FROM PASTOR TIM JOHNSON:
It was nice to be back preaching with you all on Sunday. The narrow roads of France remind me of the narrow road that leads to life, and too many are inclined to take the broad way that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
Life presents several key decision points. We saw in Deuteronomy that Moses called on Israel to choose life by following God. We see in John that Jesus is the only way to the Father. Jesus also warns that those who deny Him will then be denied by Jesus before the Father (Matthew 10:33).
One of the basic truths that we have to face is that the goal of God’s plan of salvation is to glorify Himself. But our tendency is to glorify ourselves or others. Dale Carnegie’s famous book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” revolves around this point; make much of people and you will have their ear and attention.
But Christians, and the Church, are designed to make much of Jesus. We can’t equally make much of both ourselves AND Jesus any more than we can serve both God and mammon. This is why Jesus calls us to deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow Him (Luke 9:23).
When a church makes much of people, it fails to fulfill her calling to make much of Jesus and call on people to think less of their lives and plans in order to think more of Jesus and His plan to reach the world with the Gospel.
John the Baptist understood that Jesus “must become greater” and John needed to become lesser (John 3:30). But it’s so much more popular and easier to make much of others and/or ourselves. We get liked more when we make much of others and we feel better when we make much of ourselves.
I suspect that the narrow path begins by first seeking to make more of Jesus and less of ourselves, and others. The broader path reduces Jesus and enhances ourselves and others.
So, taking the first step on the narrow way that leads to life is to deny ourselves, and avoid making much of others as a seemingly noble substitute for making much of ourselves. Instead, we are called to make much of Jesus. He deserves our greatest attention, adoration, worship, love and promotion.
Gripping hands with you on the narrow path…that leads to life,