Kingdom of the Narrow-minded
March 30, 2019
The story is told of a man who lived at the top of a mountain. The road from his house to the valley was a winding, narrow route. On one side of the road there were no guardrails, in spite of a steep drop-off at the edge of the road. His search for a new chauffeur brought several potential drivers to the residence for an interview. His only interview instruction was “Drive me down the mountain.”
The first candidate drove down the mountain about eight inches from the edge, demonstrating tremendous skills as a driver. A few times the tires squealed slightly, but the car stayed firmly on the road the whole way down. The man who lived on the mountain thanked him politely and dismissed him, saying, “I will call you if I need to speak with you further.”
The second candidate skillfully drove the car six inches from the edge of the cliff the whole way down. The driver spoke of his experience racing cars and could describe exactly what the car was doing as it swerved at each turn. His confidence and ability as a driver were well noted, but he too was dismissed and informed that he would be called if necessary.
When the third candidate heard the challenge, he looked at the mountain road that went to the valley and then started down the mountain. It was noted that he stayed a healthy distance away from the edge of the mountain the whole way down. When questioned, the driver said, “There are many ways to get down the mountain, but I chose the best and safest way. There was no reason to drive the car as close to the edge as possible and take the chance that something bad might happen.” He was hired.
And this is how it is with the Christian walk. Too often as Christians we think, Oh, I can hand le this, and we try to see how close we can get to sin without sinning. Unfortunately, and all too often, we end up so close to the edge that we fall into sin. There is no safety in getting close to sin.
We can only be safe only when we turn away from sin and temptation. Jesus said, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Memory Text: “Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:26, 27).
Our Beliefs, no. 11, Growing in Christ: “As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 141-144
Read 2 Corinthians 5:10.
Kelsey feels alone. She witnessed two boys hurting another boy at school. While many students witnessed the incident, no one was willing to say what happened.
Kelsey couldn’t remain quiet. She told the principal, and the students were disciplined. Afterward students began calling her names that made her feel bad. How is standing up for what is right always the best course of action? Why does being a child of God sometimes result in being misunderstood by others? What should we do in those times?
Read 1 Peter 1:16; Revelation 14:12; 18:4; 2 Peter 3:10-14.
As we approach the end of time, God is looking for a people that will represent Him and will stand firm and true. He is looking for faithful children that will carry His message of love to a dying world.
What does it mean to “keep the faith of Jesus”?
Why does God ask us to separate ourselves from sin?
Explain how the way we treat others shows our character and our relationship with God.
Fill in the blanks.
“Therefore, you want men to do to you, also to, for this is the Law and the Prophets. by the; for is the and is the that to, and there are who go in by it. Because is the and is the way which to, and there are who it” (Matthew 7:12-14).
Read Proverbs 14:12.
Jesus has laid out the paths we have to choose from. We can choose the “wide” path of the world that leads to death and eternal separation from God. Or we can choose the “narrow” way that leads to salvation and eternal life.
Jesus didn’t promise fewer problems, more money, and great success. He did promise that your life would be abundant, full of joy and peace— with no regrets. However, He makes it clear that the way is not easy.
Have you weighed the eternal rewards of following Christ against the short-term benefits of following the crowd? You can’t travel on both trails—it’s one or the other.
Sometimes it may seem hard to live differently than your friends, but the eternal rewards are better than anything this life has to offer. Do you think anyone who chooses to follow Christ will regret their decision when Jesus comes to take them to heaven to live with Him? What about you? Have you counted the cost? Are you on the right path that “leads to life”?
“He who will follow Jesus . . . will know of the doctrine, and will understand what are the advantages of entering in at the strait gate, and of walking in the narrow way” (Ellen G. White, in Review and Herald, March 28, 1912).
Fill in the missing parts of the following verses. All verses are from the New King James Version.
“You will; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
“Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path., and knowledge is pleasant to your soul” (Proverbs 2:9, 10).
“Forsake foolishness and live, and” (Proverbs 9:6).
“Turn from your evil ways, and, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets” (2 Kings 17:13).
“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
Read Romans 12:2.
Review the memory text.
Do you ever wonder how one minute you are following Jesus and the next you find yourself on the broad road doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing? Jesus even saw His disciples struggle with this again and again. But Jesus is always there, waiting to help us.
Even longtime Christians who know the signposts and are familiar with the trail struggle sometimes. One Bible veteran was Peter. He had a victorious experience at Pentecost and many other triumphant moments risking his all for Christ, but he succumbed to the popular way at times. In Galatians 2:11-14 Paul had to remind Peter of the narrow way. Paul sternly reprimanded Peter, who was prejudiced against the Gentiles. Then Peter counted the cost and got back on the narrow way.
Is it your desire to follow God every day? The road can be difficult, but God’s Spirit reminds us that He is with us, and in the end we will rejoice that we chose the narrow way.
“We cannot retain self and yet enter the kingdom of God. If we ever attain unto holiness, it will be through the renunciation of self and the reception of the mind of Christ” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 143).
Read Philippians 1:9-11.
List some decisions you have made in the past that are characteristic of the “broad way”:
List some decisions that you have made that you will never regret because they helped you walk the “narrow way”:
Develop your own signpost motto (such as: Even if I feel lonely, I am never alone; I can’t even imagine the reward stored up for me) and write it here.