Friday, August 26, 2022
Ellie Boudreau - Journey Church Group Leader
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
To illustrate timeless truths, Jesus often used “word pictures” throughout the gospels. Here we are invited to envision two paths, each apportioned by a gate. The first swings wide open, presenting the charade of opportunity to do whatever one wants. It’s a lot like today’s culture, which embraces the belief that there are no absolutes and no calculation of consequences. Sin is nothing new, it’s just become more pronounced. Yet, as many of us have learned, there really are consequences that bring destruction.
I heard someone once say, “The fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain”. What a powerful statement! How often do we choose to not walk through the “narrow gate” because the fear of losing out is so strong…it’s palatable. The wide road is crowded with endless opportunities, yet the outcome of empty promises is found in our brokenness.
Life is full of choices that we make every day. According to psychologytoday.com, we make up to 35,000 decisions every day. And with that comes an array of outcomes.
Walking through a narrow passageway requires focus, as the room for error is evidenced by the seeming confines of the path. Yet that which feels constricting, surprisingly becomes free of distraction. Think of the times in your life when you’ve been laser-focused on a goal. Nothing will stop you. Not circumstances, nor moments of discouragement. Why? Because the object of our focus becomes the vision of our reward. And as an additional benefit, we end up learning the most by that which challenges us the greatest.
When I want to drive to a location quickly, I use the Waze GPS app. I like it because it gives me options of how I can get to my destination the fastest, without having to pay tolls and avoid traffic. However, there are times I can convince myself that by going my way I can get there faster. When impatience sets in, I veer off the path that has been set, Waze re-routes, and almost inevitably it takes longer to get to my destination. I won’t admit how many times I haven’t been willing to follow the best way that was already mapped out for me.
Taking your next step may mean that you step through that narrow gate, literally. Jesus invites us to redirect our thoughts and actions from the road of destruction toward a life that is so much greater than aimlessly doing our own thing. Choose the road less traveled and gain the freedom that so few find because they were willing to listen to Christ.
Ask God today if the path that you are walking is headed in a direction with Him. He’s there waiting.
Daily Prayer Initiatives
- Jesus to change more lives as we double the square footage of our Castle Pines location.
- Momentum as we launch our Highlands Ranch location.
- Someone you can invite to Journey on Friend Day (Sunday, September 11)
- One bold prayer you sense God is personally inviting you to pray during the 21 Days.
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.