January 17, 2022     5:32 am
327. Week of Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity - Thursday
Enter in at the strait gate!
          Enter in at the strait gate!   Mathew 7:13
          Our Lord and Saviour says: "Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction; and many there are who go in through it". Why is this? Because the way to damnation, that is, unbelief and a life of sin; is so suitable, agreeable, and pleasing to our depraved nature, and hence wide, broad, and smooth. And so strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leads to life; and "there are few that find it." Why is this? Is God at fault here? Does God make it so hard for us to be saved? No; God makes it easy for us to be saved. God desires to make us lost and condemned sinners righteous before Him without any merit, or work; or anything whatsoever on our part, solely by virtue of the merit and work of Christ, our Substitute, which we should accept by faith. Hence it is His great mercy that saves us, grace alone. And what is more; He even tenderly, urges us through His Word and His Holy Spirit to go this way that leads to salvation by grace. But, according to our old Adam, we foolishly block this way, this gate of grace. To our old Adam the Gospel of Christ is foolishness and a stumbling-block; our old Adam refuses to believe in Christ; he refuses to put his trust in the righteousness of another and in the merit of another; he refuses to be a child of God; he refuses to follow Christ. The way which God has made even, the gate which God has opened, is too strait, too narrow, too disagreeable, too annoying, yes, repulsive to him. But "enter in at the strait gate;" Christians! Deny yourselves, depart from the broad way, go the narrow way that leads to life! "Enter in at the strait gate!"
          PRAYER: - Lord, I call upon You in the trouble which my own wicked heart has brought upon me, because it takes no pleasure in the way of grace which You have opened and prepared for me with the blood of Christ. Break the fetters with which sin has shackled me! O God of mercy; set my heart free by Your Holy Spirit; and lead me, Your child, in the way of life, and let me enter in at the strait gate of eternal bliss. Amen.

Third Part : The Christian's Life and Death
January 17, 2022     5:32 am