Christ Precedence ~ by A.W. Tozer

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37-38 NIV) 

. . . “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (14:26-27).  

What Christ is saying here is that faith in Him immediately introduces another and a higher loyalty into the life. He demands and must have first place. For the true disciple it is Christ before family, Christ before country, Christ before life itself. The flesh must always be sacrificed to the spirit and the heavenly placed ahead of the earthly, and that at any cost. When we take up the cross, we become expendable, along with all natural friendships and all previous loyalties, and Christ becomes all in all.

In these days of sweet and easy Christianity, it requires inward illumination to see this truth and real faith to accept it. We had better pray for both before time runs out on us.

Prayer: O Christ, You are first in my heart and life.

Thought: Christ precedes all else in our lives as believers. He is our Savior and our Lord. When He is given precedence all else eventually falls into proper order.

A Heart-felt Prayer….

Heavenly Father; You are our Sovereign Lord and God. By Faith we know that there is no need that we would have that You are not able to supply according to Your riches in glory in Christ Jesus. We appraoch Your Glorious Throne with praise and thanksgiving; claiming Your promise to never leave or forsake us.

Precious Lord today we ask that You would provide a measure of Hope and greater Faith for us as we endure the most trying ordeals of mourning loss of loved ones or anxiety regarding health issues and physical distress. Father we humbly submit that many are going through depressions and fears that are causing faintness of spirit… we thankYou that you quicken our spirits with a strong knowledge that You’ve given us a Spirit of Love, Power and a sound mind. As we walk through our day convict us to pour out Your great Love that is within us upon others; without a thought for ourselves and our own perceived woes. In this teach us to understand that when we pour out all that You have put in us; You immediately fill us again to over-flowing… meeting our needs in kindness and great Love.

Lord forgive us where we have fallen short of Your glory, forgive us where we have not shone the light of our witness in Christ Jesus having had the chance. Forgive us Father where we have sinned against You and our fellowman. Teach us by Your Spirit and take full authority of our lives that we walk upright and reflect Christ.

We desire to have our living, moving and being in You through Christ Jesus and live our lives hidden with Christ in You.

Father we lift up all those who You have placed on our hearts today, into Your tender love and care. We give You all praise and honor for what You accomplish in their lives. You have blessed us above all that we’ve hoped and we Love You and acknowledge Your many blessings as we receive all these things in the name above every name… that of our Savior Jesus; who is the Christ. AMEN!

Life or Death Kind of Loving

As Christians we can not go on this journey with a mindset that is not grounded and founded in Love. To believe that it is our moral obligation to serve God because He is after all our Creator alone, is of no value. To Love God removes the feeling of moral obligation and face it… mankind ain’t very moral. When we Love Him we are so enamored with His beautifully glorious nature that our hearts desire sorely to serve Him. When we have deeply fallen absolutely and intimately in Love with God; we can’t wait to be in His presence and bask in the glow of His Love for us. With great certainty we acknowledge that we are His as Jesus is our Beloved.

What does it feel like to be in this perfect relationship?

I do not just want to settle for salvation and go through this life with the simple joy and expectation of the eternal ever-after. I desire to celebrate my Salvation and to live Life here and now enjoying the benefits and fullness of this great gift of Salvation!!! I want Jesus all of the time; every step, every breath every second, not out of the inherent need that every person has for Him but out of the joyous desire to just Love Him, the desire to know Him right now and to share my Love for Him. I want Jesus because He is wonderful and precious to me. What an awesome One to adore wholeheartedly!

In the midst of our sweet Love there is deliverance from the things that would hold me captive, there is healing there is so much joy and a peace that I won’t even try to describe. Oh let me tell you about it. In our great Love together He provides everything that I require and He always forgives me for my feeble ways and I love Him even deeper. He never wants me to be alone or to miss Him; so His very Spirit is alive in me. It is a love like no other that I’ve known. We are Spiritually bonded.

Jesus saw that I had committed so many capital crimes and knowing that the death sentence was inevitable for me; He stepped out in the greatest Love that anyone can have for another and He died in my place to satisfy the huge debt of my crimes. He was in that grave for 3 days He did not want me to be afraid or alone so with GREAT victory over my enemy He arose from that grave and returned to me. But He loved me so much… during those  days He did not lay dead He went to utterly destroy death and the grave; defeating satan who had been my enemy from the beginning. So when my spirit which is bonded with His has left my natural body that still I can be with Him.

If we Love Him we will die with Him… (DIE TO SELF) and as He has loved us we will relinquish our efforts to love. Having experienced so great a Love as He lavishes upon us; our love is invalidated. Hence Jesus teaches us; “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; ~ Matthew 10:37  ‘If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be My disciple.” – Luke 14:26  By this verse our Lord is not advocating that we hate others; He is in fact illustrating that we are NOT even capable of TRULY loving at all. Human love is filled with impurities and can breed jealousy, prejudice, murder, adultery, segregation, bias, covetousness, greed, gluttony and the list continues. When our flesh is crucified; when we bear our cross daily then we put ALL the we are and every action we embark upon under the authority of His Holy Spirit. Now when we  love we will Love with a measure of God’s Love. When we bear our cross daily we are hidden with Christ in God who IS LOVE; and therefore we truly abide in Love and that same Love in us. This then is the Love we pour out on to others. This Love puts God above all others and Loves Him Best. 

Unlike human love the Spiritual Love of God that we lavish upon God and others is pure; it is of these noble and precious characteristics: patience, kindness, gladness for others’ good fortune, gives praise to God in all things, humble, polite, desires no spotlight, calm, merciful, forgiving, abhors evil, rejoices in truth, protects trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, NEVER Fail and is eternal!

Crucify the flesh bear your cross daily and have Life and that more abundant… anything less is DEATH!