Wednesday (4/1/20) - Lord God, by your Word fill me with a spirit of discipleship and commitment
Matthew 10:34-42 - “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!’ “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”
Jesus makes some hard statements in our verses today in order to show us how much commitment we need to follow him. He tells us that if we love our family more than we love him we are not worthy to be called his disciples. On the surface that may seem very contradictory to what we think is right but actually it is in line with the rest of Scripture. While I am sure that I don’t say it enough and I may not always show it, my family is the most important thing to me in this world. I am willing to make many sacrifices so that they can thrive in every area of their life.
Jesus is not saying that I have to hate my family and abandon them to follow him. This isn’t about reducing one love in order to increase another but maintaining the one and increasing another. I need to maintain my love for my family while I am learning to love Jesus even more! And the same thing goes for my life in general. It is not wrong for me to want to be healthy and happy and enjoy things. But if my life or my family is the top priority then I will not be able to follow Christ as I should.
True commitment is all about having the right priorities. My priority should always be Christ – not my family, not my church, not my job and not myself. But as I make Christ my priority, I will be the father and husband I should be. As I grow in my commitment to Christ, my church and my job will benefit and I will be better at those things. As I become a greater disciple of Christ, I will find that my life is filled with more joy and peace and all those things that we often try to find through toys and trophies.
That’s why it makes sense that Jesus would say that those who are desperately clinging to the things of this world will find out in the end that they have lost everything they thought those temporary things would provide. But when we give up those things and make Christ our priority – when we truly commit ourselves to him – we will find what life is really about. Take some time today to evaluate where your priorities are. Your family should be a priority. But as great as your love is for them, your love for Christ – and your commitment to him – should be even greater. And I believe that you will find that as your commitment to Christ grows, so will your love and commitment for your family.