This week I wanted to take a look at what is potentially the most challenging scripture in the Bible, here it is.
Luke 14:25-27 NIV
 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:  “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.  And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
What is Jesus saying? That if we don’t hate our families we can’t be his disciple? Of course not, this would go against the very nature of God. We already know that God wants us to Love our families. It says in Ephesians 5:25 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. That is the high standard of Love that God commanded us to have for our families.
So what is Jesus communicating here when he says we must hate our families? After checking multiple sources the common belief about this Scripture is that Jesus is using something simliar to what we would call in English a Hyperbole.
He is saying that our Love for God must be so evidently number one in our Lives that in comparison our love for our families is seen as hate. It’s an exaggeration! The message translation puts it like this – Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters. The amplified Bible says – in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God.
So what I take away from this is that God needs to be, without a doubt, number one in our lives. God needs to be our greatest love, leagues above all else. This is how I have lived my entire christian life, and what I have discovered is when God has the number one spot in our Lives everything else falls into place.
By having God number one in my life it makes me a better husband, a better father and a better leader. Loving God first hasn’t hurt my family it as been the essential key to having a healthy loving family that loves Jesus and live for him.
Having God number one in my life is what has enabled me to be the Pastor and Leader that I am today. My entire life has been defined by having God number one. Is it always easy? off course not, there will be tough seasons where it seems easier or more beneficial to put other things or people first in our Life. However I have learnt that its in those tough times more than ever we need to have God number one.
So there it is, to be a true disciple of Jesus God must take first place above all else! God must be above our families, God must be above our ministry, God must be above any positions we have. Our Love for God must be above our love for anything else.
Lets continue to live our lives with God being our greatest Love.