New RelationshipsLuke 14:25-27Theme: Priorities.This week’s lessons remind us that we must surrender all to Jesus.
LessonIf you are having trouble with your family as a result of your attempt to follow Jesus, do not despair. Count it a temporary thing. You must follow Jesus regardless of what your family may say or do, but reason that the very fact that God has called you is an encouragement to think that he may also call them. As Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said, you may be the “spiritual decoy” to bring them into “the gospel net.”
Second, do not forget the wonderful new family God has given you through the work of Christ. You have much in common with the members of your natural family – similar personalities, shared experiences. But you have much, much more in common with your new family, the family of believers. It is what Jesus spoke of in Mark 10:29-30 when he declared, “I tell you the truth… no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.”
What a great family this is! It is one family because the members all have one Father, even God. They have one mother, the true, invisible church. They have one elder brother, Jesus Christ. This is a happy family, because the members have all turned from sin and are striving to live to righteousness in obedience to Jesus. Pride is abhorred by this family. All rest their entire hope of salvation on what Jesus Christ has done, and they have no confidence in themselves. They read the same Bible. They go to the same throne of grace in prayer. They strive for the same gifts of grace: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (cf. Gal. 5:22-23). They feel themselves to be at one with all other Christians. They have the same future expectations, the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the establishing of his kingdom. They look to be united around his throne at the final resurrection. Study Question
Why do we have more in common with the family of God than with our natural family?
PrayerOur Father, we dare not think glibly of the cost of discipleship. We talk sometimes as if it were easy to pay a price when we know in our hearts it really isn’t. But our Father, we’re encouraged as we study because we learn from your Word that, although the cost is great, nothing must come between ourselves and Jesus. Although that cost is great, the joy of following him more than compensates for any earthly loss. And the benefits are great, not only for this life, but for all eternity. Our Father, give us grace to follow in that way. We pray that for Jesus’ sake. Amen.