Pastor Nick Cleveland


Growing up, our family drank a lot of pop. We had an entire refrigerator in the garage dedicated to pop (it was the 80’s man, don’t judge). One time I opened the fridge to get a Coke and saw Diet Rite and Sam’s Choice Cola. “What is this?” I asked. My mom (trying to save some money) says, “It’s just like Coke and Diet Coke.” I’m sure someone likes these two brands, but spoiler alert…these taste more like cough syrup. Looks like pop, but not the real thing. You can dress it up however you want, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. It’s more about the content than the look or price. 

Jesus says when you seem to be one thing, but really inside you’re another, you’re just pretending. That’s inauthentic.

God is attracted to authenticity. In Mark 7, Jesus addresses the problem of religious leaders having the appearance of being spiritual, but not committed to the discipline of living it out. The Pharisees, trying to catch Jesus in an inconsistency, got called out by Jesus instead. “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” (Mark 7:6-8)

These are strong words from Jesus. These religious leaders were busy with what looked spiritual on the outside, but there was significant work to be done on the inside. When your Sunday mornings don’t match your Tuesday nights, you have a problem. When you come to church for all the feels, but you don’t live out the truth of God’s Word, you have a problem. It’s inauthentic. No one is perfect, but we should pursue authenticity. Authenticity happens when the inside and outside match.  If you want your heart and life to match and honor God, it takes engagement of your faith. We all have areas that we need to grow in. Identify them and act. 

Take some time and assess your authenticity today. Do you heart and life match and honor God?

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