Note – Thank you for all who have been praying for my Grandma and my family. Grandma passed away peacefully on June 8th with each of her sons there at her side, holding her hands. She is with Jesus now and will never face sadness, illness, suffering, pain, or death again. We miss her greatly, but we know she is having the best time ever with the Lord and all of her loved ones. We so look forward to seeing her again in heaven.
It has been a tough month. Things are beginning to get back to a new normal. Thank you for your patience as I spent a lot of time with my Grandma in her final weeks. My prayer continues to be for God’s greatest glory in her life, in her death, and in our response to her death as a family.
MY $10 BILL SITUATION
I took our children and two of their friends to a nearby store to pick up some pool noodles 2 weeks ago. I quickly found a $10 bill and my wallet and and gave it to my daughter and her friend to go to the register to pay. As they were paying, the cashier kept holding the bill up to the light. Then she called the store manager to look at it.
The manager inspected it, glared at me, and quickly announced – loudly in front of all of the other customers – “This bill is FAKE!” And she kept it. Didn’t even let me look at it.
I was in total shock!
I had never been accused of passing counterfeit bills before, and was running on about 4 hours of sleep per night for the past month since my grandmother had been so sick. So I gave her a $20 to pay for the 6 pool noodles, collected my change, and left without the ten dollar bill. All four kids were freaking out. Especially the eleven year olds were traumatized. The cashier and manager looked at them just as hatefully as they looked at me. The girls were so upset.
I called Greg and my dad. I was confused – wondering if the bill really was fake, or if I had just been robbed of $10. If the bill was counterfeit, I wanted to be sure the police had it. If it was legitimate, I wanted to be sure the store manager didn’t just pocket it for herself, even if it was just $10. What if this was something that happened often at this store?
But even then, my prayer was, “God, somehow use even this for Your glory!”
(Later, I looked up what I should have done – and apparently I should have called the police and filed a report if I was accused of unknowingly passing counterfeit money so that if it was found to be legitimate, they could get the money back to me and make sure the manager didn’t pocket it. Just in case you ever need to know!)
Greg’s dad actually went back to the store and talked to the manager and asked to look at the bill. He got her to give it to him and he took it to the bank. The teller at the bank said that if she checked it and it was counterfeit, they would have to keep it. That was fine with me. The bank called the FBI to confirm that the bill was actually legitimate. The problem was that it was slightly off-center and it was printed in 1950 – so it was very old. If it hadn’t had a smudge of dirt on it, it actually would have been worth $20 for a collector because of the odd printing.
Whew! What a relief to know that my $10 was totally legit. But maybe it is not a bill that I should try to spend.
The whole situation got me thinking about counterfeiting. When people make counterfeits, their goal is to make the bill as close to a legitimate bill as possible so that they can deceive people. Of course, they usually don’t make counterfeits of ten dollar bills. Not when they could make $100 bills! The criminals try to imitate every feature perfectly so that no one will notice the bill is fake. Then the unsuspecting victim will think it has great value when actually, the bill is completely worthless.
SATAN IS A COUNTERFEIT MASTER
This is exactly what Satan does. He uses big chunks of the Bible and tries to make false religions/cults look true. He tries to make his lies look like the truth, and if you are not looking closely, they can seem legitimate. But there is always a bit of a twist so that it is not completely true – and so that those who believe his lies will not actually know God at all and not experience His salvation.
What a shock it would be to think you had God and truth – only to find out when it is too late – that you don’t.
Let’s remember what Satan was and who he was before he fell. He was the highest ranking angel – Lucifer. His downfall was his pride. He wanted to be equal to God and worshipped like God. He knows how to disguise himself as an angel of light.
This is why we MUST know the Bible and handle it rightly. This is why we must test the spirits and not just accept what anyone says about God. We need to check the teachings of a pastor, a church, a denomination, a religion, against what the Bible says. If someone preaches another gospel other than what the Bible declares to be true, we are to run away from false teaching. This is a very big deal! We must be able to discern biblical truth from Satanic lies. And, we must remember that Satan plants false teachers in the church, not just in cults and false religions.
Let’s not be naive – Satan also loves to spread counterfeit information about many important topics – masculinity, femininity, marriage, parenting, relationships, God, and everything else. Let’s be willing to question everything and hold it up to the light and scrutinize the messages of our churches, our favorite teachers, our favorite songs, the media we consume, our friends, and our culture. Let’s be alert so that we do not fall prey to the schemes of the enemy to rob and destroy us.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Please help us discern – by the power of Your Spirit and by our right handling of Your Word – between truth and lies. Let us run from every counterfeit. Let us only listen to and obey Your voice and Your truth alone. Help us build our lives only on the Solid Rock. And help us to not miss all of the truths of Yours that are so precious and valuable, discarding them as if they are trash when really they are important.
- Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
- For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Cor. 11:13-15
- I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. Rom. 16:7
- For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 2 Tim. 4:3
- See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Col. 2:8
- But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. Gal. 1:8