“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own life – such a person cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26.
Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Zechariah 10-12, Psalm 126, and Luke 14.
We must not take this verse literally. Why? Jesus taught that we are to love one another, not hate them.
Today’s verse is about our level of commitment to Him. Other things, and here Jesus uses family members as an example, must not be more important to us than God is.
Tim Keller in “Counterfeit gods” identifies those “other things” as counterfeits. They are terminal and do not deserve a place above God.
I have been trying to lose weight for many years. I was determined, or so I thought, but I could never actually do it. Maybe a pound or two came off when I deprived myself for a few days, but it never lasted. This year things changed. I made the commitment after reading about a plan that had worked and dove into the deep end of the pool. Hard at first? You bet but before long the weight was falling off. Then I got a very encouraging report from my doctor, “Whatever you’re doing, keep it up.”
Much of what I ate regularly before, was no longer what I could not eat. News of my new lifestyle brought probing questions from those who knew me best. I also faced situations where making the right food choice was tough. But by staying committed to eating “right” I have been able, for over eight months, to be 30+ pounds lighter and feel very healthy.
God has high expectations for each of us. Very high. He doesn’t want a piece of us. He wants the total package. Why are we frustrated with our Christian walk? We have too much of us attached to the ways of the world. We are not fully committed to Him.
“Lord, powerful words from You. I know what You want from me, full commitment. I so often “surrender” myself to You but You are not fooled. You know that I often walk my own walk. I make my own choices. I have never doubted how remarkable my life would be if I was fully committed to You. My doubts are about change. About the reaction of those who know me. Of the things You would expect me to change. Weight loss took me down that same uncertain road but the reward for commitment has been huge. Take me over, Father. O Lord, I need You. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”
If we make a full commitment to God, and keep it, our lives will never be the same again and we’ll love the new us.