Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Loving Jesus as We Walk to the Cross

Matthew 10:32-39

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.  34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 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.

Life ChangeThis coming Sunday we will start a new sermon series for April titled – Easter: Before and After. This week’s message is titled – Jesus’ Prayers. Come and enjoy – come and grow in Christ.

Today’s passage came to me as I’ve prepared for the cross this year. The first verse says: “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.” We’ve mentioned many times that most of us like to hear Atta boy/girl when we have done well. We’ve asked the question a number of time: how do we acknowledge God before men and women? We like affirmation and this passage calls us to affirm Jesus before others.

The second verse in this passage of Scripture says what happens when we do not acknowledge God before people. It is a part of this passage I’m sure some wish Jesus hadn’t included: But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” None of us wish to be disowned by Jesus!

As we read on to verses 34-37 – we read: 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 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. When I was younger – I didn’t get this part of the passage. I mean – it didn’t sound like Jesus to me. I thought of Jesus as a peacemaker – one who would strive to connect families. God gave me to my family and then He gave me my family – my wife – children – and grandchildren. Another Gospel even use the word hate when referring to our feelings toward those we love – compared to the love we are to have for God. Continue reading

April 3, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving Jesus More Than Others

Matthew 10:32-39

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.  34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 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.

This coming Sunday we will start a new sermon series titled – The Cost of Following Jesus.  This whole week I have been looking at the above passage – preparing us for that series.

Monday we searched the first part of this passage – “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.”  We mentioned that most of us like to hear Atta boy/girl when we have done well.  We asked the question: how do we acknowledge God before men and women?

Tuesday we searched the second verse in this section of Scripture and saw what happens when we do not acknowledge God before people.  It is a part of this passage I’m sure some wish Jesus hadn’t included: But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”

Today we are moving on with verses 34-37 – “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”  For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ “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;

When I was younger – I didn’t get this one.  I mean – it didn’t sound like Jesus to me.  I thought of Jesus as a peacemaker – one who would strive to connect families.  God gave me to my family and then He gave me my family – my wife and children.  Another Gospel even use the word hate when referring to our feelings toward those we love – compared to the love we are to have for God.

What Jesus is trying to say – IMHO – is that our love for Christ – for God – must be so intense – so great – that we would choose serving and loving God over even our family – who we are called to love as well.  Another passage that brings this truth to us is found in Luke:

Luke 12:49-53 – 49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Think about your walk with Jesus.  Now think about how you courted your spouse or how you love your children or how you love your parents.  Our love for God is supposed to be so much more!  So much in love with Jesus we should be that it may cause family members – who do not love Jesus – angry or upset with us.

In the day this was written – some families would have committed Jews and from that family one member might choose to follow the Messiah – Jesus – and that would cause a divide.  Others came to know Jesus in the Gentile world and that divided their family.  Today – your decision to follow Christ may cause friction in your family if they are not Christians as well.  Loving Jesus is our highest calling – Mark 12:30 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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July 27, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor | , , , | 2 Comments

   

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