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Summary: There’s a difference between telling people that you’re different and convincing them you’re different by the way you live.

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OPENER Activity: "Believe it!"

Choose an odd item for a pre-selected teen to try and convince the crowd that they can’t live without the particular item---you just gotta have it!

After the activity…

What went through your mind as he/she was talking to you?

Was he/she convincing?

What was the biggest distraction?

Explain that this is sometimes how non-believers see Christians when we try to talk with them about God.

What could make people see us like that?

How can we avoid causing people to see you like that?

How can we convince people that Jesus is real and that He died for our sins?

What will really get them thinking?

READ 2Corinthians 5:17

There’s a difference between telling people that you’re different and convincing them you’re different by the way you live.

If you tell someone you’re homeless but you’re dressed just like everybody else, they’re going to have a hard time believing you.

But THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, if you dress, talk, eat, and sleep like a homeless person, then they’ll be convinced.

You can tell people how different you are all you want, but they aren’t going to believe you until they see it.

When you are different, people notice---you will STAND OUT--they will the real you.

Let me illustrate this on how important it is to see the real thing...

You know what you’re getting when you pour something into the glass--but not the Styrofoam -- Use Styrofoam cup vs. Glass cup illustration

1. The key to showing Jesus is sincerity.

Nobody’s going to listen to a word you say about God unless they see you living it out every day.

Your relationship with God isn’t something you need to explain for other people to notice.

They should see it in the life you live every day. Are you going to mess up at times? You bet! But at least people will see you for who you are

2. Being around people who are sincere doesn’t mean they’re always serious

You don’t always have to walk around with a serious look.

Have you ever been around those people that you know have an uncontrollable passion for God?

They might not say much, but you can see a desire for God in everything they do. When people like that talk about God, people are ready to listen because they see them living it.

But remember it’s important to be yourself. Save the masks to spook people at Halloween, don’t wear them everyday. Some show it by laughing and joking with others. Some show it ONLY if you ask them too and they’re very quiet

3. Emotional High’s Only Last A Short Time

Why aren’t more Christians wanting to be “real” by showing Jesus through their lives? What’s holding them back?

Many times people are very excited when they first become a Christian---they get a spiritual high at high impact youth events

But when the emotional excitement doesn’t last, they get discouraged--and often depressed

This is when your faith is really tested when a person’s relationship emotional high with Jesus has worn off

Then their life is no longer noticeable because it becomes just like everyone else’s around them.

4. Being Real With Someone Goes A Long Way

We need strength and endurance from God to live boldly for Him even when the excitement fades. Has it faded in your life?

How hard is it for you to have God as the center of your life--and be sincere (real) with someone?

One reason our church staff get along so well is we all love God, love teens, and are real with eachother

Jesus said that I have come to SAVE the world not condemn it, for he who rejects me is already condemned by what they do. Being real goes a long way if you’re real with Christ and others around you.

5. Being Sincere Isn’t The Most Popular Thing With The Crowd

Living for God isn’t easy. It means that you’ll be noticed. It means that more people are going to know that you’re a Christian, they might not like you because of it.

It also means that you’re going to have to make and be willing to the things in your life that please God.

Once you decide to get real with God--you’ll find that you begin to stop doing those things you used to do that you know does not honor God and hinder your witness to others.

6. Being REAL for Jesus affects every area of your life.

It determines the music you listen to, the clothes you wear, the friends you hang out with and the things you do with them.

It changes the way you act: how you handle getting angry and frustrated, how you react to people when they’re mad at you... and how you can put up with them when they stick it to you…

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