Note from Jesus
Dear Child of God,
The Father is holy and wholly given to doing what is right, just, holy, gracious, and merciful. What about you? What is your consuming passion? Is it to honor the Father? Is it to obey My words and follow My example? Is it to be conformed to the righteous character and gracious compassion of God?
Let Me warn you. Long before the instant age you find yourself inhabiting, many folks wanted an instant and easy holiness. The evil one has long twisted the truth and deceived the gullible into taking short cuts. My words today warn you about four deceptions and temptations that the devil will offer you in the name of religion:
- The wide door and the easy path — the ones that suggest all religions are OK and equal — but that really lead to destruction.
- The sweet deceiving words of false prophets whose lives (their bad fruit) show they cannot be trusted.
- Nice sounding religious words of praise and adoration that are disconnected from a life of obedience and end in shocking condemnation.
- A religion that is quickly embraced, shallowly believed, and focused on appearances, but cannot stand the stress and strain of real life.
There is one path, one way, and one truth (John 14:6). Some folks in your day don’t like such talk. In fact, you may bristle at it yourself because you’ve had the easy way peddled to you by false prophets who talk a good religious game while living any way they want. Such talk is foolish. It’s not new or innovative or post-modern; it’s just the lie of the old deceiver who wants to steer you the wrong way so that when the floods of life come… well, he can be there for your destruction.
Don’t be deceived. Follow Me. Obey Me. Trust Me. Doing so may look narrow and hard, but I promise you this:
Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Put My yoke upon your shoulders — it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
Verses to Live
These are My words from the Sermon on the Mount about choosing the right path that leads to the Father. If your heart is set on Me — if your heart’s desire is to follow Me and obey Me — then you will be able to resist the deceptions and temptations of the easy way, the false prophets, a religion that is all talk with little obedience, and quickly constructed facade-based religion!
There are two paths before you; you may take only one path. One doorway is narrow. And one door is wide. Go through the narrow door. For the wide door leads to a wide path, and the wide path is broad; the wide, broad path is easy, and the wide, broad, easy path has many, many people on it; but the wide, broad, easy, crowded path leads to death. Now then that narrow door leads to a narrow road that in turn leads to life. It is hard to find that road. Not many people manage it.
Along the way, watch out for false prophets. They will come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath that quaint and innocent wool, they are hungry wolves. But you will recognize them by their fruits. You don’t find sweet, delicious grapes growing on thorny bushes, do you? You don’t find delectable figs growing in the midst of prickly thistles. People and their lives are like trees. Good trees bear beautiful, tasty fruit, but bad trees bear ugly, bitter fruit. A good tree cannot bear ugly, bitter fruit; nor can a bad tree bear fruit that is beautiful and tasty. And what happens to the rotten trees? They are cut down. They are used for firewood. When a prophet comes to you and preaches this or that, look for his fruits: sweet or sour? rotten or ripe?
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven. Simply calling Me “Lord” will not be enough. Only those who do the will of My Father Who is in heaven will join Me in heaven. At the end of time, on that day of judgment, many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name? Did we not drive demons out of the possessed in Your name? Did we not perform miracles in Your name?” But I will say to them, “I never knew you. And now, you must get away from Me, you evildoers!”
Those people who are listening to Me, those people who hear what I say and live according to My teachings — you are like a wise man who built his house on a rock, on a firm foundation. When storms hit, rain pounded down and waters rose, levies broke and winds beat all the walls of that house. But the house did not fall because it was built upon rock. Those of you who are listening and do not hear — you are like a fool who builds a house on sand. When a storm comes to his house, what will happen? The rain will fall, the waters will rise, the wind will blow, and his house will collapse with a great crash.
With that Jesus finished His teaching, and the crowds were amazed by all He had said. But Jesus taught in His own name, on His own authority, not like the scribes.
Response in Prayer
Dear Father, I confess that I want my faith walk to be easier at times. I don’t always understand why I need to obey. Sometimes, I’m not convinced that what I hear is fully true. Yet Father, I do know this: Jesus came and died for me. He came as the expression of Your love for me and to pay the penalty for my failures and my shortcomings — my sin. So I commit to obey and follow even when I don’t understand or agree. I trust that as I follow Jesus on Your path, my eyes will be opened, my burdens will be lifted, and I will find life and joy for my soul. In the name of Jesus, I choose to follow. Amen.
‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.