Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Thanksgiving Is Coming Soon

Matthew 10:37-39

37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Thanksgiving is prime family time and it is sneaking up on us folks! It arrives this Thursday. Do you have the whole week off? Do you have Friday off? I hope you get some time off to spend with your family. Family time is a special time. I remember a few years ago a football game on Thanksgiving Day – the Harbaugh Bowl – where the 49’ers and Ravens played each other on Thanksgiving – a family affair with brother’s Jim and John Harbaugh as head coaches. I wonder who is playing this year?

In our home – the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is always a special time for family gatherings and time spent together. We gather as a whole family several times (we miss dad and mom and Carolyn’s dad).

What are you planning for the holidays to come? If you don’t have a plan – better make one soon. I hope you and yours have great family time throughout the fall and into the holidays. Don’t forget to keep Christ in Christmas when it comes. Remember – don’t go into debt to buy gifts for the children (or yourself) – they will end up playing with the box anyway and then you will have to pay the bills in January (or throughout the year).

Today’s passage presents a thought that may be hard to understand. Jesus tells us – Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Aren’t we supposed to love our family? Isn’t family love supposed to be pretty tight? I mean – isn’t the German phrase blood is thicker than water supposed to be a reference to how tight families are compared to general friendships with non-family members?

Yet – Jesus says – if we don’t love Him more than even our own family – we are not worthy of Him. I appreciate Matthew’s account of this passage – because Luke’s gospel account says it this way – Luke 14:26 – If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.

Using both of them – we might better understand that if our love for Jesus isn’t so much greater than even our great love for family – even so much greater that our love for family can be considered hate – we are not worthy of Christ. That is saying a mouth full my friends. I must ask us this question – How much do we love Jesus?

Jesus said – John 14:15 – If you love me, you will obey what I command. Are we following the commands of God? Even as Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount – to deal with our thoughts as well as our actions – dealing with feelings of hatred while not committing murder – dealing with lust while also dealing with sinful sexual behavior?

My wish for us this fall and into the holiday season is a deepening of our love for family – which in turn will also require an equal or greater deepening of our love for God! Enjoy your family time and love on them because as we have seen recently – we never know how long we will have them. As we love on our family – let us also increase our love for God.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

P.S. Please pray for our President and our Congress – our General Conference (2020) and church.

November 25, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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