I admit it.
Working through this quarter’s edition of Free Grace Broadcaster on the topic of self-denial has left its share of bruises and wounds on my experience.
For example, consider this paragraph from one of the articles by Charles Spurgeon entitled Family or Christ?:
What, then, is the expense [of following Christ]?…The answer is given by our Savior, not by me. I should not have dared to invent such tests as He has ordained. It is for me to be the echo of His voice and no more. What does He say? Why, first, that if you would be His and have His salvation, you must love Him beyond every other person in this world. Is not that the meaning of this expression, “If any man come to me and hate not his father and mother”? Dear names! Dear names! “Father and mother!” Lives there a man with soul so dead that he can pronounce either of these words without emotion, and especially the last— “mother”? Men and brethren, this is a dear and tender name to us, it touches a chord that thrills our being. Yet far more powerful is the name of Savior, the name of Jesus. Less loved must father and mother be than Jesus Christ. The Lord demands precedence also of the best beloved “wife.” Here He touches another set of heartstrings. Dear is that word wife—partner of our being, comfort of our sorrow, delight of our eyes—“wife!” Yet, Wife, thou must not take the chief place, thou must sit at Jesus’ feet, or else thou art an idol; and Jesus will not brook thy rivalry. And “children,” the dear babes that nestle in the bosom, clamber to the knee, and pronounce the parent’s name in accents of music—they must not be our chief love. They must not come in between the Savior and us. Nor for their sakes—to give them pleasure or to promote their worldly advantage—must we grieve our Lord…If they tempt us to evil, they must be treated as if we hated them! Yea, the evil in them must be hated for Christ’s sake. If ye be Christ’s disciples, your Lord must be first, then father, mother, wife, children, brethren, and sisters will follow in due rank and order.
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