The Bare Soul - July 6, 2008
The
Narrow Path

Matthew 7:13-14 - Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

There is nothing like a heavily painted center stripe on a road that is somewhat rough to a barefoot runner. Paint has the tendency to fill in the pits and pocks of an abused road surface. Barefoot runners will normally gravitate towards these type surfaces because of their predictable smoothness and also because of their white or yellow opaqueness which allows one to spot rocks, glass, or any other foreign object with great ease.

Ah, that life would afford us the ease of a heavily painted line that is clearly marked, giving direction for all to follow! Of course, there is such a way yet most don't heed the written Word of the Lord. Most look at the scriptures as archaic, symbolic writings that have little meaning for the present day, but of course nothing could be further from the truth. I can deduce that "most" can or will not find the way because Jesus said that "few" find the true path to eternal life. This week's verse is a cold, stark reality that there is a way that all men should follow, yet only the minority will find it. Proverbs tells us that there there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is destruction (Proverbs 14:12). All of the world's intellect and so-called wisdom will lead a person to hell as decisively as open defiance to the Almighty. I say that the former is a greater treason to the Most High because those who rely on the wisdom or the Sophism of this world have sought to define salvation other than by the blood that Jesus Christ shed on Calvary's Cross for you and me. At least with outright rebellion and defiance to the Lord, one has delineated a clear position with respect to the free gift of salvation. The other is being an accomplice of the slapping and spitting toward our Savior and the public mockery of stating through our actions that his crucifixion was not necessary. Those who would argue that there are many "roads of salvation" would defy everything the scripture says about the Lord. Jesus stated in John 8:24 that unless a person believes He is the Messiah, they will die in their sins. There is truly no other way under heaven and on earth to be saved from the wrath to come.

Christians are often defined as "narrow-minded" individuals that don't have the wherewithal to think for themselves. In the eyes of the sophists of this world, these Neanderthal, knuckle-dragging simpletons don't have the ability to think logically and rationally. The Lord gave a resounding declaration of these so called simpletons in the Sermon on the Mount or what I like to call His "State of the Kingdom on Earth" address. The Lord said more in the first few verses of the Beatitudes than in all the so-called collective wisdom of the world. In verses 11 and 12 of Matthew chapter 5, the Lord validates those who are truly traveling the "narrow way" for His name's sake: "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; ..." Jesus qualifies in these two verses the "narrow mindedness" of the scripture that infuriate those around us if we are truly living and speaking the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Friends, let me ask this poignant question. When was the last time you were insulted, or cussed at, or slandered for the name of Christ? I will further challenge us with this: If we are not taking up our cross daily, and taking verbal abuse, or slander, or whispering behind our backs, or outright persecution then we have fallen short of the glory of God. We cannot be passive in this "passion play" that the Lord desires all of us to be players. We shall either be those who publicly hold Jesus up for shame by our mockery of not taking the narrow path that He has shown, or we will bear the marks of Jesus scorn. True discipleship will always be walking in His footsteps. Are we all ready, this day, to pick up our crosses and follow Him up that narrow way to Life Everlasting? May all who have ears to hear the voice of our Lord, hear and follow.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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