13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV)
Have you ever stopped somewhere and asked for directions and then wondered what the person meant or read a letter, book or article and just shook your head because you couldn't understand what they wanted to say? I sure did this the two times I've had the opportunity to travel to Europe as an adult, once to France and then once back to Germany where we lived as a family when I was in kindercare. The folks spoke a different language. Sometimes even here in Georgia I realize some of our words are not easily understood. We tend to draw out all our vowels, put more letters in, and have sayings that it seems only someone living in the south can understand. Sometimes I write as I speak. Yesterday I sent out an email without doing spell check and when someone responded back leaving my message intact, I realized, to my horror, I had spelled the word speech as speach. Oh well, at least the letter sounded like me. :)
As I read in Matthew this morning I marveled at how easy Jesus was able to give us directions. Off the top of my head I can think of several analogies when Jesus gave specific directions or helped us understand or think deeper on what it means to be a Christian; how to get to heaven. In John 8:12 we read, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." In John 14:6 we read, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." As a matter of fact the entire chapter of John 14 gives us a wealth of things to think about, dig deeper on, direction. It's one of my favorite chapters.
John 14 (KJV)
1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
30Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
31But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
Hope you have a good day. It's cold today in Georgia. I'm looking forward to the burst of blooms to come in spring. The image today shows a yellow azalea at Callaway Gardens. I hope I can enjoy the cold today. I know it has a purpose, so I'll be patient and thankful for the cold too.