Archive for the ‘The Modern Family’ Category

Day Five: What…What Kind of Love Do We Really Have?

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Luke 14:26-27 - If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, even their own life-such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

There is no denying that this is a difficult passage, especially with the most glaring word used here, “hate.” But some context will help us understand what this means. There was a Hebrew idiom in which “hate” would be used to say, “to love less.” And this is the same idiom that Jesus used here. It was used in the Old Testament about a man choosing one woman above all others.

And, the Bible likewise uses this phrase to express how God views His chosen people compared to the rest of the world. God is clear that He cares about all - giving them life, breath, sun and rain, food and families. He is kind to those who know Him and those who do not. And He calls His followers to be the same way, to love those close to us, those around us, and even our enemies. He is good to all, and wants all to come to know Him.

Yet, He does love those who are “in Christ” specially. As we saw in Ephesians 1, how this love is special, God Himself can say, there is nothing compared to my love for you - my chosen people…I love you so much, so specially.

His love for us is qualitatively and quantitatively different - it is different for us who belong to Him. And it is different from any love that we have received from the world, and yes, even different from a lot of the ‘love’ in our families. And this love is the love we receive when we choose to love God above everything else.

For many of us some of our problems with our families are not because we love God too much, but because we love ourselves too much. For example, we may have trouble with our parents because even though we are adults, we aren’t getting the approval from them that we always wanted, or that our other sibling has, or that we think we deserve. And this can be painful.

But the problem we have with that is not from our loving God too much, it is from our old version of love from our family - our need for their approval or help, even our feeling that we deserve their approval. Is God’s approval and pleasure with us not enough?

God says that if you are going to be my disciple the time for those ways with family is past. His approval and love are now our reality. Now that we are in Christ we absolutely have to have this reality if we are going to have real love that brings blessing to our families. This can (and should) lead us to challenge even what we consider to be the ‘love’ that we have for our families.

Today, let’s challenge how we think about and act toward our families, friends and coworkers. Is it the love we have from God? As we listen and worship the Chris Tomlin’s, “Good Good Father” song, let’s ask the Lord to overwhelm you with His love to love others; yes, even our family in the right and most God-centered way. It may be hard, it may cause strife unnecessarily, and it may be misunderstood; but, if it is the love of God then it will bring life sooner or later. This love is selfless, it patient and persistent, it is uncompromising and consistent. May we long for this love to define how we are with family and friends.

“Good Good Father” link:

(Content adapted from Brenda Rapp’s message at AMC - 11/29/15)

- TR

Day Four: Who…Whoever Does the Will of My Father in Heaven

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Day Three: Why…It Gave Him Great Pleasure

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Day Two: When…Even Before He Made the World

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Day One: How…The Starting Point

Monday, November 30th, 2015