“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.” Matthew 10:37-39
This passage is uncomfortable for some for it seems opposed to the many passages that speak of refuge, safety, and deliverance from dangers, not to mention, “Honor your father and mother.” My flesh would prefer never having to endure hardships, often I have heard Christianity presented as the place to avoid it and to experience prosperity instead. This again appeals to my flesh, but I would have to ignore many of the Bible’s verses that speak of challenge and difficulty.
After telling His disciples of the challenge they would encounter, Jesus clearly moves on to say there should be nothing held dearer to us than our relationship with Him. Honor earthly relationships in a Christ-like manner, but they should pale in comparison to ours with Him. In the losing of our lives we will find life.
Does God actually expect us to follow this charge? Surely He didn’t mean this as it appears? When there is only one to be wholly trusted and who speaks truth, only one who holds the keys to life and death and decides who will live eternally in heaven or hell, what do you think? Trust Him. Follow Him, for His advice flows from His heart of pure compassionate love for those for which He came to save.
Lord Jesus, the Bible tells me obedience is better than sacrifice, that there should be none before You for You alone have the words of life. May You find in me by the enabling power of Your Spirit, a heart given completely to You and Your will. Amen.