Friday, January 14, 2011

To Love God More

"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:26

Hate is such a strong word - one I choose to use with great caution. In my own conviction, I feel it should be used with as much discretion as the word "love", which is the strongest word I know of at the other end of the spectrum. Neither should be used casually or flippantly. So, why would God command us to "hate" others and even ourselves if we want to be His disciple?

As I did some research on the use of the word in this verse, I found this phrase in place of the word "hate" in the Good News translation: " to love God more than." Considering this phrase brought so much clarity to this passage for me. In fact, it reminded me that I am to idolize no one and no thing. Those that put God first are His disciples. According to Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary, a "disciple" is one who believes God's doctrine (or believes all of God's Word), rests on His sacrifice (Jesus' death on the cross), receives His Spirit (salvation), and imitates His example (follows Christ) - parenthesis mine. If I want to truly be God's disciple, I must epitomize Christ by loving God more than every single person and every single thing in my life.

Father, fill my heart with a love and passion for You that supercedes everyone and everything else in my life, so that I can love the people You place in my life well. Consume with Your love, oh God. In Jesus' name, amen.

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