Thursday, March 5

“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 14:26 (NRSV)

What is more important to me than Jesus? Nothing, I hurry to say—but is it true?

My family is important to me—my parents, siblings, husband and children. They mean the world to me! And my home—it’s my sanctuary, really, my hiding place. It’s the dream house my spouse and I built together as husband and wife. And my job! I have a very important job and I love it. It makes me feel proud to be the administrator over dozens of people. I’m good at what I do. Where would they be without me?

Then there is the business I built myself, from the bottom up. And, crazy as it may sound, there are my appetites—I love splurging on new clothes, expensive shoes and travel. I can’t always resist these things even though they shouldn’t be the priorities I sometimes make them. I justify my actions by telling myself that those little things don’t matter, really, do they? There are so many things I wouldn’t want to live without. I don’t like hardship. I like a life of ease. And there’s the rub.

Whatever stands in the way of Jesus, be it trivial or significant, is an idol. It becomes a pitiful, worldly deity that stands between me and the multiple blessings God has for me. By hanging on to these little gods for fear of losing them, I miss our God’s greater, richer plan! In order to find out what that gracious plan might be, I must be willing to set aside what I treasure. Granted, it may come at a cost. But I submit it all to Him for the prize is too great to ignore: eternal life.

Faith Step: Who comes first for you? Pray that Jesus gives you the strength and guidance to put Him first in everything.