Our Daily Bread: Forwarded
- READ: Matthew 7:13-23 Appended
Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. - Matthew 7:14
In the hectic downtown of one of Asia's great cities, I marveled at the busy sidewalks filled with people. There seemed to be no room to move in the crush of humanity, yet it also seemed that everyone was moving at top speed.
My attention was drawn to the soft, almost mournful sound of a single trumpeter playing Amazing Grace. The crowds appeared oblivious to both the musician and the music. Still, he played sending a musical message of the love of God out to whoever knew the song and would think about the words as he played.
I thought of this experience as a parable. The music seemed to be an invitation to the masses to follow Christ. As with the gospel message, some believe in God's amazing grace and choose the narrow way. Others ignore His grace, which is the broad way that leads to everlasting destruction. Jesus said, 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. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find
it� (Matt. 7:13-14).
Jesus died so that whoever calls� on His name (Rom. 10:13) can find forgiveness in His grace. - Bill Crowder
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a fetch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see. - Newton
Christ believed is salvation received.
Matthew 7:13-23 (New International Version)
The Narrow and Wide Gates
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
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good
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!
- READ: Psalm 31:9-15
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body! —Psalm 31:9
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US on
September 11, 2001. It’s hard to think about that date without mental
images of the destruction, grief, and loss that swept over America and
the world following those tragic events. The loss of thousands of lives
was compounded by the depth of loss felt corporately—a lost sense of
security as a country. The sorrow of loss, personal and corporate, will
always accompany the memory of the events of that day.
Those horrific events are not the only painful memories of September 11. It
also marks the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Jim’s loss is
felt deeply within our family and
his circle of friends.
No matter what kind of sorrow we experience, there is only one real
comfort—the mercy of God. David, in his own heartache, cried to his
heavenly Father, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (Ps. 31:9). Only in the mercy of God can we find comfort for our pain and peace for our troubled hearts.
In all losses, we can turn to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who alone can heal our brokenness and grief. —Bill Crowder
We have a Friend
who’ll never leave,
Who’s closer than a brother;
He’s there to meet our deepest needs,
To comfort like no other. —Sper
When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort.