January 10 / Proverbs 10 / Matthew 10

take up cross

Proverbs 10

Our words are powerful and can be very life giving. An encouraging word to someone goes a lot further than you usually realize. Make a practice of intentionally encouraging at least one person everyday and see what happens.

Proverbs 10:19

Where there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.

May our words be few, full, and well thought out.

Matthew 10:37-39

“If you love your father or mother more than me, you are not worthy to be my followers. If you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy to be my followers.

If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”

Many people have a tough time with verse 37 because they mistakenly think they have to have more emotional feelings for Someone they can’t see than they have for their own children.

That isn’t really the meaning of this verse. We love God through obedience and devotion. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” Though I do believe emotional feelings for God will grow over time as we move closer to Him, and that our relationship with Him is not simply one of dutiful, transactional acquiescence, I also believe that we show our love for God through devotion and obedience to Him.

We are to be more devoted and obedient to God than our children, parents, or spouse. We do not have to try to conjure up lovey-dovey feelings for God so as to be in compliance with this passage.

If you devote so much energy and time to your children, catering to their lives constantly, and it leaves you no time or energy left over to simply be with or talk to God, then that is a problem most likely.

If you allow your parents’ esteem or lack of it for you to dictate how you feel about yourself or to determine your self-worth, then you are loving them (even if in some twisted manner) more than God.

God says who you are and what you are to do with your time and energy first.

Give everyone else the leftovers. And guess what. Those leftovers will be better than your first fruits best because they are runoff from the overflow of God’s Spirit.

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