Daily Devotional January 6, 2021

Earlier this week, Chris reached out to Pastor Kit and me.  He was in deep need of pastoral counseling.  This is how the text session went:

Chris:  “Emily won’t let me buy a new smoker.  I keep telling her that Acts 10:13 is my life verse, and to get behind me Satan.  But it’s not working.”

Me:  “Stand at a safe distance and tell her you are the Man of the House and you will do what you want.  Let me know how it goes.”

Pastor Kit:  “It is reported that women who are mothers can, at times exhibit superhuman strength (i.e. lift cars off of children).  So I would suggest a hard hat and a ballistic vest when following Pastor’s advice.”

Chris:  “The black eye I have is just from me falling down the stairs, honest.”

I am beginning to think after all my years of training, I may have given Chris some bad advice.  And if Chris can’t trust me to always be right, who can he trust?

There is only One whose guidance is always right, even if it seems to be counter-intuitive to what we think is the appropriate response.

Jesus taught a radically different way of living in the world and responding to God’s call and claim on our lives.  And while there may be times when we struggle with whether or not it makes sense to follow Jesus’ guidance, it is always the right answer.

As followers of Jesus, we are to forgive when it is easy and hard, err on the side of grace, be  generous with our time, money, and gifts, use our words to heal instead of harm, ignore the insults of others, love the loveless, work to alleviate the suffering of others in a world that seems to be devoid of compassion, grace, and mercy, and follow God’s lead, even if it means to a cross.

Jesus did not live under the illusion that following his teachings would always be easy.  But he did teach that following his way, when easy or hard, was always best.

This is what Jesus meant by saying,  “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)

So choose the narrow gate, follow Jesus’ teachings, and live a blessed life.   Jesus is always right.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me to put aside my greedy, vindictive self, and live in response to your teachings.  Give me the strength, guidance, and resolve I need to stay on the narrow path.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

The right answer is to always follow Jesus.

But, if you ever feel the need for pastoral guidance, you can tell from my interaction with Chris that I really know what I’m talking about.  I’d be glad to help you.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins