March 17, 2009

Transformation-a Narrow Path

Matthew 7:12-14

“Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Matthew 7:14


To a newspaper inquiry asking what is wrong with the world, G. K. Chesterton sent back the shortest letter the editor had ever received:

Dear Sir, Regarding your article “What’s wrong with the world?”—I am. Yours truly, G. K. Chesterton

This demonstrates a humility that is lacking in most people. Frankly, most of us would much rather note someone else’s shortcomings than our own. But the first step to transformation is to discover our faults and face up to our sins. Rather than denying our failures and getting defensive about the foolish choices we’ve made, we must admit we have wandered from God’s pathway.

The road to God is narrow. We must avoid all the side roads. It’s easy to be lured away from the straight path by the ways of seductive materialism, pride, and sensual satisfaction. To avoid these and more, we have to name sin for what it is and not allow its evil influence to sidetrack us. A hymn based on Psalm 23 offers divine encouragement:

The Lord revives my failing strength, he makes my joy complete; and in right paths, for his name’s sake, he guides my faltering feet.

Father, we know that you hate sin. May we be quick to repent and always ready to follow your way instead of any path that leads to destruction. In Christ’s name, Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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