The Living Way
John 14:5-7 Psalm 16:11 Matthew 7:15-20 Hebrews 10:19-25 1 Timothy 4:3 Philippians 2:12 1 Corinthians 9:24
John 14:5-7 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
The Psalmist said, “You make known to me the path of life…..” (Psalm 16:11)
As I spent time in prayer and study, seeking what the Bible teaches about “The Living Way”, I began reading Matthew 7:13, “Enter by the narrow gate”. I remembered that in Sunday School I had often been taught that the narrow road went to Heaven and the wide road went in the opposite direction to hell.
As I waited on God for revelation, I remembered a sermon where the preacher spoke of the wide and narrow track beginning in the same place, side by side, and both facing Heaven. However, the wide track is one degree off course. This cannot be detected from the entrance, and it is so much easier than the rocky hard path that is so narrow. The wide track is filled with teaching on "God's unconditional love" – a love that allows the listener not worry how often they fall back into their old sinful ways because the love of God is so immense and completely without conditions that there is not even a need to keep repenting. They are even able to quote Scriptures to back up their belief and many ears are tickled. (1 Timothy 4:3)
Coming from a different time in history when preachers tended to err on the side of emphasizing the need to earn our salvation, I always felt uneasy about the word “unconditional” when discipling a new Christian into what it means to walk in the “Living Way”. The word “unconditional” is not mentioned in the Bible although there is one place where we see God’s limitless love clearly displayed. This is revealed when we behold our dear Lord Jesus cruelly nailed to the cross of Calvary, taking upon Himself the sin of the whole world, dying the death that I deserve. Looking out at those who were scorning Him, those who pierced Him, whipped Him and spat on Him, He prays, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” It is a love so huge that we could never measure or comprehend it. As we gaze upon the cross, and listen to His words, we realise there is not one sin too big to fall outside His loving forgiveness. His Grace and Mercy know no bounds. Every repentant sinner is able to receive full forgiveness and salvation at the cross. There is no other way for man to find eternal forgiveness and I never want to belittle the immensity of the Love, Grace and Mercy of God.
However, when we have received the forgiveness of Jesus, our hearts should be so filled with gratitude for all He has done, that our longing to walk in His righteous paths replaces our old life. When Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery He told her, “Go and sin no more.” He didn’t say these words as an instruction that must be obeyed, but guidance born out of a love that wanted the best for her life. He longed that she should walk into His new and living way. The Apostle Paul teaches us to work out salvation in fear and trembling. (Philippians 2;12), to “Run the race to win the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24). The Lord knows we will let Him down, just as His disciples did, and in His immense love, He is always ready to forgive when we run back to Him. But, may we never willfully trample His precious blood under foot in willful sin, but always be willing to follow the narrow and often difficult path. May we never lose sight of the joy that awaits those pilgrims who keep going forward, through all the trials and tribulations we encounter in this world. We do not travel that difficult path alone. Jesus walks beside us every step of the way, and when we become so weary we cannot go on, He will carry us in His loving arms.
James chapter 1 encourages us to “Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to walk in Your perfect will all the days of my life. Lord Jesus, thank You for coming to earth and giving Your life that I might be forgiven. Help me never to take Your gracious gift of forgiveness for granted. Holy Spirit I am so grateful that as I walk the narrow path – the true and living Way, You are there to guide my every step, and to lift me when I am weary. Father, Son and Holy Spirit as I gaze in wonder at Your great love for each one of us I thank You and love You with all of my heart. Amen