I love biographies. Real stories from real people intrigue and inspire me. Recently, I was scrolling through Youtube when a video showed up on my feed that made me curious. It seemed so random since I had never searched for this. The short video was an interview with none other than the legendary founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Harland Sanders, aka Colonel Sanders.
The Colonel did not get any real financial success until he was well into his sixties. He experienced many business failures before he achieved any great triumphs. Colonel Sanders shared that his ship came later in life, and maybe your ship hasn’t come in yet, but it will. What stood out the most to me, as I watched the Colonel’s interview, was his faith.
Harland Sanders placed his faith in Jesus Christ at seventy-seven years old. He shared with his wife that he “wanted to make peace with his maker”. Harland had achieved great wealth yet knew something was missing in his life. He was raised in a strong Christian home, and had been taught the truth from day one, but he went his own way for many years.
Harland was a hard man, who cussed like a sailor. He was known to get into some fist fights. Everything changed when he said yes to Jesus. Not a perfect man, but a follower of Christ, committed to doing good works with his money.
It’s never too late, until it is.
We are not promised tomorrow. We have right now. Our brief lives will end one of these days. Colonel Sanders got saved at seventy-seven. You might think you are too old, and too far gone to choose Jesus, you’re not. You might think that you have plenty of time to place your faith in Jesus. Don’t put it off another day, because you may not have another day.
Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. James 4:14, CSB
Honestly, getting saved is more than just hell insurance. You will never be the same. You will live a more abundant life, not with more stuff and money, but with peace, joy, and hope. You will have God’s Holy Spirit living inside of you. You will have a relationship with Jesus Christ. You will have full access to Father God. I could go on and on.
It’s never too late to choose Jesus.
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
We wanted to hike to the top of Diamond Head on our Hawaiian vacation. Our itinerary was filled with snorkeling, kayaking, and sight seeing. Hiking to the top of an iconic volcanic crater was a must. The path started out at the ground level smooth, paved and relaxing. Within minutes the path began to curve and wind. No longer paved, it became rocky and uneven.
The trail was not super difficult, yet not super easy either. I had to pay attention since there were numerous switchbacks along the way. There’s a large steep staircase that brings you up 560 feet. I had to stop and catch my breath after climbing those steps.
After climbing another set of stairs there is a 225 foot long tunnel. I am not a fan of enclosed dark spaces. There was no way around the tunnel. I had to go through it to continue on my journey to the top. Once we made it through the creepy dark tunnel it felt like a small victory.
There are several look out points where you can take a break and enjoy the view. When Tom and I finally reached the top it was all worth it. The views were stunning. We could see Waikiki Beach, and downtown Honolulu. Everywhere we looked was absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful blue Pacific Ocean looked like it had no end. Taking the narrow path was worth it.
Following Jesus is the narrow path.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:13-14, NIV
Jesus is the only way to the Father. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NIV). Following Him is not the easy road. The narrow road can be treacherous, steep, and winding. To stay on the narrow path we must fix our eyes on Jesus. He is leading the way and we must follow.
There are dark tunnels and the only way through them is to trust where He is taking you, even when you cannot see. Jesus will get you to the other side of that darkness. And when you are tired and cannot take another step He will pick you up and carry you.
When you are afraid as you look at the steep drop-offs, He will comfort you, and reassure you that you can in fact make it. The only way to get through the narrow path is with Jesus.
Our faith is tested on the narrow path. We must humble ourselves, lay down our pride, take up our cross and follow Him. The longer we are on the narrow path the more we become like Jesus. Little by little, step by step.
There are blessings along the narrow path, provision, and beauty. The narrow path leads to life. Jesus is life. Our time here on Earth is brief and it will come to an end. Those who have placed their faith in Jesus will be in Heaven with Him forever.
2 My Father’shouse has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:2-3, NIV
The Broad path leads to destruction.
The road to destruction is wide. There are plenty of people on this path. This road is all about self, and making our own way. Doing our own thing. We have no need for Christ on the broad road.
This wide open path is easy, effortless. There is no thought of the narrow path here. Do what you want. Make your own way. It’s difficult to wander off the wide path. There’s plenty of space to do absolutely anything you want without much consequence.
The way of the broad path is not a happy one. Destruction is where it leads which is eternal ruin in Hell. “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12, NIV)
Jesus is not on the broad path. He is calling us to Him on the narrow road. It’s our choice to make.
I was on the broad path before placing my faith in Jesus Christ. Everything changed once I met Jesus. My eyes were opened to see just how beautiful Jesus is, and how sinful I am. His shed blood saved me and set me free.
Jesus died for all. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2, NIV) But not everyone will place their faith in Christ.
The only path I want to be on is the narrow one because Jesus is there. No matter the difficulties, no matter the hardships, there is no place I’d rather be then with my wonderful Savior. Jesus is life.
Only a few find Jesus.
I think it’s interesting that the island of Oahu averages around 250,000 visitors per day yet only 3000 each day hike to the top of Diamond Head. It’s a great illustration of the ease of the wide path with very few finding the narrow path. Sure, many tourists see Diamond Head and it’s beauty, yet they go right past it not wanting to take that narrow path to the top.
Jesus spoke the words in Matthew 7. He is telling us to choose Him because He is life. What appears to be hundreds of ways to Jesus is a lie. The narrow gate is the only entrance. That means placing your faith in Jesus Christ. All other ways lead to destruction.
There is hope for those on the broad road to destruction. In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus says to ask, seek, and knock. He is ready and waiting to answer our prayers. Jesus does not want anyone to perish. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (1 Peter 3:9, NIV)
The narrow path can be lonely and difficult but Jesus is there, and He is leading us home.
Love you all,
If you need prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I spy with my little eye, one clematis flower. It’s small, but it stands out against the heart-shaped morning glory leaves. Underneath this vine, that has taken over the corner of our fence, is a clematis. Still growing, still blooming. It’s been dwarfed by morning glory vines. I love the contrast of pink petals among vibrant green leaves.
Sometimes I feel like this as a Christ Follower. The lone flower, trying to shine my little light, amid some pretty leaves. Maybe you feel this way too, as a Christian. We were never meant to be like the world. We are different, set apart.
The Greek word aphorizō means set off by boundary, (figuratively) limit, exclude, appoint, etc.:–divide, separate, sever.¹
Aphorizo is used in 2 Corinthians 6:17.
“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. 2 Corinthians 6:17, NASB
Paul is quoting Isaiah 52:11. In 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Paul tells us not to be yoked with unbelievers. What does yoke mean?
According to Merriam-Webster, a yoke is a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (such as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together.
Unequally yoked oxen will have one weaker ox, and the other strong. Or one small ox, and the other one big. It’s ineffective. As Christians we are not to be yoked with non-believers. As in marriage, business partners, and close friendships. If we are yoked, we are working toward the same goal. If we have different convictions, then it won’t work effectively. There will be conflict. Same yoke, two different views.
This does not mean that Christians cannot be friends with non-Christians. True, close friendships will be with fellow believers. I have plenty of non-believing friends, whom I love dearly. Our friendship has limits because we don’t share the same faith, the same hope.
Christ Followers are set apart to be holy. We are to let the love of Jesus shine through us. We are vessels that now belong to God. We are not extra special. Jesus Christ is available to every single person who chooses Him.
And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:15, NASB
I was dead in my sin before I knew Jesus Christ as my Savior.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 2:1-2, NASB
Now I belong to Jesus and I am alive with Him.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Ephesians 2:4-5, NASB
Being set apart as a Christian means we are different than the world and its ways. When I say the world, I mean anyone or anything that is opposed to Jesus. It’s offensive to the world to profess Christianity. We will be hated. Jesus was hated too.
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” John 15:18-19, NASB
Those of us who call ourselves Christians are to be holy, chosen by God to shine His marvelous light on those who don’t yet know Him. We are set apart for a purpose. God’s purpose.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, aholy nation, a people forGod’sown possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9, NASB
It is a blessing and an incredible privilege to be set apart by God. Christ followers get to be part of what He is doing. He wants to use us. Let’s shine our lights, or our pretty pink flowers among the vines. God will shine through us to reach a lost world.
Do you know Him? Jesus paid your sin debt in full. He’s just waiting for you to reach out to Him because He loves you so much.
Love you all,
If you need prayer please leave your request on my contact page or in the comments.
Lean into your screen. Now inhale. Can you smell it? I really wish you could right now. Imagine sitting on my patio together as the sweet aroma of jasmine gently drifts past us. This lovely plant is growing on the fence in my backyard and it’s in full bloom. I’ve been sitting outside in the mornings with my coffee, my bible, and the delightful scent of jasmine. What a great way to start the day.
Jasmine is one of my all time favorite flowers. Clusters of delicate white flowers releasing their pleasing scent. The smell is intoxicating. I am reminded of my childhood in California as the enchanting fragrance of jasmine is in the air. Scent is the strongest of our human senses.
Two people can smell the same thing with different results. To one it can be offensive, and to the other it’s the best thing they have ever smelled. I can’t imagine many being offended at the smell of jasmine, but I’m sure they exist.
The Bible tells us that as Christians we are the aroma of Christ. What does that mean?
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?
(2 Corinthians 2: 14-16, NIV)
Paul used the analagy of a triumphal procession in a Roman military parade to compare Christians to non-Christians.
Back in the day, when a Roman general had a victory on the battelfield there was a great parade through the streets of Rome. They had a very specific route taken through the city, all to show off their triumph. Senators, and state officials led the way, followed by trumpeters, and carts loaded with the spoils of war. There were musicians, and exoctic animals from the defeated enemy. Bulls and oxen were brought along for sacrifice to their Roman gods. Infantry, and the general’s adult sons were also included. It was over the top.
Also in this great procession, were the captives of war. The enemy leaders were paraded through the streets in chains on their way to prison, and ultimately their execution. Garlands of flowers were carried and incense was burned by the Roman priests. The aroma was sweet for the victors, and meant death for the captives. Same smell, different meaning.
The message of Jesus Christ is a death sentence for those who reject it. That same message is life for those who recieve Christ as Savior. The same beautiful fragrance, yet death for one and triumph for the other.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:17-21, NIV)
Christ followers get the awesome privilege to spread the fragrance of life. This is not on our own ability. It is God at work in every Believer, sharing His sweet, glorious aroma. Even better than the scent of jasmine.
Jesus loves you and wants life for you. I pray you know Him as your Savior.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9, NIV)
Love you all,
P.S. If you need prayer go to my contact page. God bless you!
“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Matthew 27:51, NIV)
The temple curtain, or veil, was torn from top to bottom at the moment Jesus gave up his spirit (Matthew 27:50). Why is this significant? Let’s go back to Exodus and the Tabernacle. This was a place God’s spirit could dwell, and the Israelites could worship God.
8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.” (Exodus 25: 8-9, NIV)
God gave specific instructions to Moses for the Tabernacle and the Most Holy Place.
31 “Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker.32 Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases.33 Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.34 Put the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law in the Most Holy Place.35 Place the table outside the curtain on the north side of the tabernacle and put the lamp stand opposite it on the south side.”(Exodus 26: 31-35, NIV).
This curtain was beautiful but strong; Separating the people from God’s presence. Only the High Priest was allowed behind the curtain, and only once a year (Exodus 30:10). The priest had to wash himself, wear special garments, burn incense, and bring sacrificial blood to atone for sins (Exodus 28-30). Aaron, the first high priest and Moses’ brother, was told not to come to the Most Holy Place whenever he chooses or he would die (Leviticus 16:1-2). Going into the Holy of Holies was not to be taken lightly and very few even entered the sacred space. God was protecting the people.
But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:20, NIV).
The first temple was built by Solomon, and had forty-five foot high walls (1 Kings 6:20). Fast forward to Jesus’ time on earth. Herod refurbished the second temple making it taller. According to the historian Josephus, Herod’s temple veil was close to sixty feet high, and the temple curtain was at least an inch thick. Some claim the curtain was four inches thick.
At the moment Jesus took his last breath the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). God tore the massive, thick temple curtain. Not man. The separation between us and God was destroyed because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross. Jesus is the great high priest.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” (Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV).
We can come boldly to the throne of grace. No more curtain. We have the joy and privilege to approach God with confidence all because of precious Jesus. He empathizes with us since He lived for a while among us, yet He never sinned. He took on our sin and atoned for us. Jesus was the perfect, sacrificial lamb for the entire world.
“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2, NIV).
Love! Love! Love! Jesus died for us because of His great love for us. The most beautiful love story in all human history. The curtain is never going back up. We do not have to atone for our sins. Jesus did that on the cross. Thank you Jesus!
Do you know Jesus? He already knows you. He loves you. He paid your sin debt in full.