“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.” Matthew 7:13-14
Decisions. Everyday we make lots of them: what to do, what to say, what to wear, where to go, what to eat. The list is endless. If you are like me, sometimes you have trouble making decisions. I fight to hold my tongue and not say hurtful words. I struggle at a store not to make an over-the-budget purchase. I agonize over resentful feelings and time management. All these decisions reflect the constant conflict between the natural sinful man and the spiritual man at war within us as Paul writes about in Romans 7:21-25.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus helps us in our daily struggle to choose well. He presents some of the areas we have to choose between: the two masters, two treasures, two preoccupations, two crowds, two destinations, light and darkness. What do these choices look like for the Kingdom of God? Seek first his presence, and worship him alone. Develop Christlike character, by increasing our faith, our hope, our love, and knowledge of his word. Strive through prayer and example to introduce others to Christ while there is still time. And use our time, talent, and treasure to benefit Kingdom causes. Though these are general ways we live out the Kingdom, Jesus has personal ones for each of us as well.
Enter the narrow gate. It’s a command to take urgent action. The gate Jesus invites us to choose is narrow and the road is straight. It’s difficult and takes determination, but it is life. God provides us a way in, through Jesus. It is accessible. Our life depends on these choices. The kingdom of God living through us on earth depends on our decisions. We can do this, together, with Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Walk back through the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5, 6, and 7. Ask God to show you the steps you have taken to follow Jesus on the Narrow Way, or the steps you need to take. Be specific about what God reveals to you.
By Donna Burns