“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and anyone who 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.”
– Matthew 10:37-39
Last week, we considered two men who desired more than anything else to die to the pull of this world and live for Christ and Christ alone. In Matthew 10:37-39, Jesus gives the disciples three conditions that are necessary if one desires to live a life consumed for Jesus Christ. In this devotional I want us to consider and meditate upon the first condition. You must love Jesus more than anyone or anything else.
Verse 37 states, “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.” Everyone knows how great the love that a parent has for a child and that a child has for a parent. How is it possible to love Jesus more than this? Well, without the help of God, it is impossible. Thus, the first step towards loving Jesus more than your own child is to surrender your heart to Him completely. Have you done this? A surrendered heart will be a heart that is filled with the Spirit of God. It is His Spirit in you that will give you a heart full of love for Him. Our hearts do not naturally love God; thus, He must do a mighty work in us.
The prophet Ezekiel referred to this mighty work in Ezekiel 36:26 when he wrote, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” When you receive this new heart by faith, God begins to lift the veil from your eyes so that you can see how sinful you really are. Then, He begins to show you how much He loves you despite your sinfulness. As you begin to understand all that He has done for you, your heart begins to change. You begin to love Jesus more and more as you begin to fully comprehend the incredible price that He paid for your sins. Romans 5:8 states, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We can’t naturally love the Lord the way we should. It is impossible because of our sinful hearts. However, with God’s help, we can. Romans 5:5 states, “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” God helps us love Jesus. Do you love Jesus? How do we show our love? John 14:15 states, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” How do we love Jesus? We obey Him! Are you willing to obey Him? Obedience begins at the cross. This leads to the second condition necessary for one to live for Christ which we will examine in detail next week. Stay tuned.