John 15:12, 13 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Have you noticed how fake imitations never last? It’s funny how people can go out and buy a fake Rolex watch, fake brand name perfume or imitation coach purse and then weeks later complain about how it didn’t last. The thing is, things that are fake just don’t last, you’ve got to go for what’s real and not for a cheap knock off or imitation.

It’s the same way with people. Quite often people give up on real and authentic friendships and replace them with shallow ones for the sake of popularity or being in a particular social group. The problem is, just like the fake merchandise, imitation friendships are only that, imitations of the real thing. Have there ever been people in your life that told you they loved you, but their actions said otherwise? If you want to discern the real from the cheap imitation, the first the thing you need to do is look towards Jesus. Jesus’ love was so great that he laid down his life for his friends. That’s what real love is. That’s how you can tell the real from the fake. We need to love as Jesus loved. Imagine for a moment a world in which people love each other as Jesus actually commands us to love! Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations; Jesus is the only way, truth & life (John 14:6) and his love for you is very real, and that’s not fake!

QUESTION 1. Have you ever purchased or known someone who has purchased something fake and tried to play it off as the real thing? What happened?
QUESTION 2. Have you ever had someone tell you they love you, friends or otherwise, only to find out they were just using you? For that matter, have you ever done this to someone else? (Explain)
CHALLENGE: We challenge you to get reacquainted with the real love of your life, Jesus Christ. Don’t settle for cheap imitations, and whatever you do, don’t be a cheap imitation of God’s love to someone else. When you’re faced with figuring out what’s real from what’s imitation, look to Jesus, dig into his word, ask yourself what would Jesus do and teach.
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