Daily Devotion, 6-22-2020 - You Want Me to Do What, Jesus?

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion: June 22, 2020
Reading: Luke 14:25-33
You Want Me to Do What, Jesus?

If you are like me, when you read today’s Scripture you probably struggled with verse 26. You may have asked in your head or even out loud, “You want me to do what, Jesus”? Surely Jesus does not want me to hate my mother and father. Yesterday at my church we read the parallel passage to this one found in Matthew 10:24-33, except the word hate is not mentioned. The bottom line of these two passages is this: While we are called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we are first called to love God (Matthew 22:37-39). If you must choose between Jesus and a family member, Jesus comes first. This statement is a very, hard pill to swallow.

Discipleship and evangelism co-exist to form the mission of the Church. The Church is defined as all the people who call themselves followers of Christ. If the Church’s mission is to go forth (evangelism) and make disciples (discipleship) of all the nations (evangelism), baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (discipleship and evangelism), and teaching them all I have commanded you (discipleship), then how are we doing? Are all who are reading this fully or even partially engaged in discipleship? Today’s reading gives us the essential elements of discipleship; that is, everything we are asked to do to follow Jesus and thus fully live out the life of a Christian.

We must first recognize that the Christian life is one of sacrifice in which Christ is placed at the center with all activities and all relationships in our lives. We must also acknowledge suffering is part of the life of Christian. It is not easy to give up time with loved ones and activities that we enjoy but in order to carry out the mission, it does involve sacrifice and suffering. Yet many who identify as Christians do so without investing any time and activities in their life as a Christian. This scripture does cause us to stop and ask Jesus, “why would you tell me I must hate my parents, spouse and children”? Because Jesus knew that as he started a revolution within his own faith as a Jew that there would be disagreements within families and there would be great sacrifices made and suffering experienced by those who followed him as he challenged the establishment. The point for us today is the same: we live in a culture that no longer prioritizes Jesus as Lord of all. While we are willing to recognize Jesus as our Savior who died for our sins and rose to conquer sin and death, perhaps we are not willing to allow him to be the Lord over our life which involves suffering, sacrificing and turning our lives over to him for the sake of sharing our faith with others. Becoming a Christian is when we acknowledge and receive the grace of God. Being a Christian truly does involve a life of sacrifice and suffering. The question for all of us today is “how much are we sacrificing and suffering for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ”? I know that I can do more… how about you?

Dear God, we thank you so much for sending us Jesus to show us how to live and to save us from our sins. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to make Jesus Lord of our lives. But dear God, we struggle with giving Jesus lordship over our lives because we place priority on other relationships and activities and are not willing to make the sacrifice and to suffer for the sake of carrying out our very important roles as disciples of Christ. Help us to take our relationship with you, God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit seriously and to make it the most important relationship in our lives. Helps us to be prepared to say “yes” as you call us to the responsibilities of discipleship. We ask this of you knowing you as Father, Son and Holy Spirit…Amen.

 
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