Fasting Devotional Day Twenty: Friday, January 21, 2022 Text: Matthew 7:13-14
By Jose Valdivia
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
In today’s verses, Jesus gives an illustration of two Gates; A Narrow gate that leads to eternal life and a wide gate that leads to destruction. He does not give a 3rd Option, implying there are only two options. Jesus starts this message with instruction and a choice. His followers must CHOOSE the narrow one. As a follower of Christ, we must choose Him back. Why do I say “back”? He has chosen you already (Ephesians 1: 4). He wants to spend an eternity with you but doesn't want this to be forced. He, The Creator of All things, wants you to genuinely and wholeheartedly choose him as well. This choice is not easy by design. We are told by choosing Him we must pick up our cross and follow. (Read Matt 16 :24-26) When we choose Jesus, there is a cost because sacrifice is involved. These are not sacrifices that are religious in nature but sacrifices which serve as evidence that we indeed Believe in Jesus. If I told you to toss your brand-new phone out of a moving car on the Highway (without backing up your files) and I would give you ten million dollars, would you do it? You would have two choices; Believe me or not believe me. If you actually believed me, would you just agree and go on with your day? Or would actually toss the phone out? You probably would measure the cost of losing your precious photos and video files, maybe you had bank information or passwords that kept you safe. But, if you believe that I will give you the ten million dollars, you will open the window and drop the phone. The action of dropping the phone is evidence that you believed what I said. In the same way, Jesus is asking his believers that their Treasure is in Heaven and not in this life. But the only way is to Choose the Narrow Gate and to walk the difficult path. This time, instead of tossing our phones, we must choose to drop things in our lives that contradict Jesus or his teachings. His Followers (aka Believers) must choose to drop things and strip down to our bare soul in order to walk through the narrow Gate. The narrow one only has space for you. It's like a strainer designed to leave behind what doesn't belong and to let through only what God wants (our Soul). Those who cling to things of this world won't be able to carry them through the narrow gate because they won't fit. Remember God’s home (Heaven) must be kept Holy, so there is no room for our Earthly treasure (comforts, pleasures, materials), no room for Sin, no space for other gods. On the Contrary, The Wide Gate is wide enough to cling to your comforts, habits, issues, problems, and the treasures of this life. This is why many choose this road. But the end of the Road is Eternal Destruction (Hell). We must learn how to choose Jesus in every circumstance. His followers must choose to drop things and follow him. Jesus is the Gate; his Path is hard because not many choose to walk in his ways and choose not to let go.
What is one treasure, one habit, one Sin you can start letting go of this week? What does letting go look like? How can you show that Jesus is more important than what you are letting go of? When will you do it?
Father, thank you for making a way for me to dwell with you in Eternity. I do not want to take it for granted. Help me see what I’m clinging to that I need to let go of. Help me desire you more than I desire this (fill in). Show me the way Lord and let your spirit guide me in this. In the name of Jesus Christ my Lord!
Scripture to read: Ephesians 1: 4-5, Matthew 7: 13-14, Matthew 16: 24-26, Matthew 19: 16-26