The Words Group
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The Call to a New Life
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cannot allow two masters to rule your life. Either you will disregard
one, and love the other; or else cling to one, and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and remain enslaved to the gods of this world.
Which one of
you, planning to build a tower, would not first carefully estimate
the cost, making sure there was enough money to complete the construction?
Otherwise, having laid the foundation, you may be forced to abandon
the work. Those looking on would laugh, and say: "You began
to build, but now you are ruined."
A king who plans
to wage war must first consult his military advisors to determine
whether his army of ten thousand is capable of defeating the enemy's
force of thirty thousand. If his advisors can find no hope of victory,
he must send forth his ambassadors to meet the enemy, and negotiate
peace before the battle begins.
which you possess in this life, family, money, and earthly possessions.
Unless you are willing to make a total commitment, even of what
you cherish, you cannot truly follow me.
The person who
is diligent in small things will also be trusted with much; and
the person who is dishonest with little will also be dishonest with
a great deal. If you cannot be trusted with earthly riches, how
shall you be trusted with spiritual treasures? And if you have not
been faithful with what belongs to others, how shall you be trusted
with riches of your own?
I am sending
you out as sheep among wolves. Be as wise as serpents, but as harmless
You have seen
how the earthly rulers exercise their authority, inconsiderate of
the poor. This is not how it is to those in the kingdom of God.
Whoever would be great among you, must first become your servant.
And whoever of you would be the greatest, must first be servant
of all. Even so, I have come, not to be served, but to serve, and
to give my life as a ransom for many.
If you know
these things, happy are you when you do them. Continue in the light
of my word. Only then are you truly my disciples.
Do not imitate
the falsely pious, inventing laws and ordinances. They venerate
their rules, and fail to fully observe even one of them. They heap
burdens on the necks of their followers, without attempting to live
by the same rules. They go to great lengths to be seen, dressing
in extravagant clothing, and behaving with great ceremony. They
love to sit at the head tables, or on the front row, and to be called
esteemed, or learned teacher. Refuse to be called esteemed or master;
for you have only one master, and you are all his brothers and sisters.
calling men your spiritual father; for you have only one Father
who dwells in heaven. Neither allow anyone to call you learned teacher;
for there is only one true teacher, Christ. The person who would
be greatest among you must first become your servant; and all who
humble themselves shall be exalted.
When the Messiah
returns in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, he will
sit upon the throne of his heavenly glory. Before him will be gathered
all nations; and he will separate them, as a shepherd divides the
sheep from the goats. The sheep he will set on his right hand, and
the goats on his left.
Then the King
of Heaven will say to those on his right: "Come, blessed by
my Father; enter into the inheritance of the kingdom, prepared for
you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you
offered me food. I was thirsty, and you brought me cold water to
drink. I was without home, and you invited me in. I was without
clothes, and you clothed me. I was ill, and you cared for me. I
was in prison, and you visited me."
Then the righteous
will answer in amazement: "Lord, when did we see you hungry,
and feed you; or thirsty, and give you drink? When did we shelter
or clothe you? Did we ever care for you when you were ill, or visit
you in prison?"
The King will
reply: "Truly, inasmuch as you have done such things for the
least of my brothers and sisters, you have done the same for me."
To the ones
on his left, the King will say: "Depart from me! For I was
hungry, and you gave me no food. I was thirsty, and you offered
me nothing to drink. I was without home, and you turned me away.
I was naked, and you gave me no clothes. I was sick, yet you didn't
care for me. I was in prison, but you didn't visit me."
These will protest:
"Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or homeless,
or naked, or sick, or in prison, and fail to comfort you?"
The King will
answer: "Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you have failed to
do these things for the least of my brothers and sisters, you have
failed to do them for me."
Those on the
left will be sent away into eternal darkness, but the righteous
will be ushered into the kingdom of life.
You call me
master and teacher. If I, then, am willing to
be your most humble servant, should not you be willing to serve
one another as well? I have lived my life as an example before you.
Imitate me, and do the same to others as I have done for you.