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02-17-11 Highquest Matthew 10:32-39

February 20, 2011

The passage I read was Matthew 10:32-39

You can find that passage here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+10:32-39&version=NIV

My summary of the passage is this:

Yet another seemingly hard hitting passage. Here we have Jesus saying He didn’t come to bring peace to Earth but a sword. He says He has come to turn man against his own family members even to the point of making them enemies and that anyone who loves their family more than Jesus isn’t worthy of Jesus. He goes on to say we must take up our cross daily and follow Hi, and He even says we must lose our life for His sake to find it.

Don’t run yet though. This is not to be taken out of context.

As I reflect:

Last week and the majority of this one, I have spent time in some very rough and hard hitting verses for my HighQuest studies. Oddly enough, I am in three different church studies that are focusing a bit more on God believing in us and empowering us and giving us His grace. Seemingly opposite topics, I believe they are actually one and the same.

I feel that our relationship with God is meant to be a close one and not distant. This is something I’ve not only learned through experience over time, but also all throughout God’s word. I have noticed the relationships that our examples and the many that have come before us have had with God and I have noticed how my own relationship with Him has grown through the passage of time. I don’t feel any of us were meant to be introduced to God and then simply stay where we were. We are meant to grow in maturity and in the fruit of the Holy Spirit working in our lives, and in the positive Christ like characteristics that are built up in us over time. I believe we are meant to grow in love and closeness to God as we learn to be a more functional member of the body of believers that is Christ working here on Earth through us.

In these past several passage studies I have seen many verses that could easily be taken out of context and make it seem as though Christ wants us to be hateful or spiteful toward others and in fact some of these verses have been used inappropriately in the past to make the “Christian” out to be one of the worst witnesses for Christ in history. But in context and used properly as they were meant to be, these verses are quite life giving and describe not hatred but rather love and closeness to our God. When we put Him first; when we place Him, His study, learning His ways, and living how He has shown us as our first priority, it is not only natural that we will be met with the burden and hardships of lost friendships and even hatred from family members that may judge or simply not feel the same way as us, but it is also supernatural to know that we by making forward advances for the kingdom of God will indeed be faced with attack head on from the spiritual enemy as well. The enemy will do everything to cause us to fall victim to a number of distractions from our Lord including, sexual desire, Hollywood entertainment, monetary motivation, and the many other forms of self medicated addiction that fill nearly every home in America and abroad. If you don’t think it’s a higher priority than God or an addiction, then consider the amount of time you place into any given category of your life compared to the amount of time you spend in prayer or in doing the will of God as it is made known for us in His word. Make no mistake about it, if we truly love God and put Him first, then we will follow after His teachings and when we do this, we will lose our lives as we knew them before His Holy Spirit began a new work in us. We will be out casted from many areas of society.

Try standing in front of an abortion clinic and preaching God’s love for the babies that are murdered and the opportunity for mothers to be forgiven and make a choice for life, or standing in front of a porn store and preaching that sexual immorality is anything outside of natural sex with one’s married opposite sex partner and that God wills that we should turn away from the porn store and lay our burdens at the cross because He loves and wants to heal you and change your life for the better. Try that. Tell me if you become an outcast in those moments. Tell me if you are easily accepted and befriended when you stand on the Word of God. This is our cross, it is our acknowledgement of Jesus as our Savior daily that we will not and cannot live like the rest of the world lives because we know that they are dead inside and without eternal life in Christ. Living for Christ does not bring peace so much as you will see it brings division.

People will be offended when they find out that you don’t love their sins as much as you love them. Be encouraged Christian, even with great discernment many will turn away from your approach to sharing the Gospel. It’s not your fault. It’s not necessarily even your method. It is very often the simple truth that Satan has his claws deep within their souls and they are not a fertile soil for the seed of salvation to take root. Be further encouraged that the few who are ready to take the seed will often not allow you to see it’s acceptance or growth. The difference the Lord makes through you may often only be noted by the lack of a great wealth of popularity among your family, friends, acquaintances, and the strangers you meet on the road. Be encouraged, for if you feel as though every circle seems to have cast you out as a “Jesus Freak”, then you are doing exactly as you ought to. Be encouraged that those great examples in the Bible that have come many generations before you were caused to suffer in the same ways as a result of losing their life for Christ. We can rejoice in this. The harder this life seems to be, the closer we seem to get to our Savior. Fear nothing this world has and stand firmly on the solid Rock that is Jesus. He is of the greatest value and it ought not be any different for He is who we will spend eternity with.

My response to the Lord:

Father in Heaven, your name is above all names. You are King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Surely there is none above you or even your equal. May your name be glorified forever and ever. I acknowledge before men not only by my words but with my life that you are my God and that Jesus my Lord has shed His blood on the cross and resurrected again so that I might confess, repent, receive forgiveness, and by the Power of your Holy Spirit I may forsake all else and live for you alone. Lord, I am happy that I have lost my life for you and that you continue to work this out in me now. I am thankful and owe you my everything. I have counted the cost to follow you and I count following you worth far more than I can pay. But what I have is yours. I am yours. Though it cost me popularity, many friends, several family members, an innumerable amount of acquaintances, and every possession or selfish ambition I have taken upon myself that did not come from you, I will follow you every day even unto eternity my God. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

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