Luke 14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
Where does this statement fall into the Love thy neighbor category? It seems harsh. But, if you take into consideration the Whole council of God, it seems logical.
The first commandment is this “Love God with all your heart, mind, body and spirit.” What the world may perceive as ‘hatred’ for dad, mom, sis, bro, etc is an all encompassing love for God. All others take 2nd place to the One who was, is and is to come.
But I sometimes wonder. I listen to people. The Word of God, Christ Himself, takes second place to our feelings and wants. Christ is not in our hearts. Everything else is in our hearts. Everything else takes precedence over Jesus. What’s convenient is more important than what is Truth. Not looking like a fundamentalist is more important than Truth. Heck, even religion can be more important to people than Jesus.
Ray Comfort once quoted someone, I’m not sure who, but he said, “The fool has more questions than the wise man has time to answer.” I’ve met people that just ask questions. It doesn’t matter if you have a valid answer, or any answer. They will always have questions. People question Christ because of “all the evidence for evolution.” What evidence? The “evidence” has either been forgeries, or can be explained in the light of creation. There comes a time when you have to stop and say, “This is what I believe. This is what I put my faith in.” You either trust in the Word of God, or you don’t. Ever since the Garden of Eden, Satan has been trying to cast doubt upon the Word of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
I saw an article the other day where the Vatican has declared that we must trust science over the Word of God, because, they say, if you don’t, you risk becoming a “fundamentalist.” Gasp! Besides, they continue, there is proof for evolution. Oh yeah. Who says? Scientists? Didn't scientists convince the church that the earth was flat, contrary to what the Word of God says? And now Christians are refered to mockingly as "flat earthers." I wonder what the Vatican would say to the Institute for Creation Research scientists. I wonder what the Vatican would say to the Intelligent Design scientists.
This came on the heals of the Catholic church saying that you can’t trust everything you read in the Word of God. If that’s true, why trust any of it? Why trust them for that matter?
A friend told me of a conversation he had with another Christian. They both were looking up at the stars and one asked, “Do you think there is life out there?” My friend responded, “I just don’t know.” Valid answer. Then it came to my mind that a better response to a question like that is, “I don’t know, but how does that help me to love you better?” If we find out there is life on other planets, how does that help us to feed the poor? How does that help us to visit the widows and orphans? How does that help us to clothe the naked?” I don’t mean to set up rules. Love needs no rules. Love just does.
Why do we as a people think of the less important things, new car, new boat, bigger house, and miss the important things? We assuage our guilt for not being around by buying things for our kids. As was once said, “That which we strive to attain, we strive to maintain.” So a new car, house, boat, or stuff requires more time at work, less time at home. Sometimes our kids just want us to take time and pick them up and throw them in the air.
The world looks at a small house, an old car, no Xbox, no large screen tv, no sauna or pool and think this person isn’t very successful. Even some in the ‘church’ are falling prey to the “healthy, wealthy and wise” doctrine, while ignoring the Word of God that states, “Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to them that love Him?” James 2:5 Hmmm… “…them that love Him.”
Love God first and above all. All else will fall into place. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness…”