If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Whosoever doth not bear his own cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26-7
and again here:
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And he that doth not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. John 14:18-9
These Scriptures used to send shivers down my spine. Now I am just encouraged to remember that He is weeding out all the other so called “good” firsts till He alone is FIRST. Are we willing to risk the rejection of all others and follow Christ? How can I love my family anyways if I am not loving Christ first. If I am not walking in the Spirit, then flesh is dominating and last time I checked flesh doesn’t have true love. The mind set on the flesh is death, the mind set on the Spirit is life, joy and peace! These passages look like death to the flesh because they are death to the flesh. But oh, there is greater life there when we have died! Oh to be filled with the life of the Spirit and to walk in deadness to our flesh.
Jesus mentions the cross; If we cannot accept and have joy in the trials He gives us in love to grow us closer to Himself for our greatest joy, than we are again walking in the deadness of the flesh. We must remember that every moment, there are no accidents and each cross is given in wisdom and supreme love. We have the choice: walk in the flesh and have our minds set on misery or walk in the Spirit and have Christ’s joy and peace.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen. -Saint Frances
Thank you Lord, continue to work this in us!