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“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn

‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

“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. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

Matthew 10:34-39 New International Version (NIV)

This is all from Jesus. This is the Word of God that many don't understand or like very much if they are even able to comprehend what He is saying. God is love. Why does His Son sound so angry? If we had been sent to die for the sins of the world, we too may be a little harsh when explaining what's really going on. This is our righteous Judge talking and it is not all sweetness and light. Jesus goes Old Testament on us here (Micah 7:6). He is making it clear His death will not be in vain and that He didn't die for nothing. He demands to be first in our hearts and He sees inside our hearts, so He can't be fooled.

Man has a tendency to dress up God's Word to suit their desire. Some call it "Christianity Lite." "Peace on earth and goodwill toward men" isn't actually what the Scripture says. What the angels said to the shepherds when Jesus was born is this:

“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke2:14 NLT

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that it won't be nice if God is not pleased. The chaff will be separated from the wheat (Matthew 3:12). Christ brought a sword for division. He died on that cross to give us a chance to choose whose side we are on and the peace is on His side. He gave us instructions on how to choose and the Holy Spirit to help us choose and follow the winning side. The wrong choice will not be pretty and we must make the choice now. Of all the promises God has made, we are not promised a certain time.

“I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished.” Luke 12:49-50 NLT

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