Reading: Matthew 7:13-20
Today’s reading shows us how important it is for those who love God to keep their focus on their Heavenly goals. The way that leads to life eternal is narrow and difficult. It requires patience, effort, and courage to follow God’s will instead of “going with the crowd” and living only for today. Also, there are many distractions along the way.
What kind of distractions did you read about in today’s verses? What did Jesus say would happen to people who tried to take others off the right way to Heaven?
The author of the following parable is unknown. The story was passed on to me by a friend.
Once, a Christian father and his three adolescent sons went on a winter hike. They came to They came to a field glistening white from a snow the night before. There was not a single track of any kind that had been made in the field. The father, wanting to challenge his youngsters and perhaps teach them a lesson, suggested they have a contest – which one could walk the straightest path across the field?
The first trudged across, keeping his eyes down to watch each step, trying to put each foot directly in front of the other. When he reached the other side, he looked back, and to his surprise the tracks were curved like the letter “S” in their course.
The second lad started, taking a few steps and then looking back to see if his path appeared straight. About every ten to fifteen steps the process was repeated. After getting across, he eagerly surveyed the entirety of his course, but discovered it wasn’t really straight at all – it was in segments, veering to the right, and then to the left.
The third, seeing the other two had failed, employed a different strategy. He selected a tall tree on the other side of the field, and started walking toward it, never taking his eyes off of it. Having completed the trek, his path was the straightest of the three by far.
The wise father then taught the boys, saying, “Sons, there is just one path in life that is straight and true, and that is the way of Jesus Christ (John 14:6). As you go through life, keep your eyes on Him, ‘looking unto Him,’ (Hebrews 12:2) and your course will always be right! Remember, He is the Way. Trust Him, and do what His Word teaches, and you cannot go wrong.”
For Further Study:
- Read these verses and discuss how they relate to today’s reading from Matthew 7: Deuteronomy 5:29-33; Proverbs 14:12; Galatians 1:6-10;
- How do you imagine yourself serving God when you are 25 years old? What about when you are 50? What about when you are 75? What plans do you have for staying on the straight and narrow way throughout your life?