Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 11 (Matthew 10:34)

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  (ESV)
What sort of warlike brute would say such a thing?  Is this the latest headline from yet another dictator with overblown rhetoric threatening nuclear war?  No, these are words from the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus Christ.  What is going on here?
This verse follows Matthew 10:32-33 in which Jesus talks about acknowledging Him in front of others.  It is as if He is underlining His point.  “You want to follow me?  Then acknowledge me in public.  But make no mistake about it.  It’s going to cost you.  You can’t fly under the radar.  As a matter of fact, it is going to cause division and relational disaster among those you love most.  Still want to do this?”
This is not a mandate to go forth and be a jerk.  If we follow Jesus faithfully, some people will be offended naturally.  It is going to happen.  Will it matter to you when it does?  Will that cause you to hold your tongue and not speak what you know to be true?  Or will you risk friendships and family peace for the only relationship that really matters?
Lord, You know what a coward I am.  I would much rather not ruffle feathers and go with the flow.  I want people to like me.  Help me put aside such trivial sentiment.  Grant me the strength and courage to follow You no matter the cost.  In the name of Jesus, Who paid the ultimate cost at Calvary, amen.

Copyright © 2013 by Steven R. Perkins

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