Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
Soldier's Orders (Part 15)
Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three.
Luke 12:51-52 (NKJV)
A man's enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me
Matthew 10:36-37 (NKJV)
'Who is My mother, or My brothers?' And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, 'Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.'
Mark 3:33-35 (NKJV)
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
Talk about an unpopular sermon. Who wants to preach on the new definition of family given by Jesus? Seemingly, very few.
Most people love their families with an iron-fisted grip: believers and non-believers, good and evil. We'll walk to hell and back for our children. Love is right, but consider three things:
1) The prodigal's father did not walk to hell attempting to retrieve him. Knowing his son had lessons to learn, he allowed him to suffer the consequences of his actions. The father waited for his son's voluntary and repentant return.*
2) Jesus did not try to convince his doubting brothers. Nor did he allow them to stop Him. Instead, He continued His ministry and waited on their choice to follow Him. The Books of James and Jude prove His wisdom.
3) Loving our families is good. God's Word tells us to honor them.** Even so, wise love does not chase. It waits. Wise love does not spoil. It disciplines. Wise love does not scream. It listens. First to the still, small Voice of God.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Wartime soldiers live this teaching of Jesus. Their troop becomes their family: fellowship for a higher cause.
You, too, are wartime soldiers. You, too, must redefine your family. If you're an adult, it may or may not include your current householders. Your Commander-in-Chief is God and your Captain is Jesus. Your first Love must be Them.*** Your closest kin are your brethren in Christ.
Because you have new and better Blood from a new and better birth. 'For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the Image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren' (Romans 8:29).
This Order is tough. Nevertheless, it is good, right and true. In the wake of your rise, if you temporarily leave behind doubting or hateful kin, trust God in their care. Surely He loves them best.
Even more, you are honoring the Words and Example of Jesus.
To Be Continued...
* The Parable of the Prodigal Son: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+15%3A11-32&version=NASB
** Examples of Scriptures on family love: 'Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you' (Exodus 20:12).
** 'A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh' (Genesis 2:24).
** 'But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever' (1 Timothy 5:8).
** 'Let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth' (Malachi 2:15).
*** 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first Commandment' (Mark 12:30).
*** 'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love' (Revelation 2:4).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Soldier's Orders series.