Daily Lent Devotional #23 (3/31/2011)

Matthew 7: 13-14, 21-23

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it…

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’

23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

We live in a culture that craves speed and comfort.  We want things fast.  We want things our way.  We want to spend as little of our resources, time, and energy to get the things that we want.  If what we truly want appears to cost too much, we often choose to settle for less.

This mindset does not compare very well with the mindset of Christianity.  We are called to swim against the current of our world that tells us lies on a daily basis.  The modern culture will stroke our egos and tell us that if something is “too hard”, it’s OK to quit.  The way of God through Jesus is often hard.  To claim that it is otherwise is false advertising.  The one thing that makes the “narrow way” of walking with Christ worthwhile…is that you get to walk with Him!  When we abide daily in a deep, trusting relationship with Christ; all trouble and pain we may have to sludge through (though it can be tough) loses its draining power over our hearts.  When we break off on our own (apart from God and others who care for us), the pain can become unbearable.

In a world of quick responses and instant messages, Jesus calls us to be “finishers” of the race of faith.  No matter your current speed or pace, Jesus wants us to take heart and keep walking daily alongside Him.

In closing today, here’s some thoughts from Henri Nouwen about staying committed to life with Christ:

Jesus challenges us to move into a totally new direction. He asks for conversion—–that is to say, a complete interior turn around, a transformation. Not an easy thing, as is certainly evident from his words: “But it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Everything within us seems set against this way. And yet . . . every time we take a few steps along it, we become aware that something new is happening within us and experience a desire to try yet another step forward. And so, step by step, we come closer to the heart of God, which is the heart of an undiscriminating, always-forgiving, inexhaustible love.

The way of Jesus is not self-evident, but it is the only way that leads to life and can save our world from total destruction. Let us hope and pray with all our hearts that we may have the courage and the confidence to follow the way of Jesus to the end.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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