quarta-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2016
The Lord's Way
"When they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. " Acts 14: 21-22.
It is very common these days we hear in our churches preaching and more preaching the Gospel teaching the brethren that the way of the Lord is an easy thing to go, the blessings are many and no difficulty will be found. Messages that bring to listeners the idea of a gospel of pure triumph, wealth, accomplishments, dreams, achieving particular goals and practically exclude any possibility of sorrows and afflictions, promising what neither the Word nor Jesus Christ promised.
Those who are taught this way become weak in several ways and naive about the way the Kingdom of God that Jesus taught. So in this study I want to show that the way of the Lord is a Narrow Path, one Effort path, one relief path and also a Victory Way. We will see the various aspects of this path that leads to life, which sometimes need to go through moments of pain.
1- The Narrow Way "Enter by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life , and few there be that find it. " Matthew 7: 13-14.
First the Lord's way is not an easy one as many say there. Walk with Jesus requires renunciation, abandonment of earthly things and believe in spiritual things which the eye can not see, as Paul said in II Corinthians 4:18: "While we look not at the things which are seen, but on what is unseen ; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. "
In this narrow path all of our luggage, which brought the world, need to be left behind: made of baggage from the past, lie, hate, anger, sensuality, addiction, drunkenness and other customs of the world. Our ego does not fit us in this way and must also be left out, as well as our pride and self-exaltation: "Whosoever therefore that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" Matthew 23:12.
As this road is narrow, it is always easier to get out of it than stay in it. Thus, any deviation from our foot is to the right or left can provide us with a fall, which can be fully supported by the hands of the Lord when accompanied by repentance, "Stretch out your hand from above; rid me, and deliver me of great waters, from a stranger's hand "Psalm 144: 7. Also we must remember that we walk in the midst of a world of darkness, so the Light of God should always shine in our hearts to illuminate us on the road, "a lamp to my feet is your word, and a light unto my path. " Psalm 119: 105.
Many will try to get us out of that cramped road: some will laugh at us, others will use persuasion to sending us an easier shortcut to what we want, many will oppose and generally there are few who will help us for being with us in the same walk. Therefore, I ask: Where are the facilities that many teach there? Where are ways of pleasantness? Rather, what Jesus teaches is that sometimes even our family will be left behind for refusing to walk with us: "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life "Matthew 19:29.
The Narrow Way, being thus is chosen by few and rejected by many, but it is the way that leads to life. Of course that will not only grip and pain, there are also rewards "shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life" Matthew 19: 29b, but the error is configured in focusing on the rewards at the expense of the full teaching of Scripture.
2. A Stress Path "And someone said to him, Lord, are there few that be saved And he said to them: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for I say to you that many will seek to enter and may not" Luke 13: 23-24.
According to the online dictionary Dicio (http://www.dicio.com.br/porfiar/) the term stubbornness means "insist, insist, fight for" and reveals the real battle we face every day to keep us in the way of the Lord and enter through the narrow gate of heaven. The Way of Jesus is not easy, but deesforço. It is with difficulty that the righteous is saved and sometimes suffering. See what the apostle Peter says in I Peter 4: 18-19:
"And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where the sinner wicked? So those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to a faithful Creator by doing good."
We must fight to keep us standing in the way. There are numerous opposing forces trying to push back or even bring us down the road! And Satan orchestra various plans to try to destabilize the feet, weaken our knees and slow down our steps. We must resist him through faith and the knowledge that, if we suffer, there are other brothers around the world also hurting and probably much more than we:. "Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil prowls around, as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren in the world "I Peter 5: 8-9.
I heard in a sermon a short time, narrated by John Bunyan texts (author of the Pilgrim), the view that God's servants, seventeenth-century Puritans, had the means suffering the walk with Christ: "The spilling of the blood of God's servants, in certain parts of the world, in certain periods, serve to prevent the earth smell bad, just as salt is placed in the flesh to keep it from spoiling. " See the vision of this great servant of God on because of the hardships that went! That undeniable presence in his life, the words of Jesus: "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" Matthew 10:39. John Bunyan was imprisoned for thirteen years preaching the Gospel and is an example of effort to enter through the narrow gate.
So my brothers, with sweat and tears, effort and struggle, persevering and steadfast continue our journey, knowing the glorious and great reward will not receive at the beginning or in the middle of it, but at its end!
3. A Relief Path "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest Take upon you my yoke and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart:. And ye shall find rest for your . souls For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light "Matthew 11: 28-30.
As noted earlier, to walk the narrow path of Jesus we need to undo our luggage. It is very important that Christians understand the heavy burden that carried the world has no place in God's kingdom, just as light and darkness can not mix. Having to leave our burden is a blessing from God, although sometimes is not fácilfazê it. Jesus calls us to Him and say, "Take upon you my yoke", ie, relieve himself of his heavy spiritual and emotional problems, their complexes and traumas of bitter memories and resentments, to exchange all this for my burden light . Withdraw from her shoulder avarice, in which you worked, ajuntava, enlarged, but never had time to enjoy and realize the real value of things. Leave your heavy burdens of sin and take upon themselves the burden light for the blood of Jesus can provide.
After giving us the burden of relief, He also tells us, "and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls." Learn from Jesus is to get the true wisdom, which he will hold upon us always light burden and allow us to rest, even though we are walking. When a path is trodden with sadness and weight on your back, certainly it seems more painful and longer than it really is, but when it is covered with joy, without any weight, even the size of the road will seem smaller and the walk will be more nimble.
Bring this way your heart and throw everything else out! Do not carry unnecessary weight or attempt to carry the weight of others! There are people who can not stand or his own burden and try to carry the weight of other people with you, walking with difficulty and almost bent to the ground. No one was called by Christ to carry the burden, but to be free of the weight that oppressed! Stand up, if ease at the foot of the cross and be strengthened to achieve victory!
4. A Victory Way "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" II Timothy 4: 7.
These were almost the last words of Paul in his second letter to Timothy. Paul fought with honor by the Gospel, was years in prison, suffered beatings, insults, false accusations, had their feet and hands shackled, was stoned and suffered shipwreck. However, he never stopped or looked back. He kept his eyes fixed on Jesus and went straight, head up, eyes watery, sometimes bloody, sometimes moaning on several occasions without knowing their future on Earth, but sure of his destiny in heaven.
The sufferings were for him a way to glorify God and strengthen your brethren. He said "And I, brethren, that ye may know that the things that happened to me has earlier served to advance the gospel, so that it became evident to the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, which is why Christ I am in prisons, and that most of the brethren in the Lord, being confident through my bonds, are much more bold to speak without fear the word of God "Philippians 1: 12-14.
God was with him at all now, never left him at the mercy of the difficulties. In due time freed from prison (Acts 16) or revealed the purpose of being arrested again and what he should do (Acts 27: 23-26). And Paul was walking the narrow path until you reach the end of their journey: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." And as he so are we in the same spiritual journey.
So keep firm in the way of the Lord. Rest assured that He is with you in everything you are suffering for the sake of His Name! Fight as Paul did, run the race that was proposed you, keep the faith and use it as needed each day! If you look at the world around you or even your current needs, may feel compelled to give up everything, but if you keep the focus on the prize that awaits those who persevere, can then say with Paul stated:
"Henceforth the crown of righteousness me is saved, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" II Timothy 4: 8.
Despite being a narrow way that few walk, to require effort and perseverance, only glory in this way there is relief, forgiveness, salvation and at the end, a crown of righteousness reserved for all of us. This is the victory that awaits us! Blessed be Jesus Christ! Amen.
May God bless you in the Name of Jesus Christ!