Hi friends, it's been a minute since I've written a blog post and I've missed you. Thank you for continuing to support and build TheOneThing1 community. I appreciate you coming back to read the latest installment. I'm delighted you are here and to be writing again. I've had time to soak in the Scriptures, and there is so much the Lord continues to speak to me. Beloved, every word from our Lord Jesus is essential, and this word is vital considering the times we are living in. Today we are looking at Matthew 7v13-14 and Luke 13v23-24. First, we look at why it's hard to enter the narrow gate, and then we focus on the glorious results for those of us who do. So grab your Bibles, and let's get started.
"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 7v13-14.
"Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able." Luke 13v23-24.
These are weighty words from our Lord Jesus, and at first glance, it may appear that not many will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but take heart the apostle John in the book of Revelation penned this stunning image,
"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" Revelation 7v9-10.
The words from Matthew 7 and Luke 13 are vital, especially the season we are living in now. There is a great harvest occurring, and we are chosen vessels able to proclaim the goodness, greatness, and gift of God ~ Jesus. Therefore, we must be solidified in the truth to stand with confidence in these last days able to share the Gospel unashamedly.
We know from the context the Gate is our Lord Jesus (John 10v9), the redemption received through His finished work on the cross. We can neither add nor subtract from the work of Christ. The way is hard because we live in a world inundated with the premise that we must do something to receive anything. So often, people equate what happens in the world to the ways of God, and it simply isn't that way. The Kingdom of God is altogether different. Every transaction in the Kingdom is based on receiving, and God is the Source of our supply.
It's important to remember we enter the kingdom by grace through faith in Jesus. We place our faith in Jesus, and forever. Therefore, we will be trusting, leaning, and pressing into Him. We begin in the Spirit and, therefore, walk in the Spirit. We do not start in the Spirit and finish by our works. This point is so crucial to the heart of our Father that the apostle Paul wrote an epistle addressing it (among many other issues) in the book of Galatians.
As I continue to meditate on Matthew 7v13-14, I realize the gate is narrow because self and all its baggage must be left behind. The old nature has died with Jesus on the cross, and we have been raised to new life in Him. Consider II Corinthians 5v17, Galatians 2v20:
"Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new." 2 Corinthians 5v17.
"My old identity has been co-crucified with Christ and no longer lives. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, dispensing his life into mine!" Galatians 2v20.
No remnant of the old life can come with us, for we have been born again. The result of coming through Jesus is we are a completely new person and have been accepted into the family of God. Everything about us, simply everything, has changed! We are joined to Christ most intimately one Spirit with His."But the one who joins himself to the Lord is mingled into one spirit with him." 1 Corinthians 6v17.
It's is to our advantage to reconcile ourselves to the truth. When we come through Jesus, our position is in Him. There is no us ~ apart from Him. There was an exchange at the cross, the righteous for the unrighteousness, the innocent for the guilty. Once we believe in Jesus, we receive His life and everything connected to it and friends; this is so amazing. Please pause for a moment and allow His goodness to sink in. It is impossible for the flesh to 'have any hold' on us because of our position in Christ Jesus. We now have the heart, will, and power to choose what is holy, right, and acceptable, for it is God who works within us.
"A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36v26.
"for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Philippians 2v13
May the eyes of our hearts believe in the truth of the finished work of Jesus ~ all He has accomplished, Amen. He has given us a place of peace, grace, and unlimited access to God our Father. Meditate on these key verses from Hebrews:
"So now we draw near freely and boldly to where grace is enthroned, to receive mercy's kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness." Hebrews 4v16.
"we come closer to God and approach him with an open heart, fully convinced that nothing will keep us at a distance from him. For our hearts have been sprinkled with blood to remove impurity, and we have been freed from an accusing conscience. Now we are clean, unstained, and presentable to God inside and out!" Hebrews 10v22.
Each day is a blessed opportunity to walk in humility and godly sincerity, surrendered to His will, where we are emptied of self and able to gain more of Christ. We are in the world but no longer of it. We navigate life yielding to the power, presence, and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Friends, our life is now one where we are in constant communion with God. Our sanctification is walking out all Christ has done in us. We can only walk in that which we know, which is why it's so vital for us to continue in the word of God daily.
As we come into the revelation of Him, we develop stability, not tossed by the storms of life. The world is volatile ~ people are crying out for a tangible constant, but beloved, we know Him, and are deeply loved by Him. So let's allow Him to work effectively in us and through us today, so we would be vessels of honor used for His glory, drawing others to Him.
So many people feel they need to do something to get God to move toward them, but we get the opportunity to share the Good News that He already has; they need only say yes to His gracious invitation. I pray you are encouraged.
Until next time, let's continue to do the one thing needful and abide in Christ.