THE NARROW GATE FOR 2011
THE NARROW GATE FOR 2011
“He who speaks on his own
does so to gain honor for himself,
but he who works for the honor
of the One who sent him
is a man of truth;
there is nothing false about him.”
The Spirit of God is telling me that I must give out the truth in the coming year with a sense of urgency that exceeds any in the past. There are times coming that will shake the very foundations of society as we know it. There are times coming that will cause many who don’t cling to Christ alone to fall away.
Many men these days, and women, speak on their own behalf. They work for their own honor. They self-promote. Self-increase. Self-motivate. Self-reveal. Self-rejoice. Self-indulge. Self-improve. Self-expand.
Yet the man or woman who speaks for God the Father, maker of heaven and earth, will not speak of himself or herself. He or she will speak of Christ, the One and Only, sent by the Father to redeem mankind and govern a Kingdom that is not of this world. This man or woman will work only for the honor of Christ. He or she will promote Christ, and talk of Christ, and lift up Christ. Reveal Christ, let Christ increase, let Christ expand. This person will be concerned only that Christ is exalted.
Paul wrote the Philippian believers a letter toward the end of his life. He was sitting in his own rented place under house arrest in
. This man endured much suffering for Christ, and his life is an example for us of one who had nothing false about him. He was concerned and interested only in Christ, and in working for the honor of the One who had sent him to preach the good news. Rome
“I eagerly expect and hope that
I will in no way be ashamed,
but will have sufficient courage
so that now as always
Christ will be exalted in my body,
whether by life or by death.”
Paul was Christ-focused. He was intent upon gaining the
, regardless of what happened around him. He was called to preach Christ, and to lift Him up, and he did that, through terrible afflictions, persecution, and opposition. He risked all for Christ on a daily basis, as he valued Christ above all. Kingdom of God
Are you and I filled with a sense of urgency? Not an urgency to get that promotion, or to make more money, or to be thinner, or to get that new car. Not an urgency to build our ministry, or to get in shape, or to lower our cholesterol. Not an urgency to make new year’s resolutions, or to be more organized, or to spend more time reading. But are we filled with the urgency to know Christ, to follow Christ, to die with Christ so that we can know the power of His resurrection? Are we filled with the urgency to hear His voice and do His will? Are we hungering and thirsting after Christ, as the thirsty deer pants for the stream of water? Are we filled with a sense of urgency that time is short, that our life is but a breath, and that Christ is coming for us? Are we urgently buying oil for our lamps, the oil of the Spirit, filling them to overflowing so we are ready for our Bridegroom when He knocks?
This is no call for perfection. Only a call to urgent devotion. Which of us by worrying, can add a single hour to his life? So worrying produces only wrong fruit. I’m not asking us to worry, but to work.
What is our work? To exalt Christ, so long as we inhabit this body. To promote Christ, and to lift Him up, so that all men will be drawn to Him. Not to us, and not to our ministries, but to Christ.
In 2011, we must drop self-promotion and begin to talk of Christ, to love Christ, to devote ourselves to Christ, to spend time with Christ, and to exalt Christ by our lives, our words, our every move. There is no other purpose God has for us. The Father loves the Son, and we must also, if we are to be like Him.
The man or woman of truth will do this. I pray that when you come to this blog, you will experience Christ, and that Christ Himself, through His Spirit, will be exalted by my words.
We are brothers and sisters—those of us who know Christ—and we are on the same narrow road with Christ together.
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ
not only to believe on Him,
but also to suffer for Him,
since you are going through the same struggle
you saw I had, and now hear that I have.”
Oh, Family of God, drop all other seemingly important things to do the one thing that is truly, urgently important. You and I will be called to suffer for Christ, and in ways we don’t anticipate. We must be grounded firmly in Him, rooted and built up, established in our faith, full of thanksgiving. We must have Christ in mind, in heart every moment. We must not just seek to survive, but to thrive in Christ.
“Do not be afraid”, says the Lord Jesus Christ. “I am with you always. No weapon forged against you will prevail. No situation will be beyond My strength in you. No person or spiritual force will overcome you, so long as you remain in Me, and I remain in you. But you must rest in Me, and rely on Me, and not on yourself or your own strength. You must stop striving and working as if everything depended on you. I will not fail you or forsake you. Believe in Me, lift Me up, make Me your bread and your water, your life, your goal, your purpose. My burden is light, My yoke is easy, when you discover who I really want to be for you. My Father and I will make Our home with you today if you obey Me in this.”
Stop listening to those who waste your time with trivial pursuits. Seek Christ and His Kingdom first in 2011. We’ll do it together!