Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Recovery in the Bible (RIB)


The other day, two friends stumbled on the same passage that always stumbles me every year when I come upon it. The passage is Luke 14:26 where Jesus says, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple."

I am not a Biblical scholar, but  know that Jesus does not mean "hate" like a feeling (as we do), nor does He elsewhere require us to literally cut off our arm or pluck out our eye that sins. I believe Jesus is strongly urging us to out God first and foremost -- First Things First, and always. To me this means starting our days as Jesus did, in Quiet Times with God, before the hurly-burly of our day begins. SImple as that: the First Commandment: Live the LORD your GOD with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. If I can't do that, I cannot call myself His disciple.

In addition, God loves every creature and desires that none should perish but have eternal life through the salvation offered by His Son. Those who accept the gift of salvation are transformed into New Creations in Christ and, as such, are sons and daughter of God. God's hatred is not for the people still lost and trapped in their Old Man condition, but he hates their spiritual state. I believe it's a positional thing: either you are in Christ or you are not. Born again -- or not.  So... though hate sounds harsh, so is eternal torment, from which God's own Son died to  spare us.

That's my "take" on this passage. I would love to hear what others think. What think you?!?

This photograph is by Kristofer Rowe.

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