by Frances Hughes
When Jesus called His twelve disciples together
and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and
sickness, He sent them out with many instructions.
Matthew chapter 10 mentions all of these. All were very explicit and easy to
understand and still give excellent understanding for us today in our Christian
living. On of the portions this morning stands out to me as I read it and I
think I will let you follow my mind while I explore.
Matthew 10: 37 (NIV)
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me;
anyone who loves his 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."
These verses are certainly full of what could be very hard decisions for people
to make. After all, don't most families have a closeness that this would seem to
invade and destroy. Perhaps at first glance or thought this would seem so. But
you must read this Scripture with some spiritual insight.
You must remember God is a God of order and very
well organized. In the order of importance in His family, similarly pictured
like an organizational chart, you will find God at the Head. Then follows the
Son, then the Holy Spirit each with their particular significance. In our family
order here on earth we have the Man as the head of the family, then the mother
and then the children. I am speaking here in the Biblical order set in the
Nowadays, we know that the times and other
beliefs have altered this, but that doesn't make it the correct way in the eyes
of God. The Bible should be used as the guide to these things and verifies the
way we should live.
I think that what Jesus was saying here is that
if anyone puts anything else before Me, they are not worthy of Me. Should He not
have preference above all things since He gave His life for us and now lives to
make intercession for us before the throne? Who has a greater right than this?
No one I know of. He is mentioned in the Scripture as a Pearl Of Great Price. If
we desire to put other people or things in our life ahead of what He is and
desires for our life, then I feel we would be unworthy of His sacrifice. This
putting others ahead of Him I feel has a lot to do with our love for Him.
If we love our family more than Christ, we do
have a problem. Our priorities need adjusting. I think concerning our love
for Him and that for our family can be compared such as this: our love for Him
should be the greatest compared to that of our family. We can still love them
both but the love for Christ should be the strongest. If that is so then our
love for our family would seem almost to be like hate in a sense. This is
difficult to understand and I am not sure I can make the point I am really
So many times our own lives are out of control because of wrong priorities. In a
Christian's life these things concerning how we live, must be handled through
much prayer and study in the Scripture.
When He mentions "anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is
not worthy of Me" this pretty much settles it. Taking up your cross is
serious business. Each one of us has what is referred to as our cross, and it is
different for each of us. This is an individual thing, just as, the choice we
make to follow Christ is an individual thing we each must do. Just because Mom
and Dad are Christians does not automatically make us one.
We have a choice here of whether we take up our
cross or not. This further verifies my statement just made. Also you will notice
Christ says to follow Him, not go ahead of Him. So many times we want to go
ahead and do our own thing without seeking to find out what Christ would have us
to do. Here there is no doubt as to this, since He tells us if anyone does
not take up his cross and follow me, he is not worthy of Me.
I would hope that you are able to follow my mind through this. Sometimes I
am told that I am hard to follow in my thinking, but I pray the Lord will help
you to get what is needful for yourself, if it is just one statement.
I think the cross in my life has been that of disobedience or saying no to self.
I find this to be the hardest part of following Him. After many years of
living and being a Christian I have found, until I had made the conscious
decision to LET Him be LORD in my life, perhaps I have not lived a yielded life
to Him. I have led a very quiet, uneventful happy life just as ordinary as
it can be. I have never felt like I did not seek to please Him, but still (I
suppose these thoughts may come from the evil one). I sometimes feel like I
could have done more for Him.
But then I come up with the reasoning that I did
at the time what I could with the light I had been given. I feel like I
used it wisely and will not let the evil one discourage me a tiny little
bit. Speaking of the evil one (I even hate to say his name), I feel
certain the more you do for the Lord and live for Him, the more satan will seek
to find a weak spot to attack you in. My children and husband were that spot.
Mostly it was thru the children he would seek to upset me. But I am thankful to
the Lord who helped me to recognize what was going on and led me to handle it
I don't suppose many of us who love the Lord would feel we could ever be worthy
of Him, of which I am one. In a sense that is true, but you have to think that
if He had not loved us and cared about us He would not have died on the cross in
our stead. So, that tells me He thought I was worth the ordeal. I am just so
thankful that I was saved when a young child and did not get into all the
sinfulness so many people do. Perhaps that makes it harder for me to understand
why people do what they do, in the things that shock us as a Nation.
There is a place we can do what these verses mention we should. This place is
found in your heart. Since we as Christians seek to please and worship our Lord
and Savior for what He did, with the leadership of the Holy Spirit and prayer to
God, we will be shown the way for each of us to do these things and it will be
joyful and give you a sense of being worthy enough for Christ to have given His
life for. I pray that you will be able to do this joyfully.
* * *
Copyright 2001 by Frances Hughes.