Sovereign Lord, from your Word remind me that I am not caught in the grip of circumstances, but secure in your hands.
Read Matthew 10:34–42
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[a]
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
- Matthew 10:36 Micah 7:6
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you ... Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’ (John 14:27). Invite the peace of God to come to you afresh.
To non-Christians today it may seem intolerable, impossible even, that anyone could put a rabbi from 2,000 years ago before their own family (vs 34–36)! But then ‘the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:5). That light now shines from you, showing the darkness for what it is! How do your family and friends respond to your faith? A comfort and challenge to Christians is that relatives can be won over ‘when they see the purity and reverence of your lives’ (1 Peter 3:1,2). You might be the first of many generations to be blessed by God in this way, and as a result make a difference in the lives of others around you (vs 40–42)!
Is taking up our cross impacting the world (vs 37–39)? If not, is it because of our joyless focus on the sacrifices involved? Perhaps the example of Jesus challenges us to follow both the self-denial of Calvary and a lifestyle empowered by the resurrection! How could you live more in the victory of the risen Christ?
Do you ‘welcome’ what your church leaders do (v 40)? Why not show them with an encouraging email or meet up just for fun? And remember to pray for their health, family and ministry. You’ll be blessed (v 42; Hebrews 13:17).
Heavenly Father, keep me firm in my commitment to follow Jesus. I’ve made that choice and I want to re-affirm it every day by the way I live.