THE WRITINGS OF RUTH MARTIN
The Preacher's Wife

Is It Real Or Look Alike?

The other day I was standing near the jewelry counter of a local store and noticed a mother and her two children, a little girl about nine and a boy who appeared to be about eleven or twelve. They were apparently choosing a gift for someone. I don't know what the mother was looking at but the little girl was having a good time twirling the top-of-the-counter earring display showcases. She seemed to not have any interest in the jewelry inside. The boy,however, was also twirling the cases but he was looking at the contents inside. The mother had made her selection and was waiting for the clerk to complete the transaction. I heard the boy say, "Is it real or look-alike?"

The mother answered, "it's real. See, the sign says 14kt. gold."

The clerk handed the woman the package and they left.

I have not been able to put the boy's question out of my mind.

IS IT REAL OR LOOK-ALIKE?

There are so many things that are copies of the real thing, whether it be fashions in clothing, jewelry, perfumes, household items, art or whatever. Some are really excellent copies and some are very cheap imitations. Sometimes only an expert can distinguish the difference. Sometimes it is obvious to even the most untrained eye. There is nothing wrong with owning a copy of an item if you know it IS a copy and you are not being deceived. And if you are not trying to deceive someone else. For example, I might love a painting by a famous artist but the price of the original is far beyond my financial status. But I can purchase a nice but much less expensive print of the painting and find great pleasure and enjoyment from it. Now if a dealer sold me a print of a painting and assured me it was an original and I bought it, then I was deceived into thinking I was buying the real thing.

Gold is something that has always been and probably always will be admired and a pleasure to possess. We find many degrees of purity of the beautiful, enduring metal and of course the price goes up as the quality goes up. Then, of course here are many versions of copies of gold. When I was a young girl I saved my nickels and dimes and bought the prettiest ring. It was "gold" with a "ruby" surrounded by "diamonds". I wore it proudly everywhere I went, but one day I noticed a strange greenish mark around my finger. Oh no! My pretty $1.00 ring was discoloring my finger..the"gold" was wearing off. Unwilling to give up my ring, I cleaned it up real good and polished it with clear nail polish. It looked like real gold again, and when the nail polish wore off, I just painted it again. I wore that ring for the longest time , but finally the polish couldn't hide the inferior metal any longer and I had to stop wearing my ring.

Today you can find some really good copies of gold. There is the cheap, cheap metal that on the surface LOOKS LIKE the real thing but it won't stay pretty, but will turn, or change color, or flake off, etc. Then moving up is gold plated, a base metal dipped in a very thin layer of gold. then there is gold filled, nicer and quite acceptable in some cases. Now we get into real gold, and without getting into technicalities, the quality of gold increases as the amount of impurities is burned away. We find 10kt,14 kt. 22 kt and so on..until there is only PURE gold; all the dross is burned away and only the beautiful treasured, enduring metal remains. Sometimes only a qualified jeweler can tell the difference.

The same is true with gems ; diamonds, emeralds, rubies, etc. The trained and qualified expert can tell the difference because he has studied and become very familiar with the genuine precious metal or gem and when a copy is placed before him next to the real thing it is immediately detected.

So it is with salvation. Man tries to satisfy the inner desire for a pure heart and peace with substitutes....humanitarian service, gifts of money, volunteer work, good moral values,possessions, success and on and on. But when those things, good though they might be, are placed beside Jesus they are revealed in their shoddiness and shabbiness, their imperfection, their shallowness , their weakness and failure.

Look now at THE REAL THING. Look at the sinless, pure, spotless Savior, the Lamb of God, Son of God. There is no spot or stain to mar His beauty . He shines as the Bright and Morning Star. He reveals His gentle, loving, compassionate nature, Burden Bearer and Comforter. There is no weak baseness in His Being...He is the Strong Deliverer, Captain of the hosts of Heaven, The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. One day He will be the final Judge.

The young boy asked, "Is it real or look alike?" I ask you, " Are you depending on Jesus Who said I AM the way, the TRUTH and the Life? Or, are you depending on your own version of a look alike salvation?"

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WRITINGS OF RUTH MARTIN

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