While in NC last week I saw a couple of church signs- well actually one sign and one billboard- that caught my attention. The sign said, Follow the narrow road in 2015. Tell people you love Jesus. The billboard said, Make your resolution in 2015 be that you go to church, for the path is narrow. And I have to admit I thought to myself, "That is not a narrow path. Telling people you love Jesus is easy. Going to church is easy. I could drive a tank down that path." So what exactly is the narrow path that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7? And more importantly, what makes it so difficult to find and to navigate? For the next few Tuesdays my blog posts are going to center around the #NarrowRoad. Here's my first thought on what makes following Jesus such a challenge.
We don't love like Jesus taught us to love, and often it is because we don't WANT to love like Jesus. We enjoy having people- or sometimes entire groups of people- that we don't treat with respect or love. In many cases we actually prefer dwelling on our differences than remembering we share a Creator who loves us all so much he sent his Son to die for us so that we might live and love. Jesus said we should love our neighbors. Why is it that we, just like the Pharisees of old, immediately seek to define who that is? We would like for our neighbors to be people we understand, people who are like us. Jesus squashes that thinking by telling the story of the Good Samaritan and illustrating that if we are going to follow him, EVERYONE is our neighbor! Loving everyone, even people we don't like or would prefer to despise, is taking the #NarrowRoad. Check the daily headlines and tell me how Christ-followers are doing with navigating that path...
If you are only looking for the road that leads to Heaven you are missing out on so much. In John 10:10 Jesus says he came to bring us life in the here and now as well. The narrow road isn't straight, it is winding. It is full of adventure. It is covered in love. And it is not an easy path to tread. But it is soooo worth the effort. Join me each Tuesday as we seek to explore the road and where it can lead us in 2015. And remember that the journey starts with love!
Because of Jesus,