I trust you are of the same mind as I am as you receive this new morning, this new day. So very, very thankful to understand Who it is that has made the dawn! To know that He who has made the dawn is also the One who has made us.
Many people claim to be Christians. Along with that, some of these will say they believe in Jesus; not all, but some. Lets face it, the name Jesus is a lightning rod, is it not? Easier if we just say, “I believe in God.” When you say, “Jesus,” well then you’re getting specific. And many of these aforementioned people who claim to be Christians, well they know that the name “Jesus” can cause a conversation that was going north to suddenly change direction and head south! I mean, that can be getting too specific! And why cause a fuss? Aren’t we Christians a peaceful bunch, never wanting to create uncomfortable environments for others around us?
I’m of the mind that the disciple of Christ is not so inclined as to refrain from using the name of their Master. He or she is willing to weal the sword of the name that is above all names, the name of Jesus Christ! And the Scriptures tell us that will not always bring about favorable conditions . . .
- “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 – NASB)
Woe! “A sword?” That’s right, “a sword!”
- “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” (Matthew 10:35-36 – NASB)
By way of testimony, when God saved me through His Son, when I received Jesus the Christ as my Lord and Savior, my wife’s family and my own dad turned vehemently against me. Some called for me to denounce this ridiculous belief and recant what I was proclaiming . . . essentially, that I was saved from the penalty due my sin by the Person and work of Christ, that I had received Him as my Lord and Savior. Boy did the sparks fly! To the point that at certain periods of that time I actually feared for my life. And that brethren, is not an exaggeration.
The very words of the One I now called Lord were coming to pass right within my own family. My aunts and uncles sneered at me, challenging my faith in Christ and being quite adamant about my need to get my head on straight. People I had known all my life, people that were now part of my family through marriage, boldly, and in some cases, ruthlessly condemned me and my Lord.
How did I react to all of this? I responded with a serious ear to what my Lord said,
- “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. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:37-38 – NASB)
I “loved” Him more! I chose to “follow after” Him! And in the midst of the very reality of these words of Jesus coming to pass in my own life, I desired to be found “worthy” in His sight . . . and I refused to deny Him!
The troubles never ceased totally, but did subside after some years passed. It was difficult times to say the least. My family, my wife and daughters, they knew this great time of trial well. But, by God’s grace, I was enabled to stand. Tough discipleship! Ever been there? Jesus said of those who are truly His,
- “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
The true disciple of Christ knows exactly what this means.
Have a good day . . . and learn well, professing Christ brings strife! Following Him brings challenge to a lost and dying world that hates the name of Jesus. Speaking the name of Jesus is what true disciples do . . . knowing very well the potential cost.
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