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Scripture of the Week


OPENING SCRIPTURE:

Ezekiel 36:24-26 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

24 I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Footnote: Ezekiel 36:25 “Clean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is presentable to God.


Compare with Apostle Paul’s writing from:

2 Corinthians 6:16-18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we[a] are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will live in them and walk among them,
    and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore come out from them,

    and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch nothing unclean;
    then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be your father,

    and you shall be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”












Bulletin Notes

                          "Just How Narrow is the Narrow Gate?"

The narrow gate, also called the narrow door, is referred to by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14 and Luke 13:23-24. Jesus compares the narrow gate to the “broad road” which leads to destruction (hell) and says that “many” will be on that road. By contrast, Jesus says that “small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” What exactly is meant by this? Just how many are the “many” and how few are the “few”?

First, we need to understand that
Jesus is the Door through which all must enter eternal life. There is no other way because He alone is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). The way to eternal life is restricted to just one avenue—Christ. In this sense, the way is narrow because it is the only way, and relatively few people will go through the narrow gate. Many more will attempt to find an alternative route to God. They will try to get there through manmade rules and regulations, through false religion, or through self-effort. These who are “many” will follow the broad road that leads to eternal destruction, while the sheep hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow Him along the narrow way to eternal life (John 10:7-11).

While there will be relatively few who go through the narrow gate compared to the many on the broad road, there will still be multitudes who will follow the Good Shepherd. The apostle John saw this multitude in his vision in the book of Revelation: “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (
Revelation 7:9-10).

Entering the narrow gate is not easy. Jesus made this clear when He instructed His followers to “strive” to do so. The Greek word translated “strive” is
agonizomai, from which we get the English word agonize. The implication here is that those who seek to enter the narrow gate must do so by struggle and strain, like a running athlete straining toward the finish line, all muscles taut and giving his all in the effort. But we must be clear here. No amount of effort saves us; salvation is by the grace of God through the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). No one will ever earn heaven by striving for it. But entering the narrow gate is still difficult because of the opposition of human pride, our natural love of sin, and the opposition of Satan and the world in his control, all of which battle against us in the pursuit of eternity.

The exhortation to strive to enter is a command to repent and enter the gate and not to just stand and look at it, think about it, complain that it’s too small or too difficult or unjustly narrow. We are not to ask why others are not entering; we are not to make excuses or delay. We are not to be concerned with the number who will or will not enter. We are to strive forward and enter! Then we are to exhort others to strive to enter before it’s too late
.     gotquestions.org


The Cheaper Solution

A lady went to a psychiatrist complaining of a terrible phobia. “Every time I lay down on my bed I get this terrible fear that there is something

underneath. “Wow” responded the psychiatrist, “I’ve never heard of such a phobia, but like all phobias it can be treated, but it will likely take around 20 sessions.” “OK” responded the lady, “how much is each session?” “Oh it’s just $80 a session, but trust me it’s well worth it.” When the lady didn’t come back to the psychiatrist he gave the lady a call. “How come I didn’t hear from you? He asked.” “Well” responded the lady, “when I came home and told my husband about the cost, he thought he would save some money, so he just cut the legs off the bed!”

 

A man, late for an important meeting, was searching desperately for a

parking spot in a crowded lot. Looking up to the sky he entreated “Lord if you find me a parking spot, I promise to start going to church again.” The words were barely out of his mouth, when a spot opened up right in front of his car. The man looked back up, “Never mind, I found one.”