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January 21, 2022 - Matthew 28:16-20 (AMP)

In the book of Matthew, Jesus states that anyone who comes to Him and does not hate their father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even their own life - such a person cannot be my disciple. Jesus is not telling his followers to hate their family, however, what Jesus is saying is that our love for our family and friends should appear as hate compared with our love for Him, because we choose to obey Him rather than the world. In milder terms, God is seeking whole hearts, not slivers and pieces. Jesus deserves priority over every other relationship that we have. If you must choose between Jesus and a family member, friend, job, money, etc . . ., then, Jesus ALWAYS wins.

Next, a disciple of Jesus must renounce all his possessions. This means recognizing that you are a steward of all you have, but you are not an owner. God has given you possessions to merely manage. You are to thank Him for them, use them for His glory, and bless others with them.

Lastly, the one who wants to follow God must deny themselves —that is, place Jesus’ glory ahead of their own. The disciple must also take up their cross daily, meaning true disciples must submit to Christ's authority over their lives on a daily basis, even if it's to the point of suffering or death. There were and are no exceptions. As disciples of Jesus, we are to lay ourselves on the altar of daily obedience. Not every Christian disciple's suffering is the same, but every Christian disciple will suffer. This suffering equals great joy in the Lord and an eternity spent living in His presence!

Nonetheless, a life of sacrifice and self-denial is for anyone and everyone who wants to be His disciple. We are useless to the kingdom of God if we are unwilling to endure the costly nature of being a disciple.

Prayer

Father,you are an awesome God. I don’t deserve your love and grace but I am so thankful and grateful for it. Please help me fully submit to your authority over my life. Give me the strength to resist the desires of my flesh.Help me to deny myself, and relinquish all that I have, and all that I am, for You. Destroy my attachment to this world so that I can fully rely on you in every situation.In Jesus' name, Amen.

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