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      Pastor Peter Lord made two scriptures really come alive for me of late.  They are Matthew 7:13-14 and Revelation 2:4-5.  In the first, Jesus tells His listener to enter into the narrow way, the way of His life, rather than the broad way, the way of the flesh, and the way of death.  Now, those on the broad way will face few temptations, and will see little of the passing way because their own self-absorption will keep their eyes upon themselves and all their own desires.  However, for those on the narrow way, this will never be the case.  Lord said that to travel His narrow way is much like traveling the interstate.  All along the way there will be "signs" posted by the enemy with the intent that they would lure us off His way in order to "try" the many enticements he will place before us in the journey.  The enemy's every intent, like those interstate signs, will be to get us off the road we travel and to the place that is made to look so inviting.  Are there any among us who have not at some time, yielded to that invitation to leave His way, even if it be ever so slightly, in order to fulfill a desire that seeks to supplant Him as our hearts one true desire?  Thank the Father for His grace that comes and leads us back to His way, but it is a great tragedy that many who once walked in Him, but gave in to those roadside temptations, have never returned, and are now held captive by the very things they thought would bring such great satisfaction.  Might some part of you or I today be among them?
     The second scripture, from Revelation has the power to cut to the quick any who hear it.  I didn't say read it, for many can do that, but can we hear it?  Jesus is speaking to the church at Ephesus, and He commends them for their hard work, their faithful ministry for Him, their holding to good doctrine and teaching, even their suffering for Him without complaint, yet He says to them, "I have this complaint against you.  You don't love Me or each other as you did at first.  Look how far you have fallen from your first love."  Can you or I hear His words?  What part of them ring true for you and I?  We may have love of family, church, good doctrine, even ministry, but is He our one supreme love?  Do all other loves bow to our love of Him?  James Robison said he was cut to the quick in his heart when he heard Peter Lord preach on this passage and ask his listeners, "What do others say about your love for Christ?  Would your wife or husband say you love Him with all your heart?  Would your children?"  What would others say about our love for Him?  Would they say, from our actions and behavior that we do?  Would our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, fellow believers, those we serve, and those we pastor?  What's their testimony of our love for Him?                                                       
     How far off His road may we have gotten today?  How far from our first love may we have fallen?  Have other desires, even good ones, taken the place of the one desire, Christ?  How far have we drifted from our first love?  Indeed, has He ever really been our first love?  Someday, all will stand before Him, and even those who are His must give an account of their lives in Him.  What will we say to Him when He asks why, in the midst of all things, He was not enough for us?  What will we give as our reason for leaving His way, drifting from Him and His love?  Will anything we say be able to stand?

Blessings,
Pastor O
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