Lord, You are all my heart’s desire. Open my heart as I read Your Word and help me to obey.
Read Matthew 7:13-23
 “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.  “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you choose the easy way? Are you on the path of life?
Having told us not to judge others (7:1,2), Jesus now urges us to make a crucial choice and to be shrewdly discerning. The choice is “the narrow gate that leads to life” (13,14). The discernment regards those who claim to speak from God or act in his name (15,21). While Jesus wants us to have a child-like trust in God, he wants us to be adults in making decisions. What is “the broad road that leads to destruction,” and how can you avoid it? What is the “small gate” that leads to life, and how can you go through it? Jesus tells us how to appraise prophecy: as with a tree, just check out the fruit! When someone claims to have a “word” from the Lord, we have no need to believe it until it proves to be true (1 John 4:1). There is no shortage of counterfeit messiahs and false prophets (Mark 13:5,21-23). Some of them are extremely plausible, but do they really reflect the servant-hearted, self-giving Savior? And does their work bind people, or set them free (John 10:10)?
In your relationship with God, are you coming to know him or simply “serving” him in external things? Write about it.
Lord, help me to test things not by my feelings, but by the standard of Your Word. Help me enter the narrow way.
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