I just returned from a Women’s Retreat. One of the activities we did was stamp something significant into a key. I chose one of my favorite Bible verses, Matthew 7:14 abbreviated to MT 714. While it’s a fairly well-known verse, I daresay it’s not a popular one. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (ESV)
I love this verse because it tells us life is difficult. Christianity is not an easy faith. I think we do it a great disservice by making the decision to follow Christ as something easily done. Simple yes. Easy no. Believing Christ died for us to become our Saviour isn’t complicated. It only takes believing then asking for it. What is difficult is the part where Jesus tells us to pick up our cross or his admonition that in life we’ll have trouble.
I’m reading The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer with my mentor. It’s not an easy read. Bonhoeffer focuses on Jesus’s teaching and how we should interpret it. In the past couple of chapters we’ve discussed: turning the other cheek, loving our enemies, and serving God in secret.Turns out that Bonhoeffer takes Jesus pretty seriously. The last one was really hard. He encourages the reader to not let the right hand know what the left is doing. Which means not only should I not tell anyone about doing a good deed, but that I should forget that I did it.
Life is messy. Standing up for Jesus is hard as is taking a stand on Christian principles. This working out our salvation requires a fair amount of fear and trembling. But it’s truly worth it. I’m not talking about eternity in heaven (who doesn’t want that). Ditto for the blessings we’ve earned. But I’m talking about that deep desire to be more like Christ here on earth. Wanting my every action to be pleasing to God.
Another activity was to put our name on a tag a cross. Later we had to cover it with a label that shows God’s love for us. I chose, “I am a daughter of the King.” I love the idea of being a princess, but it was the mantle not the tiara I most wanted to try on. The responsibility of being a daughter of the One True King is every bit as appealing to me as the reward. I came home energized to be an ambassador for the Lord.
What is your favorite verse and why?