Tag: lose your life

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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