. Several days later, my trusted friend called me back. "The guy you met is a phony," he warned. But there was more. The buildings the guy had said were his, happened to be a place he borrowed for the day of our meeting. What's more, he had left a steady stream of unpaid bills all over town. This crock had portrayed himself as something he wasn't. He was not authentic. He was not honest. He was not genuine.
I am certain if I asked each of you to share a story about someone you have met who appeared to be one thing and later proved to be quite the opposite, there would be thousands of stories to tell.
Over and over again, individuals enter our lives and appear to be a certain way. They even tell us what they are like; how they feel; and what they will do. They paint a picture for us of who they are - and we believe them. We fall for their line! Maybe for a while they really do appear to be what they say they are. Then one day, something happens. They do something contrary to our expectations and we feel betrayed - big time!
If you think you are the only person who has had questions about whether someone you know is genuine or not, our text at the beginning of this section, from the book of Luke, will put your questions to rest.
Let's look at what was going on in the life of John the Baptist when this story took place. He was in prison, treated brutally because he stood up to the cruelty of Herod. While John rotted in jail, his disciples came to him with stories about this fellow who was taking the country by storm. Crowds were following. This new man in town was Mr. Popular. Come to find out - - he was none other than John's cousin. And yet, here was John the Baptist feeling forgotten and alone - shackled and chained - so he sent his friends to Jesus with this question, "Are you genuine? Are you the real-deal? Are you who you really say you are? Are you God's Son come to earth?"
I love Jesus' answer. Instead of arguing with or deriding the disciples of John because they had questions, Jesus invited them to spend the day with Him and then He told the disciples to go tell his dear cousin John what they had seen and heard and felt and believed.
You see, God doesn't say to us, "I'm genuine, I'm authentic, I'm real, now don't ask anymore questions." Instead, just as Jesus invited John's disciples to come and see for themselves, God says to you and me, "Come, taste and see for yourself" (Psalm 34:8).
When I was growing up, my mother had an interesting way of introducing new food to our dinner plates. My sister and I were told that if we thought something didn't look good, we had to take only one bite. If after that bite we still didn't like the food, we did not have to eat anymore. But we had to take one bite. We had to at least taste the food.
If you have ever felt, because other people in your life let you down now, you can't count on God either, hold on! Taste and see! If your expectations in someone you trusted were blown apart by infidelity, lies and betrayal and now you find it difficult to trust your Heavenly Father - taste and see! And if you feel you have never met someone who really ends up being who they say they are and this experience has affected your relationship with God - Taste and see! I ask you, "Are you looking for a God who is genuine?" Taste and see!
"Lord, you have said, I am the Way - not that we shall never be confused.
You have said, I am the Truth - not that we shall have all the answers.
And, I am life - not that we shall never die.
Teach me to know you here on earth - in its tangled maze of pathways, to know you as the Way; in its unanswerable mysteries, to know you as the Truth; in the face of suffering and death, to know you as the Life.
Thank you, Lord, for not offering us a method, saying, This is the Way.
Thank you for not granting us a set of invariable propositions, saying, This is the Truth.
Thank you for not delivering us from being human, saying, This is the Life.
Thank you, Lord, for saying instead, I am, and for thus giving us yourself."
"I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one cometh unto the Father, but by Me. If ye had known Me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him."
John 14:6, 7, King James Version
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.
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