The Narrow Path

“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:5-6

“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”

Luke 13:24

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“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.”

Matthew 7:13-14

(Thsi photo was taken in June fo 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)

You Choose

God created us with free will…the ability to choose our actions and behaviors.  The reason is because a love worth having is love that is chosen, however, the risk is people will choose to reject God.  We were created out of love and as we live we can choose whom we will follow.  How do you choose to live this day?  Amen.

“…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

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You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Galatians 5:13.15

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass in Montana)

Choices

Which race are you running?  The one the world lays out that is chasing after money, possessions and status among this world or the race that has been marked out for you by God?  God’s gift of free will does give us a choice…it is important to keep in mind that all choices come with a cost. The world’s race has been called the ‘rat race’ and in order to run that race we have to make choices that leaves a trail of broken relationships…if we choose to pursue the race that God has marked out for us we will be persecuted by others for not conforming to the way of the world.  Neither race is easier than the other, the biggest difference is that in choosing the race that God has marked out for us we will never be running alone and most importantly when it comes to the end of our race where we end up is significantly different.  Seek God’s wisdom for the path that you are on and the race that you are running.  Amen.

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:1-2

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota)

A Different Way Of Living

Because God has given us free will, we can choose how we want to live.  It is not up to others, no matter how much we tend to blame them, we are responsible for how we respond to everything in our lives each and every day.  In the bible, John the Baptist is an excellent example of the characteristics of holy living.  You can read more about him in the Gospel of John.  John the Baptist makes a statement that truly shows his humility, in referring to Jesus he states…“He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30) We can’t control what others will think, say or do, yet we do control how we choose to respond.  Choose a different way of living, choose to follow Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:12-14

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling in southern New Mexico)

Choices

We all have them…we have them for little things…we have them for big things…we have choices to make everyday…even not deciding is a choice.  We are bombarded with messages about what we “should” want, what everyone “needs” and the quick and simple things you can do to have it all.  Um No.  This is evil and the sinful nature constantly at work telling us me, myself and I are the only important things to focus on.  Every step we take towards the sinful nature is a step we choose to take away from God.  We need to focus on the fruit of the Spirit “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”  (Galatians 5:22-23)  These are free, they are choices we can make in our everyday interactions.  Choose a life based on the foundation of Faith and trust in Jesus Christ with every aspect of your life.  May you be blessed with wisdom in the choices you make.

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“Do not conform any longer tot he pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin)

Which Way Should We Go

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“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Matthew 7:13-14

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at Badlands National Park in South Dakota)

What Path Are You On?

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Life is full of choices and decisions.  We all have been given the gift of free will.  The hardest part of this isn’t necessarily making a decision, rather it is holding yourself accountable for what happens after your decision and being open to changing things as you move forward in life.

Look around you…take inventory.  How are things going in your life?  If it is not good from your perspective…look in a mirror…that is the best place to start to make a change in your life, start with you.  On the other hand, if things look ok or pretty good from your perspective, give thanks and praise and begin to think about how you can share and support others.

No matter what your result, good or bad, we all have made decisions in our past that have led to where we are today…right now.  I encourage you to think about what those decisions have been so you can identify what has put you on this path.  If it has been bad look for ways to improve on your current situation…I caution you here, do not believe you can go back to change a decision that occurred in the past to make things better now…instead, live in the present, learn from the poor decision and make new decisions to improve things going forward.  If you can identify decisions in the past that have been good and led to great things learn what you can and share to help others.

This reflection can be helpful because sometimes when we look back things have changed and what we thought was a good or bad decision at the time it was made might be different now and we can learn things for life going forward.  None of this is easy…we were never promised easy…we have always been promised Hope…and you can have Hope every day, if you choose to believe and follow Jesus.  As always the bible provides instructions in this matter…

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

                                                                                                                Matthew 7:13-14

I pray we all ask for wisdom so we can make decisions that will lead to Life.

Peace.

We All Have A Choice

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We All Have A Choice

Which way to go?  What is the right path?  What if this or that happens?  Maybe I should wait to decide?  Life is full of choices each and every day.  From many experiences in my life I am beginning to learn to ask different questions like…What is God up to in my life?  or  How does God want to use me today?

I usually run into trouble when I start thinking too much about a decision on my own and I have been a slow learner when it comes to “consult God first and leave it in his hands”.  What I have found is life decisions seem to be easier when I look to God first and ask for wisdom and guidance regarding a situation rather than try to process every “If then” and “What if” I can think of on my own.

I can’t stop thinking about what the apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10 “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, than I am strong”.

To me that says when I rely on God first, when I surrender to his will and not my own, that is when I can be at my best in this world.

In life it all comes down to this….we all have a choice on how we are going to live our lives…are we going to consult the Creator?  The one who made us, who loves us no matter what?  Or are we going to continue to stumble along the path of the fallen world and live writhing in sin without regard for what God intended for us?  (Been there done that)

We all have been given the same thing…..life and some amount of time to live it…what we choose to do with it is up to us.

May God’s peace be with you.