Friday, January 12: Enter through the narrow gate
We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 7:13-14
"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."
The church probably hasn't done an adequate job of explaining that the free gift of forgiveness and salvation comes at a steep price. The cost to Jesus was enormous. Many of those who became his followers also paid with their lives. Others would lose their families, their jobs, their friends, their reputations. God's grace is free, but it's not cheap. If you're a disciple of Jesus, think for a moment both about what you've received and what it's sometimes cost to follow him.
Today in many of the world's countries, Christians suffer terribly. Some have suggested that more persecution of the church exists now than at any time in the past. Take a few minutes today to pray for your brothers and sisters who've chosen the narrow gate and rough road that lead to life.