Spiritual cliches are popular within the church community. Every church culture has their own.
They’re spoken in conversations, sermons and sung in songs.
They CAN be powerful affirmations of our faith and words of encouragement.
However, we need to always make sure we MEAN WHAT WE SAY and think of what the ‘cost’ may be.
One such phrase is when people say and sing…
I WANNA BE JUST LIKE JESUS!
Jesus made this clear on several occasions.
Mean what you say! Jesus made that very clear in the exact same context…
Matthew 8:19–20 (NKJV)
19 rThen a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son ofMan has nowhere to lay His head.”
Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Matthew 20:22-24 (NKJV)
22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink (A)the cup that I am about to drink, [a]and be baptized with (B)the baptism that I am baptized with?”
They said to Him, “We are able.”
23 So He said to them, (C)“You will indeed drink My cup, [b]and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”
Many people claim they want to be like Jesus, but they complain when they are belittled, betrayed, beaten, dishonored, disrespected, disliked, threatened, harmed…when they are ‘given their cross’.
Be careful what you say because it WILL be required of you.
It’s 2pm. You think about what’s in your refrigerator. You think about what’s in your pantry. So, you call your spouse or your mom, or whoever you share your meals with and ask…
“What are we going to eat tonight?” The burden of choices.
It’s 2pm. A man has been standing at an exit ramp with a cardboard sign that says, WILL WORK FOR FOOD since 6am. He’s tired and goes to the car that’s been home for his family since he lost his job. He collected judgmental looks, stares, disgust, pity, and $17. He looks at his wife and two kids and asks…
“What are we going to eat tonight?” The burden of no choices.
Same question, but two very different situations.
Never take for granted the blessing of having enough for today. Yeshua told us don’t worry about what we will eat tomorrow…
Matthew 6:31-34 (NKJV)
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But (A)seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Never forget the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus…
Luke 16:19-31 (NKJV)
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and [a]fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,21 desiring to be fed with [b]the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son,remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”
Notice there was no discussion about what Lazarus did to get in this desperate situation. God expected the rich man to help him.
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