It’s true, I’m having an affair. Honestly, the only thing I regret about it is that this affair didn’t start sooner. Surprisingly enough, when I finally told Elizabeth, she was excited. At first, she was a little confused, but after some explanation, she started to understand her role as my number 2. I know what you are thinking: Can a person going into the ministry possibly serve effectively after being involved in an affair? I argue that their ministry would be worthless until they have truly experienced it. What I am about to show you was challenging to me when I first read it, as I hope it will be to you as well. Ok, I think I’m ready. Here we go. . .
In the book of Luke, Jesus makes a serious statement about being a true disciple. Chapter 14, verse 26 says “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brother and sister, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” I don’t know about you, but I need a minute or two to soak in that one . . .
What in the world is going on here? Is Jesus telling me that I have to hate my wife? Is he telling me I should call up my parents on the phone and curse them out? Not really. Jesus is making a comparison here. I’ll readily admit I love Elizabeth! I would do anything for her. Wake up early to cook her breakfast (even if it’s just toast), iron her clothes in the morning (even though they are usually more wrinkled after I get through with them), all kinds of things. I thought that was the kind of loving stuff that God instructed husbands to do. However, with some further study, I realized the truth about my love for God. It should be authentic, true, and most of all, huge. I mean our love for God should be the most love we can possibly give. So here’s what Jesus means when he talks about hating your wife - our love for God should be so grand and authentic, that when it is compared to our love for our families, the earthly love should look like hate. My love for Elizabeth should look like hatred compared to the amount and level of love that I have for God.
So my challenge is this: Think about the thing in this world that you love the most… the thing that means the most to you. Think about the time and effort and money that you pour into this, trying to make it bigger, better, and happier. Now compare that to the time, effort, and money you give to Christ. Does it even compare? Is it even close? Jesus says that in order to be a true follower of Him, we have to be willing to give up those things and make Him our number one priority. I’m not talking about neglecting your family… I’m talking about being sold out for Christ.
There, I got it off my chest. I haven’t arrived yet, but I’m working on it. I’m working on giving 110% of my life to God, so that my earthly loves look like hatred compared to the love affair I have for Christ and His Word. I hope that every one of you will one day have the courage and faith to do the same.
-Getting in the Word-
-Read the rest of the passage in Luke 14:25-35 to see what Jesus really means when he talks about “The Cost of Being a Disciple.”
-In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the 12 disciples and gives them some hard truths about what is truly involved with following Him.
-Hiding the Word in your heart-
-Matthew 6:24- "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other."
-Deuteronomy 6:5- "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."