READ: Luke 13:22-35
THINK: If you listen to most well-meaning, spiritually open individuals, it would seem that there are many ways to God. People of this persuasion claim that we are free to choose whichever path we like--as long as it involves a significant effort to do good and not hurt anyone else. The truth is, we are free to choose a path in life. God has given us that liberty. It's also true that the invitation to know God--or could we say the "door" through which we come to know Him--is wide open to all who entrust their lives to Him. But while the door is open, it is also narrow, as is the path that leads to life and eternity with God. People cannot come to God in their own way or on their own terms. Many will try, but unless they accept Jesus and surrender their lives to Him, they'll never really know God or fulfill His purposes for their lives. Those who enter through the narrow door of faith in Jesus alone can come to God just as they are, and God will remake them as He created them to be.
RESPOND: What does it mean that the way to be saved is through a "narrow door" (v. 24)? In what ways might people try to enter God's kingdom but not be able to do so? How will it be that some people claim to have associated with Jesus, yet they don't have a relationship with Him and He will say, "I don't know you..." (vv. 25-27)? In what ways might people be first now and last in the end, or last now and first in the end? What was Jesus "goal" as He refers to it in verse 32? What does Jesus' sorrow in verses 34-35 reveal about people? (See 13:34 note.)
PRAY: Pray for people you know who are attempting to please God in their own way--through good works or other beliefs. Pray that they come to know Jesus personally, relying on Him for forgiveness and eternal life.
ACT: If you've been trying to get to God, or relate to Him, on your own terms, ask Him to forgive you. Accept the sacrifice that His Son, Jesus, made in your place, to pay the price for your offense against God. Surrender your old way of life to Jesus in exchange for the new life and purpose He has for you. Then determine to follow Jesus with His help. (See the "How to Know God" in the front of the Fire Bible for help in making this decision.)
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