3 Blessings When Choosing God Over Family

There aren’t many situations more difficult for Christians to face than those involving choosing God over family. Consider the following:

  • A loved one claims to be a believer but wants to marry an unbeliever. So you’re unable to support the relationship.
  • Family members invite your child to stay with them, but you know they’ll be a negative influence on them. So you have to decline.
  • A relative is living in habitual sin and you have to confront the person.

There are examples in the Old Testament of individuals having to choose God over family members. For example, Moses called for the execution of the individuals responsible for the Golden Calf. This meant some Israelites had to kill their own relatives. Exodus 32:27 says:

“Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’”

King Asa was one of the greatest reformers in the Old Testament. When he purged the idolatry from the land, he had to punish even his own grandmother. 1 Kings 15:13 records:

[Asa] removed Maachah his grandmother from being queen mother, because she had made an obscene image of Asherah.

In both of these situations it would’ve been very easy for those involved to choose loved ones over God.

Jesus is the premier teacher and example when it comes to choosing God over family

Jesus said, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37; see also Luke 14:26). He taught the closest relationships in His life weren’t with His physical family, but His spiritual family. Matthew 12:46-50 records:

While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

I tend to think God is repetitive when He wants to make sure we don’t miss something. This account occurs in each synoptic gospel; it’s also in Mark 3:31-35 and Luke 8:19-21. Jesus minimized His earthly relationships to emphasize His spiritual relationships were with those who obey His Father. Continue reading “3 Blessings When Choosing God Over Family”

Should we seek great things?

Should we seek great things for ourselves? Last post discussed leading a quiet life that’s faithful in “small things” based on:

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:11 Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.
  • Zechariah 4:10 Do not despise the day of small things, for the LORD rejoices to see these things take place.

God is looking for consistency in the ordinary activities of our daily lives that often seem insignificant or trivial.

Should we seek great things?
Should we seek great things?

The prophet Jeremiah had a faithful scribe named Baruch. He was probably Jeremiah’s closest friend, and for much of Jeremiah’s ministry, his only friend. Jeremiah gets the attention, but Baruch was also a man of God who faithfully stood by the prophet through years of persecution and rejection. Jeremiah was the most despised man of his day, and being his assistant meant being the only person on Jeremiah’s side and suffering when he suffered. Continue reading “Should we seek great things?”

Do you delight in a quiet life?

Do you delight in a quiet life?
Do you delight in a quiet life?

A quiet life might not sound attractive, but consider there were two disciples named Judas. The lesser known – or almost completely unknown – is “Judas the son of James” (Luke 6:16, Acts 1:13) or “Thaddaeus” (Matt 10:3, Mark 3:18).

The only time he’s mentioned outside of the above mentioned four lists of The Twelve is John 14:22, which says: “Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’”

That’s it! His claim to fame is asking Jesus this question.

If asked which of the disciples they identify with, most people will say Peter for two reasons:

  1. Peter is known for opening his mouth when he shouldn’t, which we can all relate to: “If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man” (Jam 3:8).
  2. People don’t identify with the other disciples, because there’s so little said about them. You can’t identify with people you don’t know.

Continue reading “Do you delight in a quiet life?”