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Summary: (Morning Service) Many don’t realize who they are. We are children of God, through Jesus Christ - and we must act like a family who loves one another. (Bulletin insert at bottom)

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A woman was working in her front yard one day planting new bushes and flowers. She was dressed in her work clothes and had dirt all over her hands. She looked up and saw a moving van pulling into the driveway next door. Behind the van was a car and a nice looking family got out of the car.

The new family noticed the woman and came over to introduce themselves to her. They spoke for a few moments and the woman in the yard invited the new family over for a welcome dinner that evening.

Then, she went inside and told her husband to start getting ready, and she began dying her hair. As she was getting dressed and putting on her false eyelashes and false fingernails the husband asked her why she was so dolled up just for a dinner. She told him how they had seen her all dirty before, but now she wanted them to see the ’real’ her!

This lady exemplifies the American churchgoer today. We get ready for church and put on our Sunday go-to-meeting clothes and all too often, we hide the real us. Many go to church regularly, they know much about what is expected of them, but of all the things they do know, they don’t know who they really are.

A recent survey showed that over 80% of churchgoers didn’t know what it is that makes a person a real Christian. Something is terribly sad when people go to church but have no idea if they are a real Christian or not. Let’s talk about that this morning.

1. WHO ARE WE?

1 JOHN 3:1-2 says –

‘How great the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.’

We are the very children of God! We are made children of God through our personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ as our Savior. And, as children in the family of God, we have certain responsibilities to other family members.

Before we are saved through Jesus, we are sinners of the world, and we still tend to act like sinners of the world, too. Oh, we can be very nice, but only when things are going well for us. As soon as something, or somebody, creates conflict with what we want, we stop being so nice, don’t we?

When we get angry with somebody, or say something negative about somebody, we are being ungodly and we actually choose to sin. As much as we try not to, we all do this from time to time.

To show the seriousness of these actions, let me show you what this does from another angle. Let’s say I do something you really don’t like. You get upset and later on, you talk to somebody else in the church and you tell them what I did and how much you didn’t like it, only when you tell them, you use sharp criticisms or bad negatives about me.

Do you know why you do that: Because you are angry and you are trying to convince somebody else to be mad at me, too, like that is going to make you feel right or make the situation better.

Now, I am using me as an example, but we have all done that in our lives to someone else, haven’t we? The problem is that each time we repeat something, we tell it a bit differently. And if you hear something and then pass it on, you will pass it on just a bit differently, too. So, in this case, by the time four or five people have been given negative information about me, I am going to look like Satan incarnate! And again, we all have a tendency to do this. SHAME ON US!

I hope you can see that this is very sinful in nature, and has no place at all within the family of God? This is also what causes dissention and strife to be brought into the Lord’s church, and if we cause this, we will suffer punishment come Judgment Day.

We must all help each other avoid doing this, and the only way we can do this is to love each other enough to just let them know you understand they are upset, but you cannot be a party to talking like that. This will help us to know …

2. WHAT WE LOOK LIKE TO OTHERS

There is a show on TV called, “What Not To Wear.” It is basically where they help a person, who has no taste at all in clothing, find and wear clothing that is more stylish, thus helping their self-confidence. I was watching this the other day and I started thinking about what kind of clothing children of God wear around each other.

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