“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” Luke 14:26-27, 33 LSB https://bible.com/bible/3345/luk.14.26-33.LSB
So succinctly does God tell us what He requires from us to be His disciple. We tend to ignore Him on this topic, choosing instead to downplay the severity of His requirements. Like the people in His previous parable, we tend to find other things to do rather than passionately and fully follow Jesus into His life and ministry after being invited into His kingdom. What does it look like to hate our families, our own lives, and our possessions in comparison to our love for God and the building of His kingdom upon the earth as it is in heaven? What does it look like to other women my love for my wife compared to them? What does it look like to those with children my love for my children compared to theirs? Time, care, focus, and service, among other behaviors, demonstrate to everyone what and who is most important to me. How do I demonstrate to God and men that I love Him most and first? What does my time with God and serving God look like? What does my time introducing people to Jesus consist of? How am I identifying my greatest love, my chief desire before others? Would those who know me say that I am a disciple of Jesus based upon His definition or would they say I love something more? What if God is serious about our expression of our commitment to Him? How can we encourage one another toward this end? Isn’t that the purpose of the church? Loving God and doing His work is not bad for us, or burdensome to us, it is why we were created in the first place and is the means to fulfilling that deep desire within us for purpose and significance. Obeying God in this manner is the secret to entering the life we have always wanted but have been looking elsewhere to find.