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The One Who Invites the Nations to His Narrow Gate

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:25 pm    Post subject: The One Who Invites the Nations to His Narrow Gate Reply with quote

The One Who Invites the Nations to His Narrow Gate

Scripture:


But I know their works, and their thoughts: I come that I may gather them together with all nations and tongues: and they shall come and shall see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send of them that shall be saved, to the Gentiles into the sea, into Africa, and Lydia them that draw the bow: into Italy, and Greece, to the islands afar off, to them that have not heard of me, and have not seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory to the Gentiles: And they shall bring all your brethren out of all nations for a gift to the Lord, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and in coaches, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, said the Lord, as if the children of Israel should bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. And I will take of them to be priests, and Levites, said the Lord. (Isaiah 66:18-21)

And you have forgotten the consolation which speaks to you, as unto children, saying: My son, neglect not the discipline of the Lord: neither be you wearied while you are rebuked by him. For whom the Lord loves he chastises: and he scourges every son whom he receives. Persevere under discipline. God deals with you as with his sons. For what son is there whom the father does not correct?

Now all chastisement for the present indeed seems not to bring with it joy, but sorrow: but afterwards it will yield, to them that are exercised by it, the most peaceable fruit of justice. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight steps with your feet: that no one, halting, may go out of the way; but rather be healed.
(Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13)

And he went through the cities and towns teaching and making his journey to Jerusalem. And a certain man said to him: Lord, are they few that are saved? But he said to them: Strive to enter by the narrow gate: for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter and shall not be able. But when the master of the house shall be gone in and shall shut the door, you shall begin to stand without; and knock at the door, saying: Lord, open to us. And he answering, shall say to you: I know you not, whence you are. Then you shall begin to say: We have eaten and drunk in your presence: and you have taught in our streets. And he shall say to you: I know you not, whence you are. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth; when you shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God: and you yourselves thrust out. And there shall come from the east and the west and the north and the south: and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And behold, they are last that shall be first: and they are first that shall be last. (Luke 13:22-30)

Reflection:

The generations of the children of His creation have wandered in many directions to fill the far reaches of the earth. On their journey, parents failed to teach their children and memories of their Creator faded as they turned away from God and pursued the ways of the world. Because they did not learn His ways, they became vulnerable to the one who seeks the ruin of souls. Within their hearts, they knew there was One who created all, but because of their wandering, they did not know Him. To fill the void within them, they created for themselves gods and ways which were opposed to the ways of their Creator. They were deceived and they allowed themselves to be deceived such that their wanderings took them away from the blessings of the One who is, was and ever shall be; the One who sought to teach them love; love for Him and love for one another.

Though He gave them freewill as to the paths they would travel, His desire was to bring the children of His creation home to Him. To this day, He sends forth His faithful to spread His Word and the blessings of His ways. He declares His willingness to forgive and forget the sins of old, but it remains the choice of those who became lost to turn to Him with a contrite heart and sorrow for the ways they have offended Him.

What God teaches is a blessing, not a curse. Though the evil one would have us feel deprived by following the commandments of the Lord, which calls us to selflessness over selfishness, the faithful discover the joy found through the sharing of blessings over the ways which yields harm to others and offense to God.

His ways require wisdom, strength, courage, and discipline, for the evil one lurks in many places and sets many snares. God teaches these things and allows us to learn by what we confront, but what He desires we learn more than anything are the blessings we may receive through love of Him and one another. Some will learn, but others will allow themselves to be consumed by the ways of the world. God rebukes those who turn away from Him, but He continues to reach out to them and invites them to His path.

Though we may have strayed through our sin, the gate to His kingdom is open to all who believe in the One sent for their salvation. The Heavenly Father sent His Son to show us the way. If we listen to what He teaches, if we heed His Word, if we approach Him with a contrite heart, He will welcome us as a father who rejoices at the return of a lost child. The choice of what we do He has given to us. We only need to make the decision to accept what He offers.

His path is narrow, but He also leads the way so all may travel it. He sent His only begotten Son to gather us in. Let us, then, study His Word and in prayer, let us lift up our hearts in thanks and praise that despite what we have done or failed to do, He is willing to cleanse us of our iniquities, to set aside the sorrow we have caused and to invite us into His kingdom where love is shared by all and evil is not allowed to follow.

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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