Monday, January 03, 2011
Church Member or Disciple?
Last month I was going to lunch when a question formulated in my mind: Do I really love God more than my wife and two daughters?
Since it was only me in the car, I was truthful – no. After I realized that I had not been stuck by lightning, there was a sense of “release.” For once, I was being honest with myself (and with all of you). God already knew the answer prior to asking.
This did, however, present an interesting problem, because all of a sudden I could see the wall that had been separating me from God. It was as if He was asking “I bet you didn’t see that before?”
The first sermon of the year hit me square in the chest – it was from Luke 14:26 – “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Those are red-letter words, which means this was Christ speaking to those in the large crowds who were following him. Maybe he was saying it to thin them out a bit. In the context, hate/love is a literal device to contrast two extremes, not a commandment.
The timing of this message was not coincidental.
In closing, I have noticed a few of my friends choosing words for their new year. Not a resolution, but a word that will guide and direct their choices and behaviors throughout the year. I have found my word. For 2011, I choose “Disciple.”