Family Trap

Luke 14:26

“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.

Family is the basic building block of a healthy society. Within the healthy family, one learns values, builds character, shares the joy of victories and sorrow of defeats. The healthy family teaches us the importance of relationships and provides a safe haven for each member. The strong family lays the nucleus for a strong society.

On the other hand, a dysfunctional family leaves its mark on each individual member which carries with them throughout their life. When a child is raised by a single parent, or an abusive parent, those memories and scars are imprinted and carried in a person’s entire life. A destructive family weakens the social fabric of any nation.

Yet Jesus, raised by a Jewish family structure whose culture emphasizes the importance of family stated that HE is more important than family.     

Yes, family is important; probably the most important social fabric in your life. Yet as a disciple of Jesus Christ, family takes a secondary priority of roles. The trap is believing family is all you need.

Typically, God, family, and country are three values many Americans adhere too. And they are good, wholesome values worth keeping. The tripping point though is making family or country the central-core of one’s life rather than God. We see this happen often when children leave home and start their lives apart of their parents. Mothers who typically have made their children the central focus of their life have a greater difficulty handling the transition then those mothers who have lived a life with the Triune God their central-core of living.

When God is the central-core of life, our identity is found only in HIM. We do not confuse our roles with our identity. The role of father and mother do not identify us. They are temporary assignments. Our identity is found in Jesus Christ which is permanent and the foundation of our life. When we place him above family and ourselves, we reap the benefit of having a meaningful relationship and guide for the rest of our life. And that includes a guide with helping us navigate the difficult challenges of parenthood.

When we compare Jesus with our family or ourselves, the attitude of hate which Jesus used, is a strong language that demonstrates the priority of placing HIM first in relationship with ourselves and with family. When Jesus is the central-core of our lives, everything else falls into its proper place. Life takes on more meaning and purpose.

In fact, the road of discipleship with Jesus is one adventurous journey worth pursuing that includes your family, friends, and country. Yet, to be effective, Jesus needs to be the central-core of your life. Enough said.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-Present | Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Jesus’ Priorities for Daily Living

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ Matt 6:9-13


We can view Jesus’ priority of values by viewing the prayer he taught his students. Today we classify this prayer as The Lord’s Prayer.  When you study this prayer, you notice the hierarchy of values Jesus places on each request. Each request identifies an important value for living and moves from the highest to the lowest of importance.

First, he identifies we are all together on this life voyage by recognizing God as Father of us all. Translation: life is a team sport and God is the owner and coach.

Secondly, he gives great respect and tribute to God for who He IS and what His name signifies. Translation: God is creator and humanity is his creation – acknowledge it and live it out.

The third point Jesus emphasizes is God’s Kingdom coming to earth. Translation: since his entire message during the three-year public ministry was to let the earth’s inhabitants know the reign of God’s Kingdom is being restored on earth, get on board. His government rules through the souls of his subjects executing his decrees from a servant’s heart.

Then the fourth point highlights the importance of maintaining the attitude of a servant following the desires and wishes of his master. Translation: the emphasis is for you to do whatever you do God’s way and place your desires and wishes behind His. You are a servant of the Lord for the sake of others.

The next point highlights how Jesus places importance of not waiting until we are all in heaven, but focus on bringing the richness of heaven to earth today. Translation: your everyday mission is to colonize earth.

Only after focusing on God’s priorities, does Jesus place his personal physical desires and needs on the necessities of daily substance. Translation: we all need food, clothing, and shelter and since God created all the resources at our disposal, he can also lead us to them.

Then his emphasis is on relationships. Translation: we mend relationships by forgiving others. In our walk-through forgiveness, we learn humility and love for God, others and ourselves.

Next, he acknowledges the struggle of temptations which may turn into a sorry state of affairs IF not defeated. Translation: instead of blinding ourselves to the strength of sin’s influence, our request needs to keep asking for help to keep these battles far from us and minimal in quantity.

He also acknowledges the evil around us: Translation: this alone should prompt us to keep in close contact with Him who can help us in times of trouble.

And lastly, he closes where he began by acknowledging God is here forever and His kingdom is forever, and His rule is forever, and His fame is forever. Translation: he is the One who needs to remain the center of everything we think, do, and want to be. Life is His story being played out through humanity.

Final thought: Is it possible one reason Jesus taught this prayer with his disciples is to highlight the important priorities of God and how the needs of mankind work hand-in-hand with His ultimate plan for humanity?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Twenty Minutes, Twenty Days, Twenty Years

“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14 ESV


 vapor 1

One of our small group member’s Mom passed away this week. This past year along, his father and sister likewise died.  The loss of three of your family members in one year is more grief than most of us sustain in any year. Yet, for us still alive and dealing with the challenges of life, death is sobering and allows us to pause for the moment to reflect on what is most important in our world.

This is when I most often think of the 20/20/20 concept. If you knew you only had twenty more minutes to live, what would you do?  If you knew you only had twenty more days to live, what would you do? And what if you knew you only had twenty more years left to live, what would you do? At least once a year I ask myself these questions to be sure we are intentionally redeeming the time in our life.

By asking the twenty minute question, I focus on those people who are most important in my life and let them know I love them, appreciate them, and am rooting for them. I don’t like to say good-byes. Instead, I let them know good tidings until we meet again.

The twenty day question helps me focus on those important items that need to be completed. If I knew I had only twenty more days left, would I be doing this? If it is important for someone in my world that I truly care about, I would probably do it. Otherwise, if we only had twenty more days left, what are those items that I always wanted to do, but always postponed them with the lazy excuse. If it is not important, admit it. If it is important, do it.

Then there is the twenty year question. If you knew you had twenty more years to accomplish something in this life, what would you do? This question helps you focus on your career or mission in life.  Instead of trying to accomplish everything overnight, you could easily start today and slowly work towards your personal worthwhile goal. As long as you are realizing your goal, you are being successful in your pursuit. It adds flavor to life, allows you to fully express your talents, and you can take on other temporary assignments knowing this is only a temporary obstacle and you will eventually accomplish your goal over time. It helps you to keep focused on the important aspects of life. You may occasionally deviate from you plan, but always return to it knowing that in twenty years you can look back and appreciate the people and events that God has allowed you to experience and share in preparing you for eternity.

So why not take the time today and ask yourself: twenty minutes? twenty days? twenty years? You may be pleasantly surprised by your answers.


Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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