Tuesday, May 18, 2010
More than Anything Else
A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, "If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.
Would you consider yourself a disciple of Jesus Christ? If you want to be His disciple, then you must love Him more than anyone or anything else, because Jesus said, "If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life . . . " (Luke 14:25-26).
Those words sound shocking. Hate? Did I read that right? Jesus is telling me to hate my father and mother, my wife and children, my brothers and sisters, to follow Him? Certainly in light of Scripture, Jesus was not demanding an unqualified hatred. After all, He could not command us to honor our father and mother and then, at the same time, demand that we hate them. He could not command husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church and then say that a husband should hate his wife. So what did Jesus mean?
Jesus was using the method of sharp contrast and was essentially saying that our love for God must be so strong, so intense, that all other loves would be like hatred in comparison. In other words, if you are to live your Christian life to its fullest, then you must love God more than anyone or anything else.
This is really the essence of what Jesus is communicating: Love God more than anyone or anything else. Love Him more than your family. Love Him more than your career. Love Him more than your possessions. Love Him more than your friends. Love Him more than your ministry. Love Him more than anything.
The choice you have in life is to have harmony with God and friction with people, or to have harmony with people and friction with God. Which will it be for you?
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.