James Lindsay - Buttonwillow I, California Convention - 2018

Hymn 42. 

People say, “We brought nothing into this world, and we’ll carry nothing out.”  But there are three things we bring with us at birth — time, opportunities, and potential.  So much time is wasted.  We can’t create a second of it, but still we squander it.  We miss God-given opportunities.  We never grasp our full potential, the things that could be realized in our lives. 

Matthew 7:13–14 (or Luke 13:24), Jesus and His disciples had passed through cities on their way to Jerusalem.  Jesus summed up His message by saying there were only two possible routes for people to take.   I wonder if Jesus was noticing how few people were attentive and how few could capture what he was sharing. 

“Strive to enter in at the strait gate.”  Make it your aim, your purpose or focus; put forth the necessary effort.  Strait means narrow or difficult.  You or me, the sinner, can enter the strait gate, but not the sin. 

At Post Falls Convention in Idaho, trains pass 100 times a day.  Someone asked, “Where do they go?”  That’s easy — they go right where their tracks take them.  The broad way leads to destruction.  The narrow way leads to life,  and few there be that find it.  

I’ve noticed confusion is a strategy we use for not being responsible.  If you are responsible, others will say you are honest and trustworthy.  I sometimes call myself aside and ask, “How badly do you want to go to Heaven?”  We need to rise to the level of responsibility God is calling us to.  Make clear definite choices to take the narrow way.  Set our focus on the crown of life. 

Most of us don’t realize it when we pass through the wide gate.  The gate is so wide, you don’t see it.  But we know if we’re struggling to pass through the strait gate.  You must be born again to pass the strait gate and journey on the narrow way.  (John 3) 

On the narrow way, we understand Jesus’ call and deal with our sin by exercising the gift of faith and going before God.  We share all and leave all with God in full and complete repentance.  People on the broad way are sight-seers, pleasureseekers, credit-grabbers, and blame-shifters (when the guilt of sin becomes too heavy for them). 

The broad way is always under construction.  People are constantly adding new lanes. 

The broad way never gets narrower, and the narrow way never gets broader.  The narrow way provides fulfillment of the promises of God.  The broad way talks about the promises of God but has no fulfillment.  We need not be approaching a day of terror — it can be a day of triumph. 

Matthew 25, some met up with a closed door.  They rehearsed all they did — the busy-ness of their lives, their many activities on the broad way.  But Jesus said, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate.”  We want to be able to say at the end of life, “I got to be where I am because I simply followed Jesus.”