Saturday, April 6, 2019

DAY 25 - New Path: Not Easy to Follow Jesus (Please click here for English podcast)

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1.   Put on your “brakes” and stop for a moment of silence
2.   Wait for God. Breathe deep for God's peace. Exhale your worries.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1.   Think through your day, all the times that made you smile
2.   Thank God for all those moments, and for all those people
3.   Open your heart to praise the Lord

       Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
         We will sing and praise your power.
   Psalm 21:1
Confession and repentance

1.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in you:

     “Dear Holy Spirit, shine your light into the places of darkness in my life. Show me my sins, everything that blocks me from encountering God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

2.  Through the Holy Spirit, examine yourself for a short silence and then pray:

     "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and being victorious over death and sin. I confess my sin to you(pause, to tell Jesus what the Holy Spirit has shown you). Forgive my sins by your blood and help me follow you. Holy Spirit, fill me that I may be able to receive your gift to love God and His people. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."

The Word

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
                                                        Matthew 7:13-14

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"

My Listening
     The whole Sermon on the Mount is drawing to a close starting from today's passage. Is it easy to have a new way of being, new way of doing, and live with a new standard? No, not at all.

     Jesus gives us three warnings and a final concluding teaching. We have the first of the three warnings in today's passage. So, what's the first warning? Jesus is trying to tell us that to enter into the Kingdom of heaven is not easy.

   Yes, it all starts with entering into the Kingdom of heaven. This new path to follow Jesus in the Kingdom of heaven starts with repentance. When we are aware of our sin and are willing to repent, we enter into the Kingdom of heaven. That's how John the Baptist and Jesus both say, "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near." With our true repentance, it should be a natural process that we experience a new way of being, having a new doing and living a new standard.

     The problem is that true repentance is not easy. It leads to a new way of living, which includes more giving, praying and fasting. It seems like mission impossible.

     Just a few days ago, someone told me that the reason he quit coming to his church three years ago was because he knew that a true Christian needs to tithe and he couldn't have the faith to tithe. So, he chose to quit being a Christian rather than to choose tithing. He came back to his church three months ago and decided to tithe. What an encouraging story!

     The warning Jesus gives us is very important.  Because many Christians are not able to walk through the narrow gate and walk the narrow path with Jesus, when they know they have to offer their time and money to the church, they quit.  When they know they have to open the Bible each day to have an intimate personal relationship with Jesus, they quit. When they know they have to fast, they disappear.

      It is so sad that most Christians have a huge misunderstanding about this new path they dare not to walk on. It is not they cannot do it. The truth is that they do not want to repent! Are you willing to repent? 

Dear Lord Jesus,
      Lead us to know what we need to repent for and be willing to repent each day so that you can be our Saviour, Lord and King. Help us have the courage to walk the new path, the narrow path you have prepared for us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.  

Reflect on these questions:
1. Do you think that true repentance is easy? Why or why not? Can you give a recent example of your personal true repentance?

2. Do you think true repentance and your new lifestyle of Christlikeness is like walking into a narrow gate and then a narrow path? How so? What kind of lifestyle have you been changing and how difficult it is to you? 

3. How do you feel about what I say below? Has this happened with you?
    "When they know they have to offer their time and money to the church they quit.  When they know they have to open the Bible each day to have an intimate personal relationship with Jesus they quit. When they know they have to fast they disappear."    

4. So, what's your next goal to enter into the narrow gate and walk the narrow path? 

Family Corner:
1. Are there any sacrifices you have to make in your family in order to walk the narrow path? (e.g. spending devotional time with your kids instead of only watching tv, going to the park with them instead of doing your own thing)

Praise and Thanksgiving
Let's give thanks for God with us. Let us praise Him:

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