Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Matthew 10:37-39 -- On Unconditional Acceptance

"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
Matthew 10:37-39


This scripture seems kind of harsh... and it is, really... maybe it is so we will wake up. So often we go through our lives, trying to accept god on OUR terms... saying, in essence, "okay, God... I will accept you as long as you don't ask me to sacrifice ________" .... whatever it is that is keeping us from Him in the first place. What God requires is everything.

The story of Abraham is the same lesson. Abraham was against human sacrifice... that was the reason that he left the land where he was born. Isaac's birth was a miracle, the fulfillment of a promise. The sacrifice that God asked made no sense, and was against everything that Abraham, personally, wanted. But he went.

Even when we think that we know better, God knows what he is doing. We have to be willing to sacrifice everything for the Lord... actually lay it on the altar, and sometimes God will give it back to us... and sometimes he won't. But if we have anything that we care about in our lives, it is only there by the grace of God, and trying to hold onto it by sheer force of will never works.  We have to offer it to the Lord... we turn it all over to Him, and he gives us back the good parts, and more good things, until we can't hold any more good and it starts dripping on the ground as we walk down the street... blessing the lives of others.

Sometimes it is hard... taking up our cross, offering things to God when we want so badly to control the situation, to dig our fingernails in and hold on... but when we give things to God, then he is in control... and he does a much better job of it. Then, instead of desperate action when we find out we can't control things, we can offer some desperate prayers... and they go a lot farther. :) Anyway... instead of finding our lives, or "ourselves" in popular terminology... we need to be giving ourselves to others in service... offering our whole lives to God. We really don't lose anything by our sacrifices, because God grants us the desires of our hearts, and wants us to have most of the things in our lives.  He only removes the bad things that are hurting us, and that are obstacles in our relationship with him.

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