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The Narrow Way


a narrow street

 

We, as believers, must be always “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

 

There are two things we fail to fully appreciate in Hebrews 12:2:  the joy set before Jesus and the shame of his cross.  Jesus scorned the latter to realize the former.  And thus the pattern for our lives is set.

 

Joy is often preceded by suffering.  First the cross; then the crown.

 

Little do we understand the depths of Jesus’ suffering:  little do we understand the heights of his joy.  His suffering was horrible, his joy beyond all comprehension.

 

Suffering and hard times will inevitably come into our lives.  But if we endure those hard times and ask God to bless them for our good, we will one day experience the same joy that Jesus has now.

 

The way marked out by Jesus is the way of the cross.  It is a narrow way full of hardship and tribulation.  Broad is the way that leads to destruction, but narrow the way that leads to life.

 

It’s not an easy road, but neither was the road Jesus walked.

 

German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” Bonhoeffer no doubt had in mind the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:24-25 - “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

 

When Jesus issued that call to believers, he was on his way to the cross.  It was basically an invitation to follow him to the cross – die to self – and live for God.

 

Challenging and hard – but absolutely necessary for a Christian who wants to live for the Lord! 

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