January 15: “How Much Should I Love the Lord?”

Today’s Bible Reading:

Genesis 31:17-32:12
Matthew 10:24-11:6
Psalm 13:1-6
Proverbs 3:16-18

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Matthew 10:37 (NLT): “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.” 

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

When I was a child, I was troubled by the verse that I have chosen for today. As I read it, desiring to obey God’s Word, I realized that I loved my mom and dad much more than I loved Jesus.

So, I concluded that I needed to love my parents less. Since loving my parents more than I loved Jesus was prohibited, I needed to let my love for my mom and dad cool off a bit.

But that wasn’t what Jesus was requiring of me. It wasn’t even close.

I didn’t need to let my love for my parents cool off. Instead, I needed to cultivate a greater love for Jesus. Jesus’ command didn’t call me to love my parents less; it called me to love Him more.

Matthew 10:37 (NLT): “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.” 

Now, as a parent, I realize how powerful a dad’s love for his children is. If someone aimed a loaded gun at my family and said that they were either going to kill one of my sons or me, I would plead for the thug to let my sons go. I would take the bullet. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a hero because any loving parent understands this kind of love.

When we look back at Jesus’ words, He calls us to love Him more than our children. “If you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.” Once again, I’m not supposed to let my love for my children cool off. Instead, I’m to cultivate a greater love for Jesus.

So, what about you, friend? Do you love the Lord more than you love your parents or children? Would you willingly sacrifice your life for Him if that need arose? Would you daily refuse to live your life for yourself but for Him?

Listen to what Jesus said immediately after calling His disciples to have such a profound love for Him.

Matthew 10:38-39 (NLT): “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”

Jesus gave His life for us on the cross, and so many professed Christians gladly claim the benefits of His sacrificial actions. Yet, how many of us actually give our lives daily to Him?

Don’t live for yourself today, friend. Cultivate a love for your Lord that enables you to desire, to crave to live your life for Him. It won’t be a sacrifice if you truly love Him. It will simply be an expression of your love.

Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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