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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blood moon 10/8/14 (Photo by Ester)
Lunar Eclipse 10/8/14
(Photo taken by Ester)

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"The Narrow Gate"

Rusty Gate and autumn view along Risser Mill Road
A rusty gate and peaceful autumn view along Risser Mill Road, Lancaster County, PA

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" (Matthew 7:13,14).

We have a fenced backyard with walkthrough gates allowing access from our front yard on each side as well as one that opens to the property behind our yard. It's a very wide gate so that I can get my lawn tractor in if needed. Without gates I would have very limited access to the backyard and in today's text gate is used in the sense of access.

“Gate” is a common word found all throughout the Bible from Genesis through Revelation. That's not surprising since the Bible was written during a time when virtually every reader was familiar with agriculture and gates were used at the entrance to walled cities. In fact the word is used some 350 times depending on the translation according to my study on Biblegateway.com. This site features a handy word search that includes a total of times the word is used.

Two gates of access are revealed in a teaching by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount: "
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" (Matthew 7:13,14).

Quote In this age of religious pluralism, diversity, and one way tolerance these words of our Lord may seem harsh and even unloving. It's deeply troubling to many that our country's slide into decadence would be so great that a national memorial service opened in "prayer" by a pagan medicine man. As one editor put it, “he began the off kilter scene with his pseudo-blessing of rocks and trees, northern doors, and -- well, whatever he was blessing, anyway.”

An increasing majority are raising a defiant fist of rebellion against God; His Word and time-tested standards of morality. We read that even the majority or very close to it are now accepting the radical redefining of marriage in absolute rebellion against God. But consider the solemn words of our Lord Jesus Christ,
"For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it."

I address the faithful here; those who have "eyes to see and ears to hear" the words of our Lord. Let us enter through the narrow gate realizing that small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life. In a similar teaching Jesus said, "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able" (Luke 13:24).

I am especially intrigued by Christ's words, "and only a few find it." One commentary shares this perspective:  "According to Christ Himself, most people will not be saved, in spite of the fact that He offers salvation as a free gift to all. Jesus clearly did not believe in the doctrine of universalism that is growing in popularity today, the belief that everyone will eventually end up in heaven."

Let us faithfully adhere to the teachings of Christ revealed in the Holy Bible and let us enter through the narrow gate that  leads us to His paths of righteousness.

Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, through Your righteous narrow gate we enter into the Christian journey. And with Your help and by Your mercy we will also stay the course. How grateful we are to be among those who enter since Jesus said "only a few will find it." At times there is a compulsion to be aligned with the masses who walk the broad way because it is more acceptable to others and easier to align with those around us. But we know the end result will be eternal damnation later, lack of peace here and now, and friendship with the enemy of our soul.  Help us to remain faithful to You, zealous in our Christian walk, and ever mindful of those we need to bring along with us on the narrow path. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Jesus, Only Jesus"  Video
  Charles Billingsley, Guy Penrod, Michael O'Brien and Travis Cottrell

"Rescue the Perishing"  Video  Billy & Cindy Foote

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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