Encouragement from the Word

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth"
III John 1:4

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Narrow Road...Are You On It?

In the beginning, before the foundations of the earth, God created you and I for this journey called life. His desire was that we would walk side by side with him in fellowship and love. However, he created us with a free will and therefore, we do not all choose to walk the path of life with him.

The fact is...there are only two paths to follow in this life. The path of faith and trust in God and the path of self, apart from God. The Bible calls them the wide and the narrow paths.

Jesus says in Matthew 7: 13-14;

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

What is so different about these two paths and why is our choice so important? Well, let's first look at the broad path. This path is the one that most choose to follow. It is the easy path because..."everyone is doing it". You will have much company on this path and will not feel different or ostracized in any way. You will fit right in with the world. The people on this path would follow the old adage, "I'm O.K.. You're O.K." The wide path is a very comfortable path.

On the narrow path, however, you will not find as many people. You will be going against the tide of popular opinion and standing up for your convictions, often resulting in criticism or persecution. You may not always be well liked...you may be seen as different or even strange. If you choose this path, you may lose friends...or gain enemies!

So, why would I want to walk that narrow path that seems so much more difficult? Well, that's the exciting part! The benefits of walking the narrow path are life-changing and dramatic. Whereas those on the broader path may appear on the surface to have satisfaction, success and happiness, it is only a facade. This path does not deliver on it's promises. The people on this path are crippled by lust, greed, self-centeredness and sorrow. There is no inner peace. When trouble comes, their houses, built on sand, come crumbling down.

Now, those who have chosen the narrow path are not exempt from trouble. To the contrary, the Bible says,

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

However, when trouble does come, they have an advocate and helper in the Holy Spirit to walk with them through any trial. And above all...they have an inner peace in the midst of the trial. They know that God is in control...that he wants the best for them...that he holds them in the palm of his hand. Those on this narrow path will experience peace, joy, satisfaction and most importantly...hope.

Finally, let's look at where these two paths lead. We must first understand that we were created with eternity in mind. This life is only a small "blip" on God's timeline. Each of us will face an eternity somewhere. According to the Bible, it will be either heaven or hell. As our verse in Matthew stated: "...broad is the road that leads to destruction..." Did you catch that? Destruction! That certainly doesn't sound like heaven to me! And, it doesn't sound like a destination that I would like to head towards.

 The narrow road, on the other hand, leads to "life". That sounds more like where I would like to end up. How about you?  In addition, as we walk along the narrow road, the Bible promises that we can live an abundant life. John 10:10 says,

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full!"

What would a life lived on the narrow path actually look like? Well, a person who chooses this path may have to make hard decisions, about how to raise their children, that go against the mainstream. They may choose to follow God's leading to have Mom stay at home instead of join the workforce, resulting in less income and a lower standard of living. They may have to severely limit their intake of entertainment, such as movies and T.V. They will probably spend a large amount of time and perhaps money, serving others. And, they may have to clean up their language or other habits that are not God-honoring...resulting in losing some friends and possibly their popularity among their peers or co-workers. There is no doubt that walking the narrow path will involve making some hard choices as we align our priorities with the Word of God.

 Basically, the life of a person walking the narrow path with be outwardly and upwardly focus....sacrificially serving God and others while living a life yielded to God. This will all be done, not grudgingly or out of fear, but as an outflow of our love for God. And we can be certain that walking the narrow road will ultimately bring peace, joy, blessing and hope!

It's not too late to choose to walk the "narrow path that leads to life".

If you are headed down the wrong path and want to know the peace, joy and hope of Jesus Christ; just follow the simple steps below. It's as easy as A, B, C :

A - Admit to God you are a sinner. Repent and turn away from your sin.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:23

B - Believe that Jesus is God's Son and accept his gift of forgiveness.

" I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,  that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

C - Confess your faith in Christ as Savior and Lord.

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" Romans 10: 13

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