Saturday March 21
Today’s Reading: Luke 14: 25-35
This last part of the chapter has some very somber and even harsh words. It is about counting the cost of discipleship. Jesus is asking for a full 100% commitment of our hearts and lives.
It’s sometimes mistaken that He is telling us that to be committed to Him, we have to hate everyone and everything else: our families, our own life, and carry our own burdens.
But how can I hate everything and everyone when Jesus tells us to love our neighbor? Didn’t Jesus come to take our burdens off us? Which is it? The answer is both yes and yes.
The Word of God tells us that we are to lay up treasures in heaven (Mt 6:19,20). That where our treasure is, that’s where our heart is (Mt 6:21). To invest in the heavenly things not in earthly things. So let us consider that when we invest in the heavenly things such as compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience (Col 3:15). Where by if we invest and love these virtues in Christ, the fruits of these characters will be to love our families, lives, and be able to bear up under the stresses and concerns we face. On the other side, if we try to do these things without having the grace of God to help us, then we will fail on both fronts, the natural and the spiritual.
Jesus always put things in terms of a kingdom mentality, there are only 2 kingdoms: the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. He said: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13). He says later on: “My kingdom is not of this world…” (John 18:36). When we are fully committed to Jesus, we are fully committed to His kingdom as well, not double-minded, not trying to straddle the fence. The difference made in our lives by being fully committed to Him is that we are able to then, with God’s grace, live peaceably in the earthly kingdom because our heart loves what God loves, and whether it benefits us in this lifetime, eternally our treasure and heart is laid up in heaven with Jesus.
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18).
You alone O Lord are worthy of our praise. You created the mountains and the seas, You cause the sun to rise and the earth to bring its fruit. All these manifest Your Presence. When my heart is turned to You, You bring me peace. When I form my life to You, You bring me peace. Pour out Your grace on me, and I will worship You all my days. AMEN