God’s Word for Today: Few. The few, the proud, the Marines. For all of you who served in other branches of the US Military, I apologize. But, you have to admit the Marines campaign for new recruits was pretty powerful. It was based on the fact that if you viewed yourself as above ordinary, you might qualify to be a Marine. Then, the advertisement went on to entice with visions of honor, glory, courage, and a perfectly pressed and fitted dress Uniform, including attached Saber. It was some good stuff. The downfall, it automatically sorted out its viewers. Either you qualified, wished you qualified, or you were disqualified. It would be interesting to know how well this add campaign worked as far as the recruiting numbers. And, it would be even more interesting what the quality of the recruits turned out to be. Did they attract a higher standard of Marine? Or, will a “grunt” always be a “grunt”? There is a play on perception here.
How many times in your life have you been faced with an enticement that “only a few will be chosen”? It is a frequently used and clever marketing trick that is easy to get snagged by. Most of this is seen on late night television or channels like QVC and Shopping. Pretty simple. Don’t give your customer time to think. Simply state there is a limited number, and if the person doesn’t act now, they are going to miss out on this wonderful and once in a lifetime deal. All of a sudden, all common sense is discarded, and we just have to have that item before someone else gets it.
I will admit, I have been sucked into or suckered by more than one of these type of persuasive sales pitches. There is even one that I didn’t have a clue it was being thrown at me. Until, the hook was embedded deep in the inner recesses of “I can’t let go”. Later, I was taught how to use the “if you qualify” and “only a few will” statement to recruit my own network. I couldn’t bring myself to use these plays on words. Something about a little dishonesty going on. Guess I never will be a good salesman.
Matthew 7:13-14. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Ok Jesus, are you trying to use an advertising ploy on us sinners? When a person first reads this Scripture, it sounds that way. Wide gate, easy path, destruction. Small gate, narrow path, everlasting life. Hmmmmm, where do I find this little gate? Or, maybe the thought is, oh well, missed the small gate, but this one I did pass through isn’t so bad. I will meander down this road for a while. If a little gate shows back up, I will take a peek.
The truth my friend is that Jesus was stating a fact. This is no ploy to get people to “jump” at an opportunity only a few will enjoy. No, it is exactly how things happen. I cannot explain why. There are so very many excuses not to choose that small gate. It does not contain a limited number of entrants. Anyone and everyone is welcome. Why is it so very hard to pass thru? Or, once thru the little gate, why is the path narrow, and why are there so many wide gates and easy paths to follow that pull you off the narrow road?
I can’t answer those questions. I just know that I have been down both paths more than once. The trails I have forged between the narrow path to life and the wide path to destruction are many. Pretty sad. And, I carry the weight of guilt and shame. Even that, is one of the paths that tries to take me off the straight and narrow.
Think about that one thing. How very difficult is it to carry the weight of your past? The weight of harms you have done to others, they have done to you, or you have suffered yourself. All this weight of pain is difficult to carry. Especially on a narrow path. Much easier on a wide and smooth road.
So, why even choose the narrow gate? All the different facets of life make it almost impossible to even pass thru such a small gate, let alone walk up a narrow path. Here is the secret. Here is what you need to grasp. Here is the light at the beginning of the tunnel.
Today, take one thing with you. If you choose the wide gate and easy path, not only will the weight of what you are carrying remain with you, there will be more loaded on. This world doesn’t care if it breaks your back. It will simply pick the next wide gate follower and give them your load after there is nothing left of you. But, if you choose the small gate, Matthew 5:14 says: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” You get to check all that baggage in. Jesus opens the gate; God takes your load. Once your burdens are removed, that gate doesn’t seem so small and that path isn’t nearly as narrow. And, there is an irreplaceable light that is turned on in you. It doesn’t matter the size of your past mistakes. There are no weight limits on the pain you get to discard. Choose to be one of the few……………… please………………
Prayer: Dear Lord, the one who has offered to carry my burdens. Forgive me for the times I have chosen the wrong gate. I now realize Lord that every time I choose the easy and wide path, it turns out to only add to my pain, suffering, and guilt. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for your continual Grace that is holding the one gate open for me. Today, I choose your path God. I am ready to experience just how wonderful life with You, can be. I want to be one of the few. In Jesus’, who gave His life as an access to you God, name I pray. Amen.