We All Have Baggage

OCTOBER 29

MATTHEW 7:14_strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life…

If we had to be baggage-free to enter the strait gate, there would be no need to enter. After all, we’re already living free so what’s there to gain?

We all have baggage. Bags filled with broken pieces of our hearts, hopes, and dreams. Some baggage we choose of our own free will. Other baggage is inflicted upon us by the circumstances of life. They came with the life package—a life we live in a dark and sinful world every moment of every day.   

The difference in the sizes of our baggage depends upon how we deal with them. The wide gate allows for a lot of baggage. That is why it is wide. The path is broad so we don’t have to drop off any bags. It is the designed path for those who have been subdued by the world—to accept its darkness as if there were no other choice. It is for those who don’t want to check their bags at the gate because the bags contain their pain relievers. Some may be for physical pain, but the majority are for pains of the soul. The spirits of darkness work to keep us depressed and discouraged. Life doesn’t have to be that way—there is hope!  

Colossians 1:27 (KJV), “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

PRAYER

Lord Who Reigns, Only You can truly relieve the pains of my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the pain reliever—I will make Him mine!

You Choose

OCTOBER 28

MATTHEW 7:14_strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life…

Roads, trails, paths, streets, highways, all take you somewhere. They all have a beginning and an end. Life is like that. 

There’s another thing about highways, streets, paths, trails, and roads—you choose the ones to take. You choose them based on your destination – the end you desire to reach. Out of all the available roads you choose the one which will reach your destination. If you’re going to church, you pick the road that leads to your church. If you’re going to school, you pick the road to your school. If you’re going to the grocery store, you choose that street. You know where you want to be, and you choose a path to get there.

You also choose spiritual roads. If self-indulgence with the addictions and vices that accompany it is your choice, enter the wide gate. You have room for the baggage you bring. Since this way is broad, you have room to add to the baggage as life goes along. And you will add to the baggage because that is just the nature of how it works.

When you choose the strait gate, you choose to begin to drop baggage. Some of it, Jesus relieves you of at the gate.       

PRAYER

Awesome God, I want to be with You—I choose that way! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the way—I choose to follow Him!

Plenty of Room

OCTOBER 24

MATTHEW 7:13_for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction…

Then there is the second gate. Jesus describes it as wide and broad. You won’t need any help finding that gate. It is wide—how could you miss it? When you reach an accountable age, your eyes are opened to two gates; you’ll see the widest one first. The size makes it visible, and … more tempting. 

Because of its size, you see something else—how easy it is to enter. The wideness allows you to bring all kinds of baggage. 

Not only is the gate wide, but once inside the way is broad. If in the baggage you brought along some pride, there would be plenty of room to add to it—until it becomes arrogance. If you brought just a little bit of a grudge, there would be plenty of room to add to it—until it becomes hate and bitterness.

In Jesus’ words it’s plain – this broad way leads to destruction. Count on it! Psalm 27:11 (KJV), “Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.”

Make the choice in your youth to enter the strait gate. It will save you numerous regrets in your adult life.          

PRAYER

God Who Saves, Please save me from entering the destructive path of life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.        

Christ saves me from the wide gate—I will follow Him!

The Choice

JUNE 7

MATTHEW 6:10_Thy will be done…

You can learn from Jesus’ prayer life. Matthew chapter 26 (KJV), 38Then saith he unto them [Peter, James, John], ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.'”Jesus shares a prayer request.

Jesus knew He was facing rejection, ridicule, abuse, and death. Does He cry out for mercy? How specific is He?  39And he went a little further [to be alone], and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’” Jesus asks to be released from what He is about to experience. “42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.’ 44And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” Jesus prayed the same request three times, but each time He asked God’s will over His own.  When Jesus knew it was not God’s will to deliver Him, He made the choice to fulfill His purpose. 

Jesus entered His prayer closet, prayed the same request repeatedly, and added two more aspects in how to pray – ask for prayer support, and God’s will to be done.

If Jesus had not placed the Father’s will above His own, no one could be saved.         

 PRAYER

God Who Hears, Give me the wisdom and courage to pray for Your will. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ chose God’s will—I ask for that courage!

An Innumerable Amount of People

MARCH 6

MATTHEW 5:19_and teach them…

Again, Jesus’ emphasis to keep the commandments includes and teach them. Jon Donne’s phrase “no man is an island” is true. There is nothing you can do in life which only involves you. Any decision you make will directly, or indirectly, affect the people God places in your life.

Sometimes those decisions will affect people you don’t even know. If you make the decision to drink and drive, and have no passengers, you may feel that decision only involves you. But if you are involved in an accident with one or more vehicles, suddenly other people are involved in your decision.

Any time you decide to do what is right or wrong, you affect the welfare and safety of an innumerable amount of people. If you make decisions in your heart not to steal, not to kill, not to commit immoral acts – your decisions make the world a safer and better place.

You teach others to do right either directly by words, or indirectly by influence.

The same is true about wrong. Genesis 3:17 (KJV), “And unto Adam he [God] said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it….” Not only were Eve, Adam, and the Serpent punished, but everyone who has lived since that day reaps the consequences of their disobedience.

PRAYER

King of Kings, I want my example in life to be for good. I want to make right choices for myself and help others make them as well. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                          

Christ is my example for good—He wants me to follow!