Categories
Christian Blog Christian Living

Big Gate but No Fence

I’ve watched with curiosity as a property, on my way to work, has taken shape these past two years.

First, the owner built a house. Then, he built another one. Finally, he added a large garage in between them.

This was just the beginning. Next, the creative fellow added lots of landscaping, a large fountain, and two lion sculptures–to guard the main entrance.

But, it’s his latest addition that leaves me pondering a biblical application. The man erected two huge brick columns, one behind each lion, and mounted a metal arch over the top. It’s quite the fancy gate. But here’s the thing: there’s no fence connected to either side.

Go through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it.

Matthew 7:13-14 (GNT)

Kind reader, the broad boulevard that leads to destruction is all too easy to find and entices many a traveler. Yet there is no security surrounding it. On the other hand, the narrow gate comes with 360 degree protection.

You are all around me on every side; you protect me with your power.

Psalm 139:5
Photo by Alan Kearns, my brother in Christ from the Kingdom of Fife 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.

Psalm 139:5 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️

Categories
Christian Living Discipleship

What Following Jesus is Actually About

One of our summer school classes recently enjoyed a game day. I walked in to see students playing checkers, Sorry! and other favorites. Several kids were circled up on the floor playing Go Fish, a much-loved card game from my youth. I watched them for a few minutes. But it only took a few seconds to rewind back to a childhood memory. Does this happen to you too?

When I was in middle school, my church hosted a “Lock-in” for the youth group. We were inside the church from 7 pm until breakfast the next morning. There was Bible study, food and games galore! I brought my favorite deck of cards to play, you guessed it, Go Fish.

Well, I accidentally left my playing cards behind in a Sunday school classroom. And it wasn’t just any room. I forgot them on the coffee table in “The Reapers” classroom–a group of thoroughly conservative ladies in our church.

You probably know where this is going. One of the more judgmental matrons from the class brought my deck of cards to our pastor and was aghast. “Someone has been playing cards in the church!” Brother Allen, that’s what Baptists call the preacher, gave the cards back to me. To his credit, he didn’t scold me for bringing them into God’s house. But he did ask me to never leave them in The Reaper’s classroom again!

What didn’t add up, even to my 13 year old mind, was that the woman who found such fault didn’t even KNOW what was done with the cards. I suppose she thought we were gambling with them? I wasn’t about to ask!

Following Jesus means more than keeping a bunch of rules. That was my conclusion as a teenager, and I’m sticking with it. When I read “The Beatitudes,” from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-10), I recognize a beautiful attitude–the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16b). This must be what following Jesus is actually about.

For a look at an excellent devotional on this same subject/scripture passage, please see Authentic Christianity by David H. Roper.


Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Jesus – Matthew 5:7 (NIV)

Photo by Trent Bradley on Unsplash.