The tag on the side of the displayed recliner read, “Imitation Vinyl.” I thought to myself, “This is either a really, really good recliner or not.”

There are no flowery words for something that is fake, phony, bogus or a sham. Those who are fakers have spurious titles like charlatan, counterfeit, fraud, imposter, or quack.

I’m not a huge fan of the imitation or fake stuff. Fake news blurs lines of authenticity. You should probably knock it off when considering a knock-off recipe.

And then there’s the fake Apple store. Have you been into one of these counterfeit wonders? They look, feel, and point to Apple in all supposed directions. I had an Apple power cord I bought in Ohio that I needed to return in Georgia. The problem occurred when I walked into a store pretending to be an Apple store. When they could not help me or exchange my power cord (because they weren’t a real Apple store), I almost lost it. My kids said I did.

This Sunday we’ll unpack our fifth message in our Gospel-Centered Life series. This one is all about repentance. What images or emotions get conjured up when I mention the word “repentance?” (I have a story to tell about this come Sunday…)

Did you know we can become reasonably adept at counterfeit repentance? It is amazing what our self-centeredness does, even in our attempts to turn towards God.

We should talk… because doing this right or not has abundant life hanging in the balance. At stake is whether or not we keep pretending and performing—or living out the freedom of our adoption in Jesus. You should come. You should invite a friend or two. This Gospel grid stuff is good.

Our text on Sunday will be II Corinthians 7:5-11. Give it a read. What do you think was rolling around Paul’s head when he wrote those verses?

On Sunday, the music will be real. The coffee will be real. The Word and the challenge will be real. Bring your Bible. Leather-bound—none of those imitation vinyl ones!

Blessings, Y’all,
Alan

P.S. Sunday night begins our series of MERGE classes. Have you signed up yet? You can do so by CLICKING HERE.

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