1 John 4:4 Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

DAILY DEVOTION, July 2, 2021

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

This is a hard saying if you take it with wooden literalism. Clearly, Jesus is using the word “hate” in a figurative sense. We are commanded elsewhere in Scripture to love our parents, spouses, children, and even ourselves. What is He telling us in this verse? He is speaking of discipleship. Those who trust Jesus as Savior also want to follow Him as faithful disciples. It seems clear to me that He is telling us that our love for family cannot surpass our love for Him.

Yes, we love our families, but our first and highest love must be for Jesus if we intend to be His disciples. We love our own life too, and are grateful to God for the gift of life. Our love for Jesus transcends our love even of self.

The verse raises a question. Do I love Jesus more than family, more than self? If the answer is “No,” then I am admitting that I am not a disciple. Do I really believe Jesus to be the Son of the living God? Do I really believe He suffered and died for me? If I do believe, will He not be my first love?

Father, Jesus’ words cause me to think deeply about my life. Do I love Him more than anyone or anything? Help me to remember who He is and what He has done for me. As I reflect on such truths, my love for Him grows. May He truly be my first love. Amen.

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