Over the summer I was at the right place at the right time to capture this bee and butterfly. I’m always on the lookout for butterflies when I’m working in the garden. This scene got my attention in a different way. The beautiful monarch was eating nectar, and the bees would not leave it alone. Bees kept landing on the butterfly’s wings. The monarch was undeterred as it would shake it’s wings and get right back to business.
This pattern kept repeating. Happy monarch eating nectar, busy bees landing on it’s wings. The monarch would flutter it’s wings every time a bee landed on them. This was one determined butterfly. Nothing was going to stop the butterfly from it’s purpose of gathering nectar, not even some very stubborn bees.
We get distracted from our purpose. The enemy loves to get us off course, and stop us dead in our tracks from our Kingdom purposes. He dive bombs us every day with all sorts of things to take our eyes off of Jesus. That’s the last place he wants us looking. Oh no, we can’t have our focus on Christ. Buzz, buzz, buzz.
Some days the distractions are small, and some days the distractions are big. So big that they take our joy away, and steal our hope. We get weighed down, and get hurt. Then we are so busy focusing on the pain and annoyances in life that we have completely forgotten about our victory in Jesus Christ.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV
Those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior have victory over death and sin. Sin has no hold on us. Death has no sting. The same Jesus who took our sin away also gives us victory over every challenge and problem in this life. We don’t always win every battle, and we will take some losses along the way, but we are winners in the end through Jesus. He already took care of it for us.
Those bees will keep coming. They will try their hardest to land on our wings, and stop us. We will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. And when we get stung, He will help us, and heal us, and we will start again.
Shake off the distractions. Eyes on Jesus. We have victory through Him.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2, Berean Study Bible
Love you all,
Thank you for your perfect love and grace. Thank you for Jesus. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. When we get distracted, help get our focus back on the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. Thank you for the victory we have in Jesus in every circumstance, and every trial. We belong to You, and You always take care of your children.
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 email@example.com
I wonder if I had lived when Jesus walked the Earth, would I have followed Him? I am absolutely amazed at the first disciples, and their willingness to follow Jesus, no matter the cost. Following Jesus in those days came at a great cost.
Jesus, God’s Son, was walking along the Sea of Galilee when He sees Simon and Andrew working. They were fishing because that was their job. I can only imagine this scene. God, in the flesh, invites them to join Him. What an honor!
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Mark 1:16-17, NIV
This was very unusual for a rabbi. People would flock to a rabbi, very few were called by a rabbi to follow them. This was no ordinary teacher, and no ordinary person. The one calling Simon and Andrew was Jesus, the Savior.
At once they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:18, NIV
Simon and Andrew dropped their nets and followed Jesus, immediately. They did not hesitate. They did not tell Jesus no. They did not say they would think about it. They left their livelihoods to follow Jesus. Simon and Andrew walked away from their careers when they dropped those nets.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. Mark 1:19-20, NIV
The same scenario repeats itself with the calling of James and John. They followed Jesus, leaving behind their father. All four of these men willingly followed Jesus and left jobs and family to do so.
Burly fishermen were called by Jesus to follow Him, and they answered the call without reservation.
These guys didn’t even fully know or understand who Jesus was when they answered His call on their lives, yet they followed Him. I want this kind of passion as a Christ Follower. Am I willing to let go of everything and follow Jesus wholeheartedly?
Jesus says, “Come, follow me,” to you and to me. He is calling all of us, but are we willing? There is a cost to following to Jesus. We must die to ourselves.
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Mark 8:34, NIV
The rewards to following Jesus are greater than the losses. He says we will be fishers of men. We get the awesome privilege to participate with Jesus in His work. That’s big. That’s huge. God’s Son wants to use us in His Kingdom work.
May we drop everything and run with abandon to Jesus.
I want to follow Jesus all the days of my life.
Jesus is worth it.
Love you all,
You are awesome, holy God. The one true God. Thank you for Jesus. May we clearly hear His voice and answer His call on our lives with no reservations. We love you and praise you!
I remember the nightlight in the bedroom that my little sister and I shared. With five kids, it was helpful that the two youngest could share a room. I loved that blue bedroom. The carpet was dark blue, so my mom made the best of it and sewed matching blue bedspreads and curtains. Underneath my little vanity table was a nightlight. We could not sleep without it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the nightlight, but my sister was afraid of the dark, so I tolerated the light.
It’s funny how during the day our room was so cheery, with our stuffed animals and toys. It was a happy spot where we played and created make believe worlds. At night, the room could appear scary. The exact same room that we were in just hours before, happily playing, became a fearful place in the dark. As soon as we switched our nightlight on, everything was OK.
That tiny little light illuminated all the shadows and possible monsters. Suddenly, we saw our stuffed animals smiling back at us. We could sleep in peace. The exact same space in the dark and the light, appeared completely different at night in our little kid brains. That’s where imagination takes off. Those creative ideas we had during the day for play, became the stuff of potential nightmares at night.
We live in a time of great fear. With so much knowledge at our fingertips, maybe too much, fear can take hold. Some of those fears are legimate and some are not. I like to call it the “What if?” scenario.
What if I lose my job?
What if I lose my spouse?
What if I get hurt?
What if I get into an accident?
What if I get cancer?
What if … (fill in the blank)
What if. What if. What if.
All of those unknowns are in the dark. We can’t see the possible danger, but we can create potential negative outcomes in our head. Jesus is the light. We must follow Him and go where He leads as He lights our path. We don’t have to know everything, but we can fully trust the One who does.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV)
How much do we actually have control over? Not much. I can control me and my repsonse to situations, circumstances, and people. As Christians we can fully rely on our savior, Jesus. He is my constant in the fear. He is the solid Rock. My foundation is sure in Christ. No matter the fear. No matter the “What if”. No matter the pain. No matter the trouble. No matter the trial.
Jesus is my protector.
Jesus is my provider.
Jesus is my comforter.
Jesus is my savior.
Jesus is my peace.
The opposite of fear is peace. I can have peace in storms, trials, and heartaches.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27, NIV)
Jesus gives us peace. He does not give us worry. He does not give us fear. He does not give us fret. The peace Jesus gives is not based on circumstances. Jesus’ peace is based on Him.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, KJV)
You may be struggling with fear. It’s gripped you and there seems no way out. There is good news for you! There is a way out. Jesus is reaching out to you. He will carry you until you are strong enough to walk on your own. He can set you free from the fear. Give it all to Him, The Prince of Peace.
Love you all,
We come boldly to your throne of grace. We need your peace in this crazy, broken world. Keep our eyes and hearts fixed on you. For all of those gripped with fear, may your perfect peace bring comfort and hope. Help us to follow your light, Jesus, where there is no darkness. We thank you and praise you!