“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 10:34-39

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TODAY’S WORD…

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Jesus said,

“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth!

I came not to bring peace, but a sword.

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I have come to set a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

Your enemies will be right in your own household!

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If you love your father or mother more than you love me,

you are not worthy of being mine;

or if you love your son or daughter more than me,

you are not worthy of being mine.

If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me,

you are not worthy of being mine.

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But if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”

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– Matthew 10:34-39

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REFLECTION…

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The sword that Jesus mentions is the Word of God,

which is what can lead to the examples of divisions that Jesus gives us.

Even within families, the Word of God can lead

to those who embrace the faith being regarded as traitors and enemies by relatives who resist the word of truth

and who choose to misinterpret, disregard or disobey God’s commandments.

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This is why our Lord goes on to say that nothing should come between Him and His follower – not even father, mother, son or daughter.

With God there must be no compromise,

and any and every obstacle must be avoided.

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But even our own parents?

Even our own sons and daughters?

Yes, because our love for our parents and for our children must not come before our love for God,

who we should love with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

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Jesus is clearly telling us that even where, on the surface, what appears to motivate us is love for others,

we must be extremely wary of our innate selfishness which can result in self-centered reasoning.

We need to be careful that our quest for peace within the family

does not come at the cost of disobeying Our Lord and the loss of our soul in the process.

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Following Christ and doing what He asks, means risking this present life to gain eternal life.

If there should be any clashes with our parents, with our children

or with other relatives, friends and colleagues because we are intent on obeying the Lord,

then we should be quite clear in mind and in heart that we must always put God first

and to let Him have His way.

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A true follower of Christ

must always handle such situations in a spirit of gentleness and love,

even when this is returned with hurtful mockery and even hate.

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Clearly, Christian life is based on self-denial,

and we must always remember that there is no Christianity without the Cross.

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PRAYER…

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Lord, make me strong in faith,

that I may always be loyal to You and ready to give up my peace and my life for You.

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