Let me ask this question, and try to answer it honestly: Who or what is the most important thing in your life?
That is not an easy question to answer. Our lives are involved with so many things and include so many things that it is difficult to isolate just one as central and supreme. But someone or something is. All our lives are organized into a hierarchy of commitments and concerns, and at the top sits one supreme thing or person to which we subordinate and would even sacrifice all the rest.
For some people that person or thing is tragic and shameful. Some people are mastered by sexual appetite; and they sacrifice everything to it, including family and self-respect. Some people are mastered by drugs. So great is their devotion to that addiction that they allow it to break their health and let it turn them into thieves. Some businesspeople are utterly mastered by their greed for wealth and power. Everything takes second place to that, including their spouse and children.
But other people have persons or things which are not at all sordid and ugly. For a wife, it may be her husband; and that is a lovely thing. For young parents, it may be their baby; and that, too, is a beautiful thing. For a teacher, it may be her work and her students. And that is most inspiring.
When we turn our attention to the scriptures, we find Christ challenging not the sordid and ugly, but the high and holy. “Whoever loves father or mother, son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. He who will not take up his cross and come after me is not worthy of me. He who seeks only himself brings himself to ruin, whereas he who brings himself to naught for me discovers who he is.” Love for Jesus, he insists, must take precedence over love for father or mother, son or daughter. In every life, there can be only one supreme person or thing; and that is the place our Lord would claim as His own.
Nothing really gets changed; nobody really gets saved, until somebody puts his or her life on the line. That is what Jesus did for the whole world; and that is what He is calling on you and me to do.
We must get involved, my friends. We will never change things casually. The condition of our world today is tragic, and its needs are profound. We will never lift, or redeem, or help this world with a half-hearted casual commitment.
Jesus’ commitment was total. Yet He always cared for the small things, such as a widow’s two pennies and a peasant boy’s lunch. Serving Jesus and sharing His cross is seldom some big dramatic thing that claims the spotlight or grabs the headlines.
The best way we can show our supreme devotion to Jesus is by getting personally involved in the practical daily needs of people. When and if we do that, we will find ourselves bearing a cross. It’s a costly thing to really care about people. But honestly, it is the only thing that is worthwhile. It will transform you and it will transform the world! So, let Jesus be the supreme person in your life and He will show you the way!