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The Strait Way

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”   Mat 7:13-14

Imagine two roads.  The first is a grand six lane highway with easy access.  The speed limit is sixty-five miles per hour, and it provides a comfortable journey from point A to point B.  The second is a very narrow road, barely two lanes, with difficult access.  The speed limit is twenty five miles per hour, and you have to be careful to avoid driving off the road.  Now, suppose you are told that both roads lead to the same destination.  Which one would you choose?  Most, if not all of us would choose the first road.  Sounds like a no-brainer to me.  As long as both lead to the same place.

There are two views that people have of this Christian walk, and Jesus denotes each of these views by a road in the greatest sermon ever preached, recorded in Mat 5 – 7.   And to many, both these roads lead to the same place, however, in reality they lead to polar opposite destinations.  One  is the harder way that leads to life, and the other is a much easier road, leading to destruction.  Now, the question is, what is meant by easy and hard?  The answer this this question will make clear what this Christian life is in contrast to what it is not.  There are many areas where we find contrasts.  I will list several scriptures which describe the major contrasts.  In my looking at these in preparation for writing this entry, I was forced to examine my walk and see if I measure up.  It is a humbling exercise, however, a very necessary one.  Lam 3:40 says “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!”  If we find areas where we fall short, this is the time to repent and get back on track.

First, Rom 10:9.  “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”   This scripture is very clear in denoting that making Christ Lord in our life is a requirement to true salvation.  So, what does this mean, exactly?  The Greek word for Lord in the above verse is kurion, meaning supreme ruler, worthy of service and obedience.  Therefore, it means that Christ is to be our supreme ruler.  There can be no other in any area of our lives.  We are to obey Him no matter what.  Our desires, goals and dreams are secondary.  His will is first, everything else is unimportant in comparison.

  • Those on the easy road do what they believe is right, attributing it as God’s will.  Those on this road may feign obedience, however, the path of least resistance is the way to go.  They believe that as long as they try to do the right thing, then all is well.  They will do what God says as long as it does not interfere with their lives, thus making their comfort and schedules the arbiter of God’s will.  They see Christ as their savior, but not their Lord.
  • Those on the hard road truly make Christ their Lord.  They are always seeking God’s will in all they do, and will place their desires in the background.  They do not seek the easy path, but  are willing to sacrifice all, meaning their possessions, families, hopes, dreams and their very lives for Him.  (Read Mat 10:37-39)  They see themselves as  a child of God and servant of Christ.

Second, not only should He be your Lord, but love should rule all your relationships, including with God.  Mar 12:30-31 says, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  Jesus says that loving God and loving our neighbor are the two greatest commandments.  This tells us that love should govern everything we do and think.  Nothing should come between us and God.  Whatever we allow to come between ourselves and God, we love more than God.  It is that simple.  We can love others, but God must be first.  Jesus said, if you love anyone more than me, than you are not worthy of Him.  And we are called to ” Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”  Php 2:3  Our lives should be focused on God, others, then ourselves.

  • Those on the easy road probably love God, but not more than everyone and everything. They feign love for God and others, however, it is themselves they love the most.  They are unwilling to deny themselves for the sake of their love for Christ or their neighbor.  They talk much of love, but their heart says something else.
  • Those on the hard road deny themselves, placing God and others before themselves.  They humbly look to the welfare of others before themselves, and are willing to forgive all those who wrong them.  God is number one, no question.  They recognize what God has done for them, and are totally thankful and grateful, which then exhibits itself in true devotion to Him.

Are you on the hard road, or the easy road?  Is Christ your absolute Lord, or are there area’s you are not relinquishing to Him?   Do you seek His will at all times, or only when it is convenient?   Do you love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, or are you half-hearted in your love for Him?  Do you look to others welfare  before your own, trusting that God will take care of you, or do you seek your own welfare prior to others?  These are hard questions, but the answer to these questions will help you determine what road you are on.  You must desire with all your heart to live a life of love, and serve God as a servant serves his Lord.  Sometimes we are unaware of how we are to live, however, the scriptures make it plain, and it is up to us to search the scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in order to understand what the Christian life is to be lived, and then change our lives to truly live as such.  If you find yourself on the broad road, make the change and get on the strait way.  For that road leads to eternal life with the triune God and our brothers and sister who travel the same road.  The broad road leads to a place less desireable.

 

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