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When is peanut butter not peanut butter? The Federal Government answered that question recently when the Food and Drug Administration said peanut butter had to be at least 90% peanuts and must meet certain nutritional requirements. Products which don’t meet that standard will have to have new names.

At this time, on a voluntary basis, manufacturers can sell peanut products similar to peanut butter with any amount of peanuts, but they will have to be called “peanut spread” and the label will have to list the percentage of peanuts included. If they fail to meet the nutritional requirements for peanut butter, the name will have to be “imitation peanut butter.”

Now when kids (and parents) eat America’s favorite sandwich, they can be assured of getting the real thing. All imitations must be designated as such.

It’s tragic that there is a lot of living today that goes under the label of Christianity, but does not meet the minimum requirements and is really an imitation. There are too many people who “talk” but don’t “walk” the faith. Too many people limit their Christianity to Sunday. This can be very confusing to new Christians and to outsiders because no one is wearing a label of “imitation Christian” or “Christian spread”.

While peanut butter can get along with 90% peanuts, Christianity requires 100% commitment. Jesus said that a man must love God with all his heart, all his mind, all his soul, and all his strength (Mark 12:30). Jesus talked about the rewards of full commitment when Peter said that they had forsaken all and followed Him (Matthew 19:27). Jesus invites us to “Come after Me”—no place for spread or imitation.

I feel that it is far more important for people to get the real thing when they are looking for Christianity than when they are eating peanut butter. The only kind of spread we need is the kind that gets the Word to more people!

[The above is an excerpt found on page 48 from the book Fishing For Birds by John Ed Mathison. Fishing For Birds is available through the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries.]

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