Matthew 10:37, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Some will say immediately to Jesus, “Oh, you surely don’t mean that.” Jesus does mean it. At another time Jesus said it even more harshly. In Luke 14:26 he said, {span}“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.”

Jesus is clear. There can be no compromise when it comes to who we are to love most. Even to the point of putting away close relationships, no one can come before our love for Jesus.

In human terms, that goes completely against nature. No one loves a child more than its mother. A father’s love is cherished by his children. A love between a man and a woman is to be completely one according to the Bible.

Nevertheless, Jesus says no one can come before him. Jesus is being consistent with the very first commandment of God. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

Jesus reiterated that. He said it was the first and greatest commandment. He said the second greatest commandment is to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

Loving God, loving Jesus, loving the Holy Spirit comes first. If we love others above God, then we are putting them in first place, not God. If we love others more than we love Jesus, we have lost our first love.

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus warns the Church of Ephesus to repent, because they have lost their first love. They do many things well, but they have substituted being a great church for loving Jesus.

Surely, in these last days the love people have for God has grown cold. What most people talk about, what most people prize, what most people cherish is not God.

Is our heart for Jesus, first? For Him do we thirst or for something else? We still have time to return to our first love or maybe fall in love with Him for the first time, before he returns.

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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