Friday, October 10, 2008

#11 Running Late

"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:14 NASB

This message will be of special significance for any of you who have ever flown on a commercial airline. I love to fly. I love sitting in the window seat and being able to look out and see things begin to move rapidly by and after only a few seconds the angle of your view changes as the nose of the airplane comes up. Then you fell the aircraft become airborne and things begin to get smaller very quickly. My favorite part of flying is always the take-off. I really like it when the aircraft has to go into a steep banking turn to follow the designated flight path. It feels somewhat like a roller coaster but with much more comfort and a lot less screaming. After the initial ascent, the aircraft will level off and maintain its cruising altitude throughout the majority of the flight. Most air travel is non-eventful and you can even get some sleep, watch the in-flight movie, or do whatever it is you like to do when you have a few hours to kill.

One thing that is not so tranquil as most flights is finding your gate to get on the airplane. For those who are not familiar with airports, the gate is the portion of the air terminal where you go to board your airplane. I can remember the first time that I went to catch a flight in Atlanta. When Soldiers fly to and from the U.S. coming and then returning from their leave while overseas, they fly into one of two major hubs; either Atlanta or Dallas/Ft. Worth. I lived on the east coast so I flew into Atlanta when coming home. I had flown before, but I had never been to Atlanta for a flight. The Atlanta airport uses a system of trains that take you from gate to gate so that you can make your connection to complete your journey. I needed to get to the right gate so that I could connect to Charlotte, NC where my beloved wife was waiting to pick me up. I was already a bit disoriented just trying to get re-adapted to being in the U.S. after having been in Iraq. Between the disorientation and the rush to find the right gate, I got on the wrong train. I ended up being quite a long ways away from where I needed to be. To further complicate things, Soldiers coming in from overseas have to go through customs. In customs I had to take off my belt, my boots, and anything else that had the slightest jingle. So I came out of customs trying to carry my carry-on bag, my boots, my pocket items, and trying to hold up my pants at the same time. I was more than a little irritated to say the least. I told the customs agent that I was on his side, but he insisted that I remove the aforementioned items. I finally got re-dressed and made my way through the busy airport to the appropriate gate just in time to catch my flight home. As you may imagine, it was worth all the trouble I had to endure because the reward at the other end of my trouble was getting to be with the ones that I love; Ginger and the kids.

I just wonder how many of us today are struggling with finding the right gate in life. When Jesus was on the earth He spoke of two gates. The one gate is very broad and is very easy to find. It is the gate found at the end of the path that leads to destruction and eternal separation from God. The other gate is not so easy to find. Jesus said that gate is "small" and the pathway that leads to that particular gate is "narrow". He also notes that many people find the wide gate that leads to destruction, but there will be "few who find" the narrow gate that leads unto eternal life.

The awesome thing about the narrow gate is that Jesus has the map that tells us how to get there. He has placed that map in the Bible. In 2 Timothy 2:15 we are told to study to show ourselves approved to God. When we study the Word of God we will find those clues that come together and lead us to the gate: Jesus Christ. The alternative is quite different. You do not have to study. You do not have to look for anything. All you have to do is whatever you want to do and you will just naturally find and walk down the wide path that leads away from Jesus Christ. It is my prayer today that each of you reading this will choose to find the narrow gate. It is my prayer that you will call on the mighty and awesome name of Jesus and ask Him to show you the way to the Him. It is as simple as Accepting the fact that you are a sinner, believing that Jesus died to pay the price for your sins, confessing your sins to Him, and then deciding to follow Him no matter where he leads you. That my friends is the simple and plain truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not complicated, but it does require you to make a choice. I pray that today you will choose Jesus because He has already chosen you.

Dear Father in Heaven,
We thank You for the new Sabbath that is quickly approaching. Lord we have troubles in our lives and we need the comfort of knowing that You are going to be with us no matter what. In a world of increasing financial troubles, we need to place our security in You today. Dear Jesus, I pray that each one of us will choose to follow You down the narrow difficult path that leads unto eternal life. We cannot do it on our own and we need You to be our guide. Lord we long for the day when our faith will become sight and we will take flight with You as You come to take us to be in Heaven with You. It is in Jesus name we pray, Amen.

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