Read Matthew 10:22-42.
Jesus says something profound in this chapter. Something we can’t miss. Something we should not miss. Though, perhaps, it is a truth we might want to miss or skip over. In verse 34, we are reminded that earthly peace is not something that is on Jesus’ agenda.
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.”
Yet in the depths of these words, there is still an abundance of hope. There is hope found in Jesus Christ.
Father will be against his children.
Siblings against one another.
Children against their parents.
Nations will be against us.
… Because we are making the bold choice to follow Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. The One who is all powerful, loves us, and is for us!
Jesus Christ is our Risen Savior that can transform a prostitute into a saint, a wanderer into someone with a family and permanent home. God can do amazing things, and He chooses to do them within the context of a love relationship through His Son Jesus Christ.
What is keeping you from stepping out on faith to follow Him? Maybe, you are a follower of Jesus. But, maybe, life is getting tough. The road is looking long with little rest in store for you. Blessed are you, child of God. It means God is working hard on your behalf!
As we pursue a life with Christ, this world will rise against us. But, we have the Most High standing on our side. God is fighting for us. God is loving on us. God is strengthening us. And, He will keep doing His good work in our lives. We just need to keep following Him. We need to keep trying. We need to keep remembering the hope we have in Jesus Christ!
This hope is exactly why we can live fearlessly. We are told to not be afraid and that God’s got our backs in verses 26-31. We need to keep living unashamed in our love relationship with Jesus Christ. Because we know what will be the end result.
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven (vv. 32-33).“
Jesus wants us to know and rest in the truth that we are valuable in His sight. He wants you, but you have to be the one choosing Him. He refuses robot Christians. He wants a genuine love relationship with Him. How have you allowed your value to be determined by your circumstances? How are you allowing your love relationship with Him to be set by His love for you?
Who God Is
He is God!
He is good!
He does good!
He is working behind the scenes! We may not know what in the world our God is doing at this very moment, but it is enough to know that God is on the throne and He has not given up on us. And, He won’t give up on us. He is invested in our lives for the long haul. God is our forever God. He is the Lover of our soul and great Redeemer!
While we may hate our circumstances (and it’s okay to do that), they show us something sacred. They have a definitive way of showing us where our love for God is. How are we loving God more than our parents? our kids? our friends?
When we receive Christ, we are rewarded. While being a Christian may not remove our earthly circumstances (though He can definitely give us healing of all sorts!), our eternal ones have been greatly altered. Jesus Christ came to give us new life, which is a sacred gift. We have been given the forgiveness of our sins, which is the great indescribable gift. How are we choosing to receive Jesus Christ into our lives?
Rewards for Christ’s Followers
Then, we end the chapter with rewards. How are you staying mindful of the rewards found in Jesus Christ? Read what Jesus says below:
“Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded (vv. 40-42).”
I want to close with this thought: It’s totally okay if our families are oblivious to why we do what we do. If they don’t understand the ways of Christ or why we are acting in obedience in a certain way, it is okay. It is even expected, because many are on different levels in their commitment to Christ. We need to live for our audience of One, not concerning ourselves with what others’ do.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people (Gal. 1:10)?”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile (Rom. 1:16).”
Hard times will come, but God is coming even faster than hard times do. He is working everything out for the ultimate good of those who love God.