August 23, 2018

Uncompromising Loyalty to Christ

Matthew 10:34-42

Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

—  Matthew 10:39

Some of Jesus’ sayings seem to contradict other things he has said. Today’s text is one of those. Why would the Prince of Peace say that he did not come to bring peace? Doesn’t Jesus say in other verses that he came to give us peace? Did Jesus ­really come to turn us against members of our own families?

Well, not necessarily, but he is pointing out here that conflicts, even with family members, could happen because we follow him. That’s because Jesus calls us to live a new life, putting our old ways of sin behind us. But the people around us might not like that change.

Following Jesus can cause rifts in families, friendships, and other relationships. He demands full allegiance over ­every other human relationship or earthly pursuit. It is really about changing our priorities. There are many competing loyalties that we must give an answer to in life. The devoted Christ-follower knows that at the end of the day, only one love matters. Our loyalty to and love for Christ must take first place. That commitment will change not only your life but also the lives of the people around you and the generations to come.

Following Jesus is not just a commitment of a few hours of your time or a few dollars from your paycheck. Following Jesus requires all of you—all that you have and are, and all that you will be. And this is life as it’s meant to be—full life that will last forever.

Lord, we want to put you first in our lives. Help us to show your love and be a blessing to others. Amen.

About the author — Lloyd Wicker

Lloyd Wicker has been a pastor for more than eighteen years and has served churches in Illinois, Washington, and California. He currently serves as a chaplain with the United States Navy in Sicily. Lloyd and his wife, Heidi, have three children.

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