13 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13–14, NKJV)
Evoking the wonders of the unknown, poet Robert Frost wrote of two divergent roads in a yellow wood. Taking “the one less traveled by” men, he sighed, made “all the difference” (The Road Not Taken). Yes, many are the roads of life. Like Frost’s traveler, their ends are often obscured from sight. Jesus used the metaphor of roads and paths long before Frost. More importantly, He told us exactly where they lead. Jesus depicted two gates and pathways with very different outcomes. Each of us choose one or the other. One has a wide, inviting gate that gives way to a spacious pathway. This road is smooth and unencumbered. Many choose it, for it is easy. But, it leads to the horrible destination of damnable destruction. The other path has a narrow access point with obstacles nearby. Travelers entering this gate traverse a confined corridor paved with difficulty, turmoil, and trouble. Few accept the challenge of walking this path, but when they do, it rewards them with life. Only after traveling his chosen path could Frost look back from experience and assess the path he chose. Thankfully, we need not experience sin to know it leads to eternal demise. Choosing the narrow gate and straitened way of discipleship will lead you to eternal life (Rom. 6:22). Follow Jesus. He makes “all the difference” (Jno. 14:6).
12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:12–13, NKJV)
Isaiah described Zion (Messiah’s kingdom) as a time when weak hands are strengthened, and feeble knees made strong (Isaiah 35:3). In Zion, straight paths for our feet are established by God’s word, from which we must not to turn to the right or to the left to do evil (Proverbs 4:26-27). Since we have come to Mount Zion and are redeemed by the blood of the reigning Lamb of God, it is no wonder Christians are now exhorted to do these very things (Hebrews 12:22-24; Revelation 5:8-10). Let us lift a discouraged Christian by bearing his or her burden (Galatians 6:1-2). Let us exhort a disciple who has stumbled along the path to repent and return to the right way of truth (Acts 8:18-24). Let us refuse to compromise with sin by warning those who stray into paths of error and immorality (Revelation 2:20-23). Strength in the kingdom of Christ is measured by service, not by being served (Mark 10:42-45). So, commit yourself to strengthening your fellow Christians and being a blessing in their lives. “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me. (Psalm 119:30, NKJV)
We are taught from an early age to think about the course of life we wish to pursue. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is often asked of the youngster who is just beginning to be aware of the great, big world outside. One may choose any number of career paths in life, but the way of truth is by far the most important path to take. All other courses of life ought to be measured by truth. The psalmist had already made his choice; he would follow the path of truth. So, like a map, he laid out God’s righteous judgments before him. They would guide his steps. They would direct his values, his character, and his faith. God’s judgments “are true, and righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9). Be sure that whatever course of life you pursue, it is measured and directed by the truth of God. By doing so, you will find good success that reaches into eternity. But, to shun God’s holy judgments will insure a destiny of despair, from which there will be no escape (Romans 2:1-11).
18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.” (Proverbs 4:18–19, NKJV)
What path are you taking in life? Are you living for heaven, or for the here and now? In this passage, Solomon had just advised his son to avoid and turn from the path of the wicked (Prov. 4:14-15). Like a dark path in a deep cavern, the way of wickedness is dangerous, leading to a spiritual downfall. The way of the upright is illuminated by truth, showing the course that avoids sin and leads to eternal life (Jno. 3:20-21). Be careful to use God’s word to light your path (Psa. 119:105). Learn it, meditate on it, implant it deep in your heart, and live by it (Jas. 1:21-22).