THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – Luke 14:25-27): 25 Large crowds were walking along with Jesus, when he turned and said: 26 You cannot be my disciple, unless you love me more than you love your father and mother, your wife and children, and your brothers and sisters. You cannot come with me unless you love me more than you love your own life. 27 You cannot be my disciple unless you carry your own cross and come with me.
THOUGHTS: The words used in my Bible as a caption for these verses are “…Disciple of Christ”, but I chose the above caption or subject instead, because I didn’t want anyone to feel like this didn’t apply to them. We have only read about male disciples, so I didn’t want my female readers to feel like this was only for their male counterparts! Friends, I believe that the whole idea behind Jesus saying these words is to get the point across to us that true dedication to Him is even more important than the sacrifice we make in dedication to our parents, or our children or our spouse. Think about it: if you go into marriage while still hanging on to other boyfriends or girlfriends, won’t you be divided in your mind when attempting to dedicate your life completely to your spouse? Won’t you have trouble deciding whether to attend church with your spouse or take off to the beach with your friends who might be drinkers or party animals enticing you to go to the beach to tease the opposite sex? Friends, there is no difference when we commit to accepting and following Jesus. You will be divided in thought and in action, if others take priority in your life. Let’s put the ‘shoe on the other foot’ for a moment, as we think about how undivided Jesus was in committing Himself to us: In the Garden of Gethsemane He anguished before His Father over going to the cross, yet He concluded that if it was the Father’s will He would do it. This was the Father’s will because He knew that Jesus needed to die for the redemption of our sin – so that we might have a means for the forgiveness of our sin and the only path into Heaven. There were no ulterior motives, nor were there any distractions, this was done out of mere love for us. Surely we are not so unappreciative that we would place conditions on our relationship with this same Savior who sacrificed everything for us, right? Jesus said in these verses that if we are to accept Him and mean it, then we are to fully dedicate ourselves to Him, with no other distractions or ‘weeds’ to choke out our commitment to Him. When I applied for citizenship into this country, I had to swear allegiance to this country even if at some point this country had to wage war against my birth country. We must equally be so dedicated to our Lord and Savior that we are prepared to say ‘no’ to all earthly allegiances when it’s time to say ‘yes’ to Jesus. Are you truly or totally ready to wholly and solely, be a follower of Jesus Christ? Can you honestly wear the banner ‘Disciple’ today and Jesus know that you are honest in that allegiance? If not, why not? We are either ALL His, or we’re not His – because of our split allegiance. May I suggest that you examine your life, in the light of eternity with Jesus Christ and His Father, and commit yourself totally to Him? The rewards are ‘out of this world’!!
PRAYER: Father in heaven, I am ashamed that I allow so many distractions in my life that often reflect that You do not maintain first place, or priority in my life. Please give me a new determination today to make You, the One who sacrificed life itself for me, first place and extreme priority in my life. Thank You for loving me so much that You gave it all. Thank You Jesus for providing a means for me to one day join You and Your Father in heaven where I might worship at You feet for ever and ever! Lord, my readers will need to evaluate their lives in light of this message today also, please humble them as they read and evaluate their life. May they clearly see the distractions that come before their allegiance to You, and may they decide today who will have first place in their lives. You gave it all for us, may we, in turn, give of our very best to You. I ask all this in the precious and worthy name of Jesus, who sacrificed everything for me, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!