MATTHEW 7:14_strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life…
My favorite path in Rock City is the Needle’s Eye. As many times as I have been there, it remains my favorite. Two large rock formations are close together but not touching—just barely not touching. As you enter the trail between the rocks, depending upon your size, you may be able to walk normally, moving forward. But as you continue, you come to places where the rocks are closer together. This is when some people have to turn side ways to continue. There are some very narrow passages.
The strait gate, which Jesus says leads to life, is also narrow. The Needle’s Eye leaves very little room for baggage. As you continue to travel the path some of the passages are so narrow if you brought along baggage, you will have to return to the gate and leave it.
Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, gave him this advice, concerning all the Hebrews he was leading to the promised land, Exodus 18:20 (KJV), “And thou [Moses] shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.”
As a salty-lit-up disciple do the same thing. Give light to the narrow path so seekers can follow it.
One True God, Help me be light to the strait gate and narrow way! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ casts off my baggage—I’ll follow the narrow way!
MATTHEW 7:12_for this is the law and the prophets.
Put this principle in simple terminology. Think about how you want to be treated, then treat everyone else that way. Think about how you want to be talked to, and talk that way to everyone else.
As a salty-lit-up disciple you want to restore broken people and relationships—not destroy them. You want to shed light in a dark place—not make it darker.
The apostle Paul says it very well in Galatians 6:1 (KJV), “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
We can be too indulging and too enabling with people, but we can’t be too kind or too gentle.
Matthew 7:12 has long been known as The Golden Rule. Jesus says this rule is the fulfillment of the Law. Paul also says it in Galatians 5:14 (KJV),“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Jesus taught the radical 180 degree turn when it came to the Law. However, He also taught that His radical way was not intended to destroy the Law or the prophets. The very basis of the Law is love—which is why Jesus fulfills it.
Lord Jesus, Let me treat others with compassion and gentleness. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows the Law is based on love—He fulfills it!
MATTHEW 7:11_If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children…
Does Jesus say even the evil know how to treat their children well? No way! Actually, it sounds like He’s calling all of us evil!
Jesus agrees with what we’ve already learned – we’re all evil and have those hard hearts. That’s why we need The Savior. That’s why we need The Great Transformer. That’s why we need The Great Healer. And this is another reason to stay away from judging. How can one sinner judge another?
Those of us who made a decision to become salty-lit-up disciples of Jesus are saved sinners. We are not any better than unsaved sinners, because the only righteousness we have comes from Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself. We didn’t get it by being good. We got it by accepting a free (to us) gift from The Savior (who paid the ultimate price to give it to us).
I realize I’m putting myself out there by saying this, but I believe sometimes evil people can treat their children well. I believe God can use evil people to do good works for Him. I know that sounds strange, but King Solomon knew it.
Proverbs 21:1(KJV), “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.”
Even if it’s an evil king!
King of Kings, Thank You for the miraculous ways You take care of me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ can use anyone for my good—I praise Him for that!
MATTHEW 7:7_knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Before your knock is answered be sure to answer the ultimate knock!
Remember your heart has a door. Jesus knocks on it. Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I [Jesus] stand at the door [of your heart], and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup [fellowship] with him, and he with me.”
It is impossible to become a disciple without answering the ultimate knock. And certainly if you desire to become a salty-lit-up disciple!
Jesus’ sermon, in Matthew chapters five, six, and seven is an instruction manual on how to live once you’ve opened that door. Don’t forget the Salvation Post on August 29. You printed a page to record your Door Opening event.
Now you become the knocker. The doors of life stand before you. The Holy Spirit dwells inside you, faithfully giving visions to accomplish and fulfill. All the visions fit according to the design and purpose God has for your life.
Knock on the doors which will bring fulfillment of your visions. Don’t give up.
King of Kings, I choose to answer Your knock—You choose to answer mine. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows when I answer His knock—He hears mine!
MATTHEW 7:4_Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, let me pull out the mote out of thine eye…
We all lean toward being fixers. At times, that comes from a pure heart. We really just want to stop the pain of someone we love. It is much easier to bear our own hurt than to see someone we love hurting. If we can find any way at all, we’re going to put a stop to that pain.
When motivated by genuine love we’ll give our money, our possessions, our time, and our whole heart, because we love someone else more than ourselves. In general, that is not a bad thing.
There are ways in which being a fixer can cause more harm than good. God has a pure heart. He never wants to see His loved ones hurting. He wants us free from hurt, but also free from causing hurt.
Trials and suffering are a part of the path we must follow as disciples. When we see our loved ones going through a God-ordained trial (suffering for righteousness sake), or a self-ordained trial (making poor decisions) we may want to ease their pain. It is best to comfort those we love through their trials. If we interfere and fix the problem, they may never develop the character needed to fully achieve God’s purpose for their life.
God can use either type of trial, His ordained trial or our self-made trial, for our good.
His is much easier!
Loving Jesus, Help me know when to fix a problem, and when to wait. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ can use all kinds of problems—for my good!