“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
The Scripture has one portion to start the whole 7th Chapter of Matthew's Gospel.
The Narrow Gate. Relationship is the Key answer.
The Gate opens when we say "Jesus is Lord" and believe in our hearts.
We have opened up our soul to have the Lord God Almighty, Ancient of Days, Creator of All Things to dwell in us with Love. Jesus is God.
The first stage of my soul being open to God's Love was to realize - we are on different paths in the Body of Christ. As a teenager, I took this very judgmentally. Really if I'd been listening with Love, I'd have found a Scripture verse that says
1 Corinthians 4:15
Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
What this verse is saying to a new teenage Christian believer is this - Look To God Our Father as your Gospel.
How do we deal with - don't be judgmental and not throw our pearls before dogs?
Carefully. And it is telling us in the Spirit of Truth - we don't owe everyone an answer. It can be turned into gossip.
Jesus is telling us the path to God is a narrow gate.
We are not looking for worldly approval. It's not always a good thing. And not seeking to be a rebel without a cause or create a stir to gain attention. Jesus didn't find that life was a smooth path. Neither did any of the apostles or anyone we know.
1 Corinthians 2:11
For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? No one can know the thoughts of God except God's Spirit.
A narrow gate is where you place yourself as you actually are before Father God. When we uncircle who we are to reveal to Him ourselves - He fully knows anyway - we are creating paths of honesty to God that create renewal and regeneration. We disclose to God when we feel like the movie "Nemo" - mine, mine, mine, mine.
We really are not looking for human praise - the praise of God is far more enduring than seasonal fruit even of Love, Joy, Peace. We seek God first.
If I feel selfish and hide something away, I am not giving the ones who know me best the opportunity to bless or affirm me. This might well be a path that God affirms for me. And has always been His Plan. Recently, I told loved ones - I have an idea - and received blessings for that. It's a plan I've been in conversation with with God. And it's private in nature. Jesus healed a lot by calling people to a private time with only the two of them.
Seeking the narrow gate, seeking Jesus, is going to lead us to 12 more open gates. The timing is God's - which is another way to say God answers our prayers. Yes. No. Later. But all prayer is answered. Long term Christians - really do bounce - because they have learned - that life is full of circumstances - and we want to do unto others because - this could be us next. And That Mercy is Learned.
The Narrow Gate - where we sit and renew our soul to Jesus. Is going to take us further than the good seasons of good Spiritual fruit. We all can love Jesus as He calms the storm. But we all know the wild winds of life will sometimes howl. We have to be more than Seasonal Love, Joy, Peace, Patience. And tell Jesus how we really are. To avoid becoming false to Jesus. Hoping HE will count the good years. Like the Christian song says, "To praise Him in the storm." We will build our relationship to Jesus knowing God is God and we are His Beloved. Jesus is renewing us.
1 When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
Jude grew up all his formative years with Jesus as his brother. He believed firmly in Jesus as Lord and Heaven is the Kingdom of God. Jude knew Jesus had spoken of hell. Jude's comments on Heaven are very profound... let us look at what Jude learned from Jesus.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves†
To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
Common salvation - Contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
The archangel Michael did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
You must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”
Beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire.
To others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.