Too Good To Be True

Do you ever take time to actually listen to and watch commercials on tv or social media? They are all offering us something that they claim is sure to change our lives.

This anti-aging cream will take 10 years off your face. This pill will take 10 inches off your waist. This food will add 10 years to your life.

If you buy this car, this vacation package, this house, you will be happy. If you have this job, this education, these clothes, these shoes, you will be important.

If you take this drug, drink another drink, have more sex, eat more food, all the pain will go away.

Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. How do I know? Because I’ve tried them. They only left me wanting more and never lived up to their claims.

What are we all searching for? The fountain of youth? A trouble-free life? Purpose? Happiness? Peace? Love? Hope? Security? Acceptance?

We are all searching for something that’s real and lasts forever. Some of us are willing to pay any price to get it.

What if I told you the most important things in life are not for sale? What if I told you that the most important things in life are free for you and for me? They’ve already been paid for.

We can live forever. We can have peace, love, joy, and purpose. There is hope. And it doesn’t cost us a thing.

God gave us eternal life. The definition of eternal is ageless, dateless, everlasting, immortal, imperishable, timeless, undying. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s ours for the taking!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus gave us His peace.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

God gives us unconditional, complete, unchanging love.

No one will ever love us like our heavenly Father loves us. He is love. People can only give us as much love as they have in themselves to give. They can’t give us what they don’t have. Human love is imperfect but God’s love is perfect and nothing can separate us from it.

Romans 8:39 Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God gave us joy.

Joy is not happiness. Happiness depends on what is happening in our lives. So we can be happy one minute and sad the next. Happiness is fickle.

Joy doesn’t depend on what is going on around us. It has more to do with what’s going on inside of us. Joy is a calm consistent delight.

1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy.

God gave us hope.

Joy and peace are a result of hope. God fills us with hope. Hope is always looking forward and expecting better. God always keeps His promises and this alone is our source of great hope.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God gave us purpose. Life without purpose is meaningless. Life without God is meaningless.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

All we have to do is accept the gift of forgiveness for our sins through Christ Jesus to enjoy all of the amazing benefits of the cross; eternal life, peace, joy, love, hope, and purpose.

You may think that this offer is too good to be true. It is the one thing that will ever be offered to you that is not too good to be true. How do I know? Because I live it every day and so can you.

It is so good and so true! 

How have you experienced disappointment in what the world has to offer? How have you experienced the amazing benefits of the cross that God offers? Share in the comments below!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Important Choice You Will Ever Make

This past week there were two accidents on the road that runs in front of our house. Well, two that I know of. One resulted in injury and a totaled car. The other resulted in death.

I was talking to one of my friends about the two accidents and she commented, “Things happen so fast that can change lives forever.”

That got me thinking about the person that died in the accident. They woke up the morning of the accident thinking that day was going to be like any other day.

They probably had a particular plan for that day. They were obviously headed someplace and may have been planning what they would do once they got there.

In a moment everything changed.

Psalm 146:4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.

We never know what is going to happen from one moment to the next. The fact is we go through life thinking we will be here another second, another minute, hour, day, month, and year but in reality, we don’t know how long we will be here.

For the person who died in the accident, they had no idea they would be standing in front of their creator that day.

Was that person ready? Are you ready?

Hebrews 9:27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.

We have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory [Romans 3:23]. But on the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for all sin for all time. It is God’s gift to us.

1 John 2:2 He [Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

If we do not accept the gift of Jesus’ sacrificial payment for our sins, we will be charged for our own sins.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is physical death and there is spiritual death. Spiritual death is eternal separation from God.

2 Thessalonians 1:9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.

The good news is that we get to choose. We don’t have to be separated from God’s love, joy, peace, or light forever. We can choose to live in the presence of God for eternity starting right now.

Revelation 7:16-17 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

The most important gift that you could choose to receive this Christmas is the gift of eternal life; the gift of forgiveness of sins; the gift of Jesus.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”

You may be wondering, what do I have to do to receive this most important gift?

First, you have to realize you are a sinner in need of salvation from sin. Then Pray the prayer at the end of this post and mean it with all of your heart. That’s it!

Romans 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

What’s next?

Start reading your bible. If you don’t have one, get one. The book of John is always a great place to start.

Find a bible-teaching church. Get involved in a bible study. Surround yourself with bible-believing people.

Pray every day asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you read in God’s word and to live according to what you read and understand.

We don’t know how long we will live on this earth but we can have peace in knowing where we will spend eternity when our time here is up.

Don’t be caught dead without Jesus. You get to choose now. If you wait until tomorrow, it may be too late. Jesus is the most important gift you’ll ever choose.

Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

What is Your Value?

How do you determine your value? Do you determine it by how others treat you? Do you determine it by what others say to you or about you?

Maybe you determine your value by your regretful past. Or maybe by how you look, what you do, or what you own.

A long time ago I heard a statement that has stuck with me all of these years. I think I may have heard while watching Antique Road Show.

The statement is, “The value of an item is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it.”

Now, let me tell you how valuable you are.

You are so valuable that the creator of heaven, earth, and all living things gave His one and only Son, whom He loves, to die for you. In dying for you Jesus paid the price to redeem you from a life of slavery to sin and to give you eternal life with Him [Romans 6:23].

That may sound cliche to you but when you consider how much Jesus excruciatingly suffered in order to pay that price to set you free and give you eternal life, you will realize that you are priceless to God.

Isaiah 53:3-10

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of the people, he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

I know those were a lot of scriptures but read them again. Slowly this time. Allow them to soak into your heart and mind.

When you get a full grasp of what Jesus went through for you; you will realize that the only thing that makes you valuable is what God through Jesus was willing to pay for you.

They gave everything for you. You are priceless!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

My Journey/Week 11

My second week of breast cancer radiation treatment is complete. I am officially halfway finished with my treatments. Yay! High-five!

I’ve gone from getting tired during the first two weeks of treatment to a perpetual state of being tired going into the third week. Ugh!

I don’t have the words to describe this whole new level of tiredness. If I’ve ever been this tired in my life it was probably during my pregnancy days. I do remember sleeping a lot during pregnancy. I slept so much my husband nicknamed me RIP haha.

The advice of professionals and those who have blazed this trail before me are to listen to my body and rest when it tells me to rest. That’s what I have been doing a lot of these days; resting.

God is all for resting. He even included it in the 10 commandments [Exodus 20:8-10]. It’s in the same list with do not murder, do not lie, do not commit adultery; so it must be pretty important.

The definition for rest is freedom from activity or labor, a state of motionlessness or inactivity, peace of mind or spirit, free of anxiety [Merriam-Webster Dictionary App].

We are a three-part being; spirit, soul, and body. Not only do our bodies need rest but so do our souls and spirits.

The same advice given to me about resting my body pertains to resting our spirits and souls (mind, will, and emotions) as well; “listen to them and rest when they tell you to rest.”

A true sign of our souls needing rest is worry and anxiety. If you have been following this blog you know that due to my confusion over breast cancer treatment options and the fear of their side effects, my soul was in desperate need of rest.

When we are struggling to make things happen our way; trying to control things that are out of our control, our souls will grow weary and tired. We can become emotionally and mentally exhausted.

Once we realize that only God is in control of all things and that He is working all things out for the best, in His way and in His timing, we can be at rest; at peace.

Trusting God is the most effective way to rest and be at peace in our mind, will, and emotions; our soul.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

How can we know when our spirits need rest? Our spirits are restless when they are searching for peace. A spirit apart from God will never find peace. As a matter of fact, a spirit apart from God is at enmity with God; it is under God’s wrath.

Romans 2:5,8 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. To those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

Jesus is the truth that is rejected that causes our spirits to be restless and without peace.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Searching for a way to God, eternal life, and peace other than through Christ is exhausting and pointless. There is no other way!

Is your body tired? Then listen to it and give it what it needs; rest. Take a break!

Is your soul tired? Are you worried about things you have no control over? Don’t ruin today worrying about something that may or may not happen tomorrow or by worrying about things out of your control. Do your best and trust God with the rest; literally!

Is your spirit tired due to searching for peace? Are you tired of trying to earn your way to heaven? Are you weary from trying out every religion or mystical idea known to mankind only to find yourself empty and still without peace? Jesus is the only way to God, eternal life, and true everlasting peace.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paid in Full!

Recently I had designed and ordered 50 advertisement postcards from a company that specializes in business marketing merchandise. I had looked over my designed postcard several times to make sure it was perfect before choosing to purchase it.

It wasn’t until they arrived in my mailbox, about a  week later, that I noticed the misspelled word. When I sent a picture of one of the postcards to my cousin, to show her my mistake, she found another misspelled word. She also made a few suggestions on how to make the entire postcard more effective. I am so thankful for her expert eye and opinion.

I called the business marketing company the next day to make the corrections and place a reorder. To my wonderful surprise, they made all of the corrections at no extra cost to me. They didn’t even charge me for the changes I wanted to make that weren’t mistakes.

I didn’t have to pay for my mistakes! Talk about amazing customer service!

It reminded me of how I don’t have to pay for my sins. Jesus paid for them all. He paid for mine and yours. He paid for all sins for all time.

Jesus never sinned. He never did anything wrong His entire life. We’ve sinned and inherited sin and He paid for all of those sins. Wow!

1 John 3:4-5 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin.

Sins are like debts. God says the sin debt can only be paid with sinless blood. Even if we shed our own blood for our own sins the debt would still not be paid.

Only the sinless blood of Jesus was enough to pay for our sins. Blood tainted with sin cannot pay for sin. Jesus was and is our only hope!

1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Are you still trying to pay your sin debt? Are you trying to pay for your sins by doing good deeds? By punishing yourself? By being a good person?

Although it is good to do good deeds and to be a good person, those things will never pay for your sins. If they could then Jesus would have come to earth and died for nothing.

No! We can’t pay for our sins. Only the sinless blood of Jesus pays for our sins.

Don’t get to the end of your life and stand before Jesus only to find out that you lived your whole life believing a lie; that you could be good enough to get into heaven. Jesus said the only way to forgiveness of sins and eternal life is through Him.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Stop trying to pay for your sins. They have already been paid for in full. Receive your gift of eternal life today!

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works so that no one can boast.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Friend or Foe?

What would you call someone who is only your “friend” when no one else is around? They never mention you to their other friends. They never invite you to go anyplace with them. They behave as if they are embarrassed to know you or to be associated with you.

They might meet you for lunch now and then if it’s convenient, and the rest of the week you never hear from them unless they need your help with something or they are in a desperate situation. It’s as if you are their secret “friend.”

How would that make you feel? Would you consider that person a true friend? Would you entertain the idea that this person may actually be an enemy?

Isn’t this how we treat God a lot of the time? When we are with our “non-christian” friends we are careful not to mention God. We leave God at home or at the church “where He belongs.”

Or we only talk to Him when we have an emergency or want something good to happen to us or someone in our family. We keep God a secret because we don’t want to be controversial or unpopular; we don’t want to be politically incorrect.

When we deliberately leave God out of our lives or don’t invite Him into all areas of our lives, that is what the Bible calls being of the world; worldly or a friend of the world. The world’s way of doing things, saying things and thinking things is to do so apart from God. God is not welcome. God is not invited.

We should always love people and be friendly towards them. God tells us to love all people. That is completely different than loving the world; the things of the world and the ways of the world.

God uses some pretty strong language about being friends with the world. He definitely doesn’t mince words.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in them.

James 4:4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

In the line of work I’m in as a book author, there is the constant temptation to leave God out. For example: If I leave God out of my books I could make more money; my books could be seen by more people and more people might buy them. I’m limiting myself if I label myself a Christian Author. I would be more successful and more popular if I were a secular author.

I once heard a statement in the movie “God’s Not Dead,” that has stuck with me and explains my view of choosing between God or the world; “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God!”

Even if I never make a living writing and selling books, I will never regret my decision to never leave God out!

John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

1 John 2:16-17 For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life come not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Every moment of every day we have a decision to make; will we invite God to go with us every place we go? Will we invite God into our workplace, our classrooms, our friendships? Will we invite Him into our intimate relationships? Into our entertainment, our wardrobe, our politics? Our conversations? Our finances?

Most importantly, will we invite Jesus into our hearts?

John 3:16-19 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Will you choose to invite God into every area of your life? Will you choose to live a life that says, “I am a friend of God!”

Matthew 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting, Expecting and Longing

While I’m eating breakfast in the mornings, I like to sit in the kitchen where I have a view of the backyard. Recently, as I was enjoying my breakfast and the warm sunshine, I was entertained by my dog Autumn and her interaction with the love of her life; my husband.

They had just returned from a morning walk. Autumn had chased my husband back to the fenced-in area behind our house. I could tell she was invigorated by their time together.

After corralling Autumn into the fenced area, my husband proceeded to gather his tools to go back into the woods to do some work on our property. As he drove away, Autumn never took her eyes off of him. Even when he had disappeared into the tree line she still watched for him.

She stood watching for a while then eventually laid down in the warm sunny grass making sure she was positioned so that when my husband reappeared she would be the first to see him and excitedly greet him. And that’s exactly what she did when she saw him returning.

I thought to myself, as I watched her, am I waiting for the return of Christ as eagerly as Autumn is in waiting for my husband’s return? Am I expecting Christ’s return? Am I longing to see Him face to face? Are you?

Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee,” they (the angels) said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”

Even Jesus Himself said He will return from heaven to gather His people.

Matthew 24:30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

If Jesus said He is coming back then He’s coming back. It’s just that simple!

But He doesn’t say when He will return. And I think that is when we start to become weary in our waiting and expecting.

2 Peter 3:3-4, 8-9 Above all, you must understand that in the last days, scoffers will come scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

We don’t know when the Lord will return but we do know that He will. Only God the Father knows and He’s not telling. Therefore, we should always be expecting that today could be the day.

Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour (of Christ’s return) no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

If we are not longing for the return of Christ then there is a relationship problem. If we don’t know Jesus, we won’t be excited about His return. If we don’t spend time with Him we don’t know Him. If we’ve never met Him, we definitely don’t know Him.

Autumn was waiting for and expecting my husband’s return because she has experienced him and she knows she can trust him; he had proven himself to be reliable and trustworthy. She knew He was coming back the same way he left.

Autumn was longing for my husband’s return because she loves him and she knows that he loves her; they spend time together, they are in a relationship with one another.

Isaiah 26:8-9a Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for you; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for You in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for You.

If Autumn did not know my husband she would not be happy to see him coming toward her from the woods. He would be a stranger to her. She would be afraid of him.

The same is true of those who do not know Christ. When they see Him they will be afraid because they don’t know Him. He is a stranger to them. They will be afraid because they had an opportunity to know Him but rejected Him.

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

Like Autumn is with my husband, are you invigorated by time spent with the Lord? Are you keeping your spiritual eyes on Him as you continue to wait for His return? Are you at rest and peace knowing He will return as He said He would? Are you ready to greet Him enthusiastically when He does return?

Every week I add a prayer to the end of my blog. It is a prayer that will make us ready for the return of Christ. It is where our relationship with Him begins. Will you consider praying that prayer this week?

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broad Path or Narrow Path

Today my husband and I went on a very long nature hike. When we started our hike we were on a broad path. At the beginning that was our only option. Then we got to a place on our hike where we could continue on the broad path or choose the narrow path. The broad path is the path most people take. It’s safer and easier. The narrow path is the road less traveled as they say. There are a lot more obstacles along this path and also more potential danger. It’s definitely not the easy way. We chose the narrow path. We were looking for adventure.

I was fortunate to have my husband with me. There were a lot of times that he had to help me over obstacles or offer a hand for support. We even met some nice strangers on the path that pointed us in the right direction and warned us that things were about to get a lot tougher. You see, they had traveled that way before so they knew exactly what was ahead. That is always helpful.

Along the way, we ran into a lot of spider webs. If we were paying attention we could avoid them but sad to say we weren’t always paying attention. I even got bit by a giant ant. Ouch! There were also plenty of ups and downs. Some might call them hills and valleys.

By the end of our hike we were so happy it was over. We had a great time but we were dirty, sweaty from head to toe, our feet hurt and we were exhausted. Thankfully we had brought a change of clothes for the trip home. In the end, we never regretted taking the narrow path but we were glad that it was over and happy to be going home.

Our hike today reminded me of our lives. We are all born in sin and all start out on the broad path. Mathew 7:13 calls the broad path the path that leads to destruction. Then we come to a place in our lives where we can choose to stay on the broad path or choose another path. The bible calls that other path the narrow path. That path leads to eternal life and only a few choose it (Mathew 7:14).

Staying on the broad path is the most popular way. It’s full of pleasure and sin. It’s the easy route. We just kind of go with the flow. We have a “whatever feels good do it” kind of mentality.

Taking the narrow path isn’t quite as popular. We’re not going with the crowd. We’re going with God and usually, that way isn’t the easiest way but it is an adventure. If we choose the narrow path we’re on our way to eternal life but there are a lot of trials and tribulations along the way. That path is filled with a lot of self-denial, service, and humility. It’s definitely not for the faint at heart. But it’s also filled with a lot of love, joy and peace and who doesn’t want that?

Along the narrow path there are others that are walking alongside us. They are going through the same trials that we are going through. They support us with prayer and encouragement. Also, there are those on the path to point us in the right direction with a scripture, sermon or song. They may warn us that things are going to get a lot tougher but they will also encourage us by letting us know that through Christ we can do all things as He strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

There are plenty of webs to get caught up in. Webs of temptations, offense or self-pity. Not all webs are the same but they are all tricky and sticky. If we keep our spiritual eyes open and are vigilant and alert we will see them and can avoid them. In Mathew 26:41 Jesus says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

There are also lots of hills and valleys in life on the narrow path. These hills and valleys are also on the broad path. The good part about the ones on the narrow path is that though we walk through the valley our Good Shepherd is with us and we are not alone (Psalm 23:4).

Along our journey on the narrow path, we experience a lot of bumps and pains along the way. But it’s all worth it in the end. They are all reminders of God’s faithfulness to bring us through the tough times and they all serve a purpose.

At the end of our journey we get to exchange our dirty, sweaty, stinky sin clothes for a clean robe of righteousness washed in the blood of Jesus. Then we get to go home; our real home. This earth is not our home, we are just journeying through on the narrow path that leads to eternal life.

John 14:2-3 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will came back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Matthew 25:23 “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

~Patrice Maguire