Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: The Way

The Narrow Gate

A devotional by Christa MacDonald

“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.” — Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)

As Christians we’re called to live a life that the world doesn’t understand.

In fact, it’s pretty radical when you think about it. While ‘normal’ humans keep count of someone’s sins, Christians are called to forgive seventy times seven. Jesus instructs us to love those that hate us and to endure persecution in His name. We’re to love justice and mercy and walk humbly with our God.

Fame and fortune are the world’s goals, but God tells us to seek Him and be content with what we’re given. Marriage is seen as something that you can abandon when it doesn’t work for you. God teaches us that it’s sacred, and to be broken only in extreme circumstances. Our culture promotes youth and beauty but we know from the Bible that they are fleeting and nothing to worship. Movies, books, and television tell us it’s good to be a billionaire; God tells us that it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. The Christian walk is drastically different than the ways of the world.

In the verse above, Matthew warns us that the road to true faith in Jesus Christ is a narrow one. The path we walk is not for the many; it’s for the few. That’s hard to hear. I know I don’t want anyone to perish, or even to walk in this world without Jesus. Sadly, in a culture that still has its Christian roots, the message gets muddied. You or people who you know my argue, “But my neighbor is a great guy, he celebrates Christmas, he’s a conservative…” And to that argument, I would say, “Well, that’s nice, but that has nothing to do with a saving faith in Jesus Christ! If being a nice, Christmas-honoring conservative was the criteria, the way would be wide.”

This reminds me of what Matthew (a book in the Bible) says later in Chapter 7, verses 22 and 23: “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!'”

How could people be evildoers if they were promoting Jesus? Because they were promoting a weak, watered-down, bereft-of-Spirit version of Jesus.

Maybe it’s the ‘genie’ view of God, where they’ve reduced Him to a granter of wishes, or maybe the “Jesus-bro” idea where Jesus is your friend, winking at your sins, ever-ready to forgive, but never requiring repentance. All of these creations are evil because they lead souls on a comfortable, wide path to damnation. When we see this pseudo-gospel being preached, we need to call it out for what it is — evil — and not dismiss it as harmless fluff.

We’re coming up on the Christmas season, one of my most favorite times of year. I love the decorations, the baking, the music and light. It’s also a perfect time to share the true gospel (of Jesus Christ)!

Don’t let yourself get caught up in the Christmas culture wars defending the trappings of Christmas (most of which have pagan origins anyway), but instead use this season to share the gift of God’s Grace and His Good News.

Help those on the wide road find their way off of it. Help them separate the truth from the tinsel.

A great way to do this is with a simple conversation starter, such as: “Say, did you know that the Christmas story is actually true?”

Now is the time for God’s light to shine brightly and lead souls to the narrow gate.

Author Bio:

Christa MacDonald is a 2017 ACFW Carol Award finalist for contemporary Christian fiction.

A native New Englander, she was inspired by her travels through the north woods of Maine to write The Broken Trail, which would become the first in the Sweet River Redemption series published by Mountain Brook Ink.

Christa's writing focuses on the real-life challenges of the modern world, love’s sometimes crooked path, and the redemptive power of Grace.

When not working or writing Christa can be found ferrying her kids around, reading, or attempting something crafty.

She and her husband live with their three kids, two cats, and one dog along the coast of New England. Connect with Christa at

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