"Anyone who loves [her] father or mother more than me is not worthy of me;
anyone who loves [her] son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and anyone who does not take [her] cross
and follow me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds [her] life will lose it,
and whoever loses [her] life for my sake will find it."
It's easy to love those who love us. It's easy to give to those who can give back. It's easy to become so engrossed in our to-do list, our parties, our families, our BFF's this time of year, that there is "no room at the inn". We unwittingly hang a "No Vacancy" sign on the door of our hearts. We remain absorbed with Christmas as usual, leaving Jesus immobile, lying in a manger on the mantle. But Jesus is no longer in the cradle, and He doesn't want us to be either! If we are content as babes in Christ, we limit His potential in us. If we stay right where we are, we are of little use to Him. Instead, He woos us to leave the comforts of home, calling us away from the safety of our little circle.
The size of our love circle is a litmus test of discipleship. Who do you love? Who is in your circle? How big is your circle of love? Do you picture your 'love circle' drawn in pencil or permanent marker or chalk? If we are truly Jesus' disciple, our love circle should be ever-expanding, ever growing as we reach out, drawing more and more people toward God's love and light. If you are willing to be used by the Lord, draw your imaginary love circle in chalk. Then you can easily brush away the boundary lines as God stretches your heart, making room for everyone who crosses your path.
Who do you love most? Jesus speaks words that are hard to hear: "Anyone who loves her father or mother...son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."~(I believe even grandbabies are tucked into this statement)." If we love Jesus first and foremost, it is impossible to keep our arms tucked around our own little circle. He fills our love tank so full that we cannot help but love others, even those who may seem unlovable.
Life Begins Here.
It begins when we release our grip on the cozy little world we have created.
Life begins when we give up our life, our ideals, our agenda.
Life begins when we surrender it, give it up, stop controlling the outcome.
Life begins with love. The love that led Jesus to the cross, leads us there too.
"Whoever loses her life for my sake will find it.
Take up your cross and follow me..."~Jesus
Stay tuned for LIFE BEGINS HERE Part 2: At the Cradle!
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