Faith isn’t easy – I wish I could say that it is. Belief in God, commitment to following the ways of Christ is not simple. It is challenging and brings with it some disputes that will likely arise between you and others.
Jesus was well aware of what problems true faith might bring. What shocking declarations does Jesus make? What is the conclusion in verse 38?
Such comments from Jesus himself can cause some discomfort and even discouragement in believers. Jesus – the one who says to come to him when we are heavy-laden – has now said that his teachings are not going to bring about peace. He has introduced a sword – conflict – to the lives of those who will be committed to him. He even goes into detail claiming that members within a family will be at odds with one another, and that we should not love our parents as much as we love Jesus.
Although disturbing, there is naturally quite a bit of truth in all this. And I also believe it may not be quite as literal as we may at first take it.
Should we love Jesus over everyone else, even our parents? Of course. We should love God over all things. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love our parents or others in our family.
Jesus did bring peace to the world, in spite of what he says in verse 34. We have peace in knowing that God loves us so much that Jesus was willing to die for us. But our faith can also be a source of dispute.
If we will be truly committed to the Lord and our faith it will mean that we must put God and the good of His kingdom over everything and everyone else. This may cause some clashes between you and loved ones. Others may want you to have less faith and pay more attention to what is going on with them. Some may criticize your faith and want you to be more like everyone else in the world.
We must be prepared for the occasional dispute and disconnect with loved ones. If we will be completely committed to the Lord – which we are called to do – then there will likely be those times of conflict. But this doesn’t mean we don’t love our family and friends. It just means we love God more.
We must take up our cross and follow Jesus. We must take up our faith in who Jesus was and still is. We must take up our faith in the love of God and move forward in complete commitment to God in all we do.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How will you take up your cross?
This concludes the 10/2 Grow daily devotions for this spring. We pray that all will have a safe and happy summer. – Roger and Peggy