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 speaking of refuge, safety, and deliverance from danger, not to mention, “Honor your father and mother.” We prefer avoiding hardships, and often Christianity is presented as the place to avoid it as well as experience prosperity. This 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 our relationship with Him. In losing our lives, we will find life.
There is only one to be wholly trusted. Only one who speaks absolute truth, holds the keys to life and death, and decides who will live eternally in heaven or hell. Trust him, and the words he has spoken. Follow him, for his advice flows from his heart of pure compassionate love for those for whom he came to save.
Obedience is better than sacrifice, there should be none before you, for you alone have the words of life, you alone are my deliverer. May you find in me, by the enabling power of your Spirit, a heart given completely to you and your will. Amen.
“Deliver us from the evil one.”