What is “it”? IT is a life that has chosen to give their lives completely back to God, the One who created us. It is a heart, mind and soul that realizes the love God has for the world and for them and desires to love Him back. It is a life who is accepts Jesus as Savior AND commits to follow Jesus as Lord. Yes, there is a difference between accepting and following. As our Savior we believe and accept Jesus, be impressed with His teaching and even be grateful for the suffering He endured on the cross, knowing our debt of sin is paid in full upon our receiving Him.
Following Jesus as Lord is the other half of the whole in our growing relationship with Jesus. As LORD of our lives, we commit to becoming like Him, following the guidance of His Holy Spirit, we do what He teaches. We wake each day and greet our Lord with, “Here is my life, what will we do today, Lord?” We live for him, not for ourselves or anyone else, no matter what our vocation in life. Everything we think, say or do goes through the filter of His Holy Spirit living in us. We depend and rely on the wisdom of His Word and His Holy Spirit to be in all the details of our lives. All our decisions are made based on what He tells us in His Word and what we hear from our conversations in prayer to Him.
We are living in this world as a representative of Christ, our Lord. We are in this world but not living for the world or following the changing whims of this world. We hope to affect society more that society affects us as followers of Jesus, Lord of our lives. We are driven by His heart and passion for the world to be saved by Him, too.
Only a few find it.
The Sermon on the Mount
The Narrow and Wide Gates
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.
True and False Prophets
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
True and False Disciples
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
GOING A BIT DEEPER…
Jesus is talking to the religious leaders as well as current, curious followers who are hearing truth for the first time.
Since there are false prophets in our world, we must be careful of deception. But the greatest danger is self-deception.The scribes and Pharisees had fooled themselves into believing that they were righteous and others were sinful.
It is possible for people to know the right language, believe intellectually the right doctrines, obey the right rules, and still not be saved. Jesus used two pictures to help us judge ourselves and others.
TWO WAYS TO CHOOSE
These are, of course, the way to heaven and the way to hell. The broad way is the easy way; it is the popular way. But we must not judge spiritual profession by statistics; the majority is not always right. The fact that “everybody does it” is no proof that what they are doing is right. Quite the contrary is true:
God’s people have always been a remnant, a small minority in this world. The reason is not difficult to discover: The way of life is narrow, lonely, and costly. We can walk on the broad way and keep our “baggage” of sin and worldliness. But if we enter the narrow way, we must give up those things.
Here, then, is the first test: Did your profession of faith in Christ cost you anything?
If not, then it was not a true profession. Many people who “trust” Jesus Christ never leave the broad road with its appetites and associations. They have an easy Christianity that makes no demands on them. Yet Jesus said that the narrow way was hard. We cannot walk on two roads, in two different directions, at the same time.
These show that true faith in Christ changes the life and produces fruit for God’s glory. Everything in nature reproduces after its kind, and this is also true in the spiritual realm. Good fruit comes from a good tree, but bad fruit comes from a bad tree.
Good trees with good fruits are the result of the work of His Holy Spirit when Jesus is LORD of our lives.
“…the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
Galatians 5:22-25, NLT
The second test is this: Did my decision for Christ change my life? False prophets who teach false doctrine can produce only a false righteousness (see Acts 20:29). Their fruit (the results of their ministry) is false and cannot last.
What areas of your life have changed as a result of living a life with Jesus as Lord? What fruits do you see forming and growing?
Randy and I like to grow vegetables and other flowering plants. We check daily to see the progress. We look forward to future tasty tomatoes so we water, feed and protect them. What if we put that much focus on our budding spiritual fruits?
In the same way we care for our plants, what if we were as careful to observe our daily lives, making sure no bugs of hate or the fake news of this world are not infecting and affecting our growing and maturing fruits of His Holy Spirit in us?
Mm, only a few find it. I get it.
Dear Father, Savior and Lord,
What do you want today? My life is yours. I lay down the baggage of the past. I want all of you in all of me. I want you to be Lord of my life. Thank you for accepting and loving me as I am today but with a desire to transform me into all you intended for me to be. Change me. My desire is to be among the few who find it…who find and follow You.
In Jesus Name, Amen