Lord, grant me wisdom so that the decisions and choices that I make today will bring You honor and glory
Read MATTHEW 7:13–23
13 “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.
True and False Prophets
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
True and False Disciples
21 “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. 22 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?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you ever noticed that the Lord never propounds three paths or three choices?
Having finished the main body of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus continues with a few more choice comments. He exhorts his listeners to reflect on the Sermon and to consider carefully the decisions they need to make and the consequences. He makes clear that the stakes are high, using two illustrations to contrast those who select the narrow rather than the wide gate and road (13,14) and to then contrast those who bear good rather than bad fruit (15–23). The choice one makes has eternal consequences. We constitute ourselves as either true or false disciples.
These words are sobering indeed. Scripture has often described life as a choice between two paths. We choose to follow either God’s way or our own way. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had to decide between the way of obedience and the way of disobedience (Gen. 2:16,17). Later, Moses presented before Israel the choice between the way of faithfulness and the path of rebellion: one led to blessings, the other to curses (Deut. 30). Later still, Joshua set before the people a choice of serving God or foreign idols (Josh. 24:15).
The ultimate aim of reminding us of the two choices before us is to help us to understand where we are heading. Apart from encouraging obedience and faithfulness while warning against disobedience and unfaithfulness, it also challenges us to consider how our decisions ultimately affect ourselves and others.
If we have eternity as our perspective, how does it shape the way we live our life in the present, as reflected in our words and our deeds? How does it affect the way we make decisions?
Lord, teach me the value of a quality decision, a decision made with eternity in mind.