Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)
Jesus demands our first love and allegiance. He has not come to be one among many loves but first over all loves. Even our familial ties—the closest of our relationships—must fall lower in priority than Jesus, who is Lord.
Who or what do we love most in our lives? If the decision was before us and we had to choose between that person or thing and Jesus, which would we really choose? We may readily say it would be our Savior, but does our daily life, use of time and money, and all other pursuits show that to be true?
Jesus calls us to a sacrificial life in pursuit of Him. This is a life that may appear as a cross-marked life or a losing life, but that is only because what we often call “life” is not truly life in God’s way. Jesus must first be the touchstone of all existence for us and when He is that we will begin to see what true life is all about.
Are we willing to “die” as we turn toward Jesus? What are we still grasping that we need to release before Him?