Tag: enemies from your house

Not Peace but a Sword!

Scripture reading for July 29th: Joel, Matthew 10

Key Scriptures: Matthew 10:34-39 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

After observing Jesus ministering and healing, He sent out the twelve hand-picked disciples to do ministry with additional instructions concerning their reception. They were going out as sheep among wolves. There would be great persecution and even some loss of life–the sword would be raised against them! Their enemies would even come from among their own families. The Gospel message would offend and cause conflict between close relatives. These disciples must choose Jesus and take up their cross to find the life He offered: eternal life and everlasting joy!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for speaking plainly and laying out the choice of following You with our whole heart. I choose to follow You, losing my life for Your amazing life! Lead me onward today!

Joel 2:32 “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.”

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Not Peace, but a Sword!

Scripture reading for January 13th: Matthew 10:24-42, Psalms 9:11-20, Proverbs 3:3-6

Jesus Christ is the “Prince of Peace” according to Isaiah 9:6!  Jesus lived a life of peace but preached a message that sometimes stirred up violent rejection and spiritual warfare.  In our reading today, Jesus was preparing His disciples for ministry in the world and the warfare that would result from spiritual conflict with the devil and those in league with him.

“”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.” (Matthew 10:34-36)  Jesus offers us peace with God through the forgiveness of our sins.  In order to obtain this promise, we must repent or turn away from sin (breaking of God’s law) and turn toward God through Jesus Christ.  This all comes by faith through God’s grace and mercy freely given to those who believe. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Why does this message sometimes cause violence or division between people and even close family members?  The message of the cross is offensive to the human ego and religion’s rules.  We all want to work for our salvation or do something to earn it.  Religion is based on man’s efforts to do enough to appease God.  Even the Jews had drifted into a works-oriented religion instead of “by grace through faith”.  Jesus wisely taught His disciples about the conflict that would happen between the flesh and the Spirit.  When we turn to Jesus and begin to move in the Spirit, some will be convicted or resent this conviction and react in violence.

The disciples must not react, but keep on loving God and following Him.  “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37-38)  God’s will is first and our love for God is demonstrated by taking up a cross!  This cross represents death to our own desires and even the need for acceptance by our own family.  Where is your heart today?  Are you worthy of the Lord?

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