Today's Verse: Matthew 7:13-14

Saturday, July 13, 2024

[Jesus said,] "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
— Matthew 7:13-14
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Thoughts on Today's Verse...

Decades ago, Juan Carlos Ortiz criticized European and American evangelists for offering a carrot stick gospel — a gospel that focused on our personal payoff for following Jesus, not Jesus's lordship over every area of our lives. Jesus, especially in Matthew 7, reminds us that grace does not dismiss discipleship, and mercy does not release us from our need to repent genuinely. Genuine repentance is NOT feeling bad about our sin — that is godly sorrow that should lead to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-11). Repentance means changing how we live our lives and choosing to live for Jesus. We joyously accept the grace God gives to us in Jesus and truly let Jesus be Lord of our lives. It's not an "either-or" proposition but a "both-and" call from God. We receive grace and obediently follow Jesus as Lord. We obey and serve God because he has adopted and brought us into his family. Our motivation to do good things is not to earn our salvation but to thank and honor God, who has been so good to us and saved us at great cost by his mercy and grace (Ephesians 2:8-10).

My Prayer...

Almighty God, holy and awesome in your majesty and might, I know I will never be worthy of your grace. I know that my flesh can easily be lured away from the path of discipleship. So, Father, I need the Spirit to help me as I strive to follow Jesus and live obediently to him. In his name, I pray. Amen.

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Illustration

Illustration of Matthew 7:13-14 — [Jesus said,] "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

About This Devotional

Today's Verse is a free daily devotional that includes a Bible verse, thought and prayer.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.