37”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. 38Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”(Matthew 10:37-39)
If you read my testimony, you know that it was the birth of my daughter that changed my entire world. I never experienced love like I did when I held my daughter for the first time and watched over her day after day. It was also my daughter’s birth that afforded me the time to read the entire Bible cover-to-cover. When I first read this verse I could not believe that Jesus would demand His followers to love Him more than they loved their parents or their children. In my young faith, I felt that Jesus could not be vain enough to ask for His disciples to love Him more than their own flesh and blood. I also thought it would be impossible to love anyone more than I loved my daughter. And then my daughter turned 18-months old, and from that day forward it’s been easy to love Jesus more than I love that pain-in-my-neck. I am sort of kidding there; really what happened was that one day it finally clicked: to follow Jesus wholeheartedly I had to love Him more than anything else. This did not take away from my love for my children; rather it enhanced my love for them. Because when I love and follow Jesus with my whole heart, I am working on saving my soul and setting the example for my children to follow, so they can do the same. Loving Jesus more than anything else in this world, taking up your cross every day is the work of a warrior fighting for eternity, and that’s the mark of someone who is so in love with their children or parents that they want to ensure they spend eternity with them.
Two weeks of the New Year have come and gone. I pray you have been keeping up with the reading plan and, hopefully, even digging into the deeper parts. This verse shows the seriousness we need to take our devotion to Jesus. He states that we are to take up our cross and follow Him. Lose your old life and begin anew in Christ. If you are not able to follow the reading plans, take a hard look at your schedule and what is distracting you because this is the year that we have to push all our distractions aside and focus solely on growing in our relationship with Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.
Reading plan: Matthew Chapter 13
Deeper reading plan: add on Exodus Chapters 13-16
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and ask God to help you love Jesus above everything else in this world.
Fitness challenge: Third week of our 7×14 challenge. Step it up and do two sets of the circuit (do all seven exercises and then repeat).
1. Standard push-up 2. Sit-up or crunches
3. Air squats 4. Hand-release push-up
5. Leg lifts 6. Lunges (7-each leg)
7. 4-count flutter kick
Journal: In your journal, write your thoughts on what you need to do to take up your cross and follow Jesus wholeheartedly.