Teenside Daily Devotional

Read Matthew 7:12-14.

Ah, the Golden Rule. Simple, isn’t it? How often, though, do we struggle to commit to such a simple principle? I know that I do. We are, by nature (and probably somewhat by nurture too), very selfish beings. Otherwise, God’s Word wouldn’t have to instruct us on how to act selflessly! Just like anything else that Jesus commands, this is a discipline. It takes time to think of others in the same way that you would think of yourself. Yet, it is extremely rewarding once you get the hang of it!

Is this important? Absolutely! Jesus tells us here that “this is the Law and Prophets”. Is Jesus really saying that God’s Law is essentially this command? Let’s think about it for a second. In what other ways do we know to summarize the Law? In Matthew 22:37-40, we know that the Law can also be summed up as “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “love your neighbor as yourself”. If someone were to commit their entire life to living out these two commands, it would be completely natural for the Golden Rule to follow. God created His Law so that Israel would set itself apart from how they treated each other and foreigners. Wouldn’t it make sense that God would call us to similarly set ourselves apart from the world by treating others within, as well as outside, His Church as if they were our own self? What an outstanding impact this would have on those around us!

Finally, we reach the gates. One is narrow, the other wide. The former leads to life while the latter leads to destruction. If that was all of the information we had, it’d be a very easy choice. But Jesus adds on that the narrow one is difficult and the wide one is easy. This is where most people would begin to make a list of ‘pros’ and ‘cons’. However, doesn’t life sound so much more desirable than destruction, regardless of how you get there? It does to me! Jesus says it is a hard road, but he never says you will walk it alone. He will walk with you! Notice that there are only two gates though. Jesus doesn’t tell the Jews that there is a third gate where you can enjoy the life he offers as well as some things that will lead to a little destruction. It’s one or the other. I strive each day to choose the narrow gate, and I have experienced the life that Jesus offers. It is truly amazing, and I kick myself on the days that I choose otherwise. I encourage you to make the same choice to walk through the narrow gate, each and every day, and he will bless that decision and walk beside you!

*Take a moment to journal these questions. Write down your thoughts, questions, and concerns. Then date your entry. One of the coolest things is being able to look back and see how God came through for you.*

  1. Jesus’s command to treat others as you would want to be treated is not a selective command. It applies to every person in every situation. What place do you need to apply this command in your life? When do you feel like following this command is easy? When is it hard?

  1. The wide gate represents choices that are easy to make but do not lead to life, and the narrow gate represents choices that are hard to make but lead to life in Christ. What wide and narrow gate decisions are in front of you right now?

  1. How can you choose the narrow gate? What will you need to give up in order to do so? What things should you intentionally pursue so that the choice becomes easier?

Prayer: Spend some time praying about the things you journaled. Ask that God would give you eyes to see people the way He does. Pray that out of this perspective you would begin to love people abundantly and treat them the way you would want to be treated (in all circumstances– with no added conditions). Ask that God would help you to determine the narrow and wide gates that are in front of you right now. Pray that you would be able to give up what you need to, and intentionally pursue Him, so that the narrow path becomes the easier choice. Thank God for His presence that walks with you on the path.

Song: You Are My Vision- Rend Collective

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/169Fs68hROYRdS362T8D9w
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