Monday, April 12, 2010

Narrow is the way

Luke 13:22-25: “And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then one said to Him, ‘Lord, are there few who are saved?’ And He said to them, 24 ‘Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from.'”

Nothing in this world that is worth anything to us, is easy to achieve. We would like to find the get rich quick scheme, we would like to have the highest paying jobs without getting an education, and we would like to have a marriage where there is no effort and everything happens easily, but those things are a myth. The fact is that anything of real value and lasting effect comes by the hard and disciplined life. If something is attained without the proper discipline it takes to achieve, then what is considered a gain will quickly turn to a loss. There have been many people who thought that if they win the lottery it would solve every problem they have, when in fact those who win turn out to be much worse off than when they began. Our spiritual life is in fact much more important to us than our finances, career, or marriage. That being true, why should we think that we should find the easiest way to proceed? A question was asked to Jesus, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" His answer was an unusual one for a religious leader, for He said, Strive to enter through the narrow gate.

It is not that one can work for his salvation or faith, but rather when you decide to follow Christ, you are deciding to a take a path that is not easy. The way for the Christian is a struggle, and a disciplined labor. When we invite God into our lives it would be foolish to have Him come in and then have nothing about us change. To ask a Holy God to begin a relationship with us and not strive to become more like Him is ridiculous. The whole reason I ask Jesus to come into my life and take over is that I realize that when I try to run my own life I mess it up. If I invite God to take over my life I must be willing to give up those things that pull and hold me down. I go from being independent to being dependent on Him. My wants begin to change and I begin to make war with my desires. Being a Christ-follower is a struggle and a labor-intensive process. Jesus said that only through the narrow gate, the gate of struggle and difficulty will any true beauty shine through. The wide gate is the gate that most of the world would travel through; nevertheless, nothing good comes from ease and effortlessness.

For the Christ-follower it is not easy not to bow down to the things we once did; money, power, pleasure and lust, but we must strive as Jesus says to enter through the narrow gate. No, many people will reject this life change because it costs us some effort. Christ died for you and me, because He loved us so much. His sacrifice was a costly and hard thing to do. Jesus chose the narrow gate, by His death for us; shouldn’t we return the favor in our lives for Him?

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: 1 Sam 13-14 New Testament Luke 14:1-24

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