Is Jesus Your Number 1?

Daily Devotional: Day 113

“He who loves father or mother more than Me [Jesus] is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37-38, NKJV).

Anything or anyone you love more than Jesus is your true god. It’s that simple. 

The love Jesus extended to us is radical. It is so radical that it defies human logic (see Charles Wesley’s beautiful hymn about God’s amazing love. Pay attention to the lyrics). Similarly, from those who wish to follow Jesus, He demands nothing less than radical love, i.e. a love that puts Jesus above all things and above all relationships – a love for Jesus so strong that it is ready to pay any price to remain faithful to the Master. It is at this point that Jesus truly becomes the Lord and King of your life. Jesus doesn’t want to be your second or third love. He wants to be the only King of your heart.

Jesus says that if you love father or mother more than Him, you are not worthy of Him. Also, whoever loves son or daughter more than Jesus is not worthy of Him. Finally, if you do not take up your cross and follow after Jesus, you are not worthy of Him. These are strong words coming from the loving Savior. Yet, He speaks truth. What do Jesus’ words mean? Jesus isn’t asking us not to love our family. His point is, if your love for your family collides with your love for Jesus, He expects you to choose Him over your family. Or if your love for your family appears more important to you than your love for Him, then you are not worthy of Jesus. Jesus doesn’t want us to sacrifice our love for Him on the altar of our love for creatures.

In fact, if our love for anyone or anything begins to grow in importance over our love for Jesus, we have a decision to make: keep Jesus and let go the other love; or keep the other love and let go Jesus. We can’t have both occupying number 1.

And carrying our cross means our readiness to cheerfully bear the cost of following Christ. This cost can range from suffering, time, money and spiritual discipline to humiliation and rejection by people. Jesus bore His Cross cheerfully. He expects nothing less from His followers. If we grumble and whine, it doesn’t count for carrying our cross cheerfully. Put Jesus first always, if He is your number 1.

Pray to the Father about today’s message.

For further study: Mark 10:17-31

Who Is the Boss?

Daily Devotional: Day 94

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46, NKJV).

Jesus is Lord. But what does it mean for you to confess Jesus as your Lord? Jesus knows the heart of all who call Him Lord. The truth is, not everyone who calls Jesus ‘Lord’ is necessarily saved. For there are two groups of people who confess Jesus as Lord: those who make Jesus the Boss of their life and commit to doing what He wants; and those who call Jesus ‘Lord’ but will not let Jesus be the Boss of their life.

In today’s Scripture reading, Jesus poses a simple question which should pierce the heart of everyone who calls Jesus ‘Lord.’ He says, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” This means, for Jesus, it is not enough to call Him ‘Lord.’ If He truly is your Lord, you will do what He says. In other words, making Jesus your Lord means letting Him have His way in your life; acknowledging that He is your Boss and submitting to His Word. If Jesus is not your Lord here on earth, He cannot be your Lord in heaven, either.

As your Lord, Jesus alone sets the agenda and calls the shots. Your duty in this relationship is to do what He says and not what you want. Jesus will not accept lip service. He is not your Lord just because you say so. The real evidence is your obedience to His commandments and your submission to His authority. Jesus wants to be fully in charge of your life, because that’s how He can be the Savior you need. Make Him the Boss, and you won’t regret it.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, you are my Lord. Take control of my whole life and be my King. Fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit and enable me to do what pleases you, all the days of my life. Amen.

For further study: Matthew 7:21-27