(I wrote a previous post title Sacrifice Here)
(Previous article on family Here)
Brothers and Sisters, there comes a time in a disciple’s life where we have to make hard choices. Especially with those who are near and dear to us. They may be a wife, a child, a father, mother or even close friends. For He who has purchased us through His own blood has called us to be separate from this world.
Consider for a moment Abraham. He was called to sacrifice the son whom God promised Abraham would be the father of many nations through.
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” ( Gen. 22:1-2)
Whoa, wait a minute! God is asking this man to sacrifice the son He promised great things through? Not to mention the time Abraham had to wait for Sarah to conceive in her old age. For Scripture declares that Abraham was about 100 years old at that time. A miracle in itself.
Yes. The good news is that God’s intentions were to test Abraham, for Abraham’s sake. God already knew that his servant would be obedient to the end. God did provide a ram to sacrifice in place of Isaac.
So it is that God will test each one of us in our obedience to His word. Will we follow Christ and carry our cross as commanded? Or will we compromise with disobedient family members caught up in their sins.
Let me warn you that there is a stark difference between ministering to those in need to help our loved ones away from sin and compromising by giving in to them.
Our Lord Jesus declared this:
49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:49-53)
And yes His word does divide indeed. For Scripture also declares:
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Heb. 4:12-13)
So then we must abide in His word but also teach and share His word to bring our loved ones to repentance. But even then as many of us know, people are people. There are many who will reject the solemn words of life and continue down their path of destruction. We can lead them to the Living Water, we cannot make them drink.
And so it is. There will come a time where we will need to make a decision. Do we heed the voice of the Lord, or do we heed the voice of our wife, our son, our mother or father in what violates God’s commandments?
I quoted from Luke 12 above, but let us look at Matthew 10. Same story, different context. I think Matthew portrays the Lord a bit more sternly:
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For 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’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
If we abandon the Lord in His truth, then we have fallen away and risk our salvation. We must know when to sacrifice our relationships in this world, but cling to our relationship with Christ. He has promised us that whatever we lose here, we gain much more.
The Lord has said who we are related to:
31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.”
33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)
So I encourage you brethren. Be faithful and focused. For we are in dangerous times with many distractions. We must be diligent in what we are called to do and not fall into complacency. Even with our own families. Even I and my wife have had to forsake brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers for the sake of Christ. Even those who claimed the name of Christ and have fallen away. Even unto death. The Lord means business. So let us be about His business.
8 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. (Luke 12:8-9)