When Jesus Brings a Sword

A few months ago, a polarizing topic came on the scene here in America, which created a lot of strife and tension on social media (what else is new?). Since it was a topic that I am very passionate about, I decided to share my own personal thoughts regarding the monumental news. As a Christian, my worldview is filtered through a Biblical lens. This should be the case for all professing Christians, but sadly, that is not always true in our current society. Many are creating a Christianity (and Jesus) to their own liking that allows them to continue to embrace worldly ideologies and philosophies that make them feel better about themselves. But in the gospels, Christ assures us that if we try to hang onto our life, we will lose it. If we want to hold onto the world, we will inevitably lose our soul. 

My strong Biblical convictions were met with much animosity among some of my friends (some unbelievers and some professing Christians). Two close friends from my past in particular, immediately “unfriended” me on Facebook because they became extremely offended by my position on this controversial topic, although I have expressed my views on it before. This is expected as a Christian. We know that we will lose much as a Christ-follower. It’s something we typically prepare ourselves for early on in our walk. But I have been a Christian for fourteen years. 

For whatever reason, these two friends could not tolerate my convictions and wanted me out of sight and out of mind. The situation with one friend hurt worse considering it was friendship with deep history of more than twenty-five years; We had made countless memories together since grade-school and she was the maid of honor in my wedding. I reached out to her and she responded with her disgust with my Christian beliefs (compared to her own) and offenses but was radio silent to my plea to reconcile despite our opposing views, especially our differing views within Christianity and about the Bible. Her silence was loud and clear that she no longer wanted to walk in fellowship with me and was willing to throw twenty-five years of friendship away on a whim. If someone isn’t willing to be Facebook friends with you, do we think they really want you in their life at all? The answer was made pretty evident for me. 

Yet, I wasn’t expecting to have to face this type of division in my friendships this many years later as a believer; I was faced with the hard reality that Jesus’ words in Matthew 10 were unfolding in my life. Although Jesus is speaking of family particularly in verses 34-35, the sentiment remains the same- Jesus has come to bring a sword to our relationships that draws a line in the sand between those who love and follow Him and those who do not. 

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law”

(Matthew 10:34-35, ESV).

Later in this passage, Christ makes it clear that we must love Him more than anyone or anything, even our own life. We must lay it all down to follow Him at all costs, but He promises life abundantly to those who sacrifice all to pursue Him and His ways. 

It’s in times like these when I am broken and disappointed and hurt where I find myself throwing my hands up and say, “Just give me Jesus.” He is the One who brings us hope as an anchor to our souls, keeping us tethered to Him and His truth when our heart feels like it’s falling apart at the seams because of the pain of rejection.

He comes to our rescue and embraces us in our pain, even if the circumstances don’t change, even if the suffering doesn’t seem to end, and even when the relationship cannot be or refuses to be reconciled. He comes to our rescue and is there with us, directing our eyes heaven-ward, reminding us this place is not our home and that His ways are so much better. He may bring a sword to divide relationships in this life, but a relationship with Him is so much sweeter and more rewarding than anything we could ever experience here on earth. As we turn our back on the world, it will undoubtedly turn its back on us. Let us lift our eyes where our Help comes from and seek Jesus in the midst of our loss, knowing there will be great gain found in Him.

Father God, 

I know I am accepted in the Beloved. I know You are near to the broken-hearted. I know following Christ is a call to die. I know I will be hated for His namesake. And I know He has come to bring a sword and asks us to love Him more than anyone or anything else. But the pain of rejection still hurts so much. Can you bring healing to my heart and endow me with Your grace to endure the difficult times that come from following You? Thank You for Your overwhelming love and for coming to my rescue when I cry out to You. I know that even though I experience loneliness, I am never truly alone for You are always with me. No matter how much it cost, I choose to pursue You and Your ways above all. This world has nothing for me. I will follow You. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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March on in truth!

Charles Spurgeon once said,

“Controversy is never a very happy element for the child of God: he would far rather be in communion with his Lord than be engaged in defending the faith, or in attacking error. But the soldier of Christ knows no choice in his Master’s commands. He may feel it to be better for him to lie upon the bed of rest than to stand covered with the sweat and dust of battle; but, as a soldier, he has learned to obey, and the rule of his obedience is not his personal comfort, but his Lord’s absolute command. The servant of God must endeavor to maintain all the truth which his Master has revealed to him, because, as a Christian soldier, this is part of his duty. But while he does so, he accords to others the liberty which he himself enjoys.”

Over this past year, my husband, Paul, and I have experienced a sense of urgency and heavy burden to preach truth in love and call out error through our online platform. We wouldn’t call it “fun.” It’s uncomfortable, but as followers of Christ, we know we are called to stand in boldness when God’s Word is being distorted. 

In the epistle of Jude, he exhorts believers to be defenders of the faith, to hold fast to our message as Christians, the glorious gospel.  

“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”

Jude 1:3, NASB

Engaging in Christian apologetics in today’s culture is desperately needed when defending the faith, even within the Church and especially in America because error abounds. We must stand for truth and become defenders of the Christian faith that has stood the test of time for thousands of years, even when wolves come in to devour the flock (Matthew 7).

It isn’t about a single person being right. It is about God being right because He is. He is Truth. If we are His, we will want to grow in that truth, boldly proclaim it, and protect it from error, even if it makes us uncomfortable or even experience pain and rejection at times. 

The gospel is offensive.

Truth can cut deep and point out things in us that we don’t want to see, but if we want to be conformed to the image of Christ, we must believe and follow truth. 

We should not have to apologize for our zeal for God’s Word and His glorious gospel because without those precious gifts from the Lord to us, we would not be able to revel in the benefits of the good news or share it with others so that their fellowship with their Heavenly Father is restored.

As God’s children, we have been transformed by God’s love and mercy. We can live forgiven and free because of that. We should long to share that love with others by sharing truth found in the Bible, whether they have never heard the gospel, or they have strayed from its pure message and have begun following a false gospel.

We should never feel ashamed to share the hope of our message as believers, turning from our life in sin to turning to Christ alone who offers us new eternal life in Him that was purchased for us by His own blood. In Christ, we are forgiven. In Christ, we are God’s precious children. This is the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints of old and we must continue to pass it down to each generation and protect it from those who would want to twist its message. 

Do you have a desire to share truth with a loved one who may be caught up in deception of a false gospel or on your social media platform to reach others for the gospel?

Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the boldness and ask Him for a greater desire for His Word. It is so important to become a diligent student of God’s Word so that when the opportunity presents itself you are able to give a response for the hope that you have inside of you (1 Peter 3:15).

Stand firm, and march on in truth, soldier.


If you would like to learn more about my husband and I’s ministry, you can visit, www.wewouldratherhavejesus.com.

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