Habits of Highly Effective Christ-Followers
Have a Win-Win Attitude – Part III
Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:1-14 NLT
Key Verse: Matthew 7:12 NLT
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
When Jesus taught the Golden Rule, he clearly understood that it would be difficult to live by; He 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)
Jesus understood the way our minds work. If we expect something to be difficult, then it is easier to manage than when we encounter the unexpected.
For example, when I am driving to a place that is a fifteen-minute drive, I quickly complain when it turns out to be thirty minutes. However, when I drive the 1200-plus miles to Florida, my mind is prepared for a long trip because I have done it many times.
So it is when we decide to be sincere Christ-followers. We need to understand that our life will be hard at times… Jesus warned us that it is a narrow road to heaven, and only a few find it.
One of the problems with the current culture is that it tends to give all positive spins on following Jesus. We are so saturated with the thoughts that following Christ gives us blessings after blessings that we tend to forget that God calls us to live a life of sacrifice.
The Apostle Paul pleads with the believers in Rome:
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. (Romans 12:1)
The “narrow road” that leads to eternal life with God is often a “road of sacrifice”. Nearly all the believers in the early church were persecuted for their faith. Almost all of the Apostles died a martyr’s death.
How did we get this idea that it is horrible and punishment from God if He does not fill our lives with blessings? Jesus warns His followers that they would need to “pick their cross up” and follow Him. Jesus also reminds us that secular society often rejects us (Matthew 5:11). The Apostle Peter added:
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world. (1 Peter 4:12-13)
Father, with Your help, I give myself as a living sacrifice. In Jesus’s name, amen.