"The Way," what an appropriate description of Christianity! In John 14:6 Jesus says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." To the exclusion of everything else, Jesus proclaimed Himself as the only way to be right with God. A Biblical Christian is a disciple of Christ Jesus, a faithful follower of Jesus, one who believes and trusts in Jesus alone as the way to God.
Isaiah 35:8 uses the term "the Way of Holiness" to describe the highway through what was deserted but is now a lush garden. He says this change takes place when God comes to save His people and destroys their enemies. Isaiah 35:5-6 (NLT) says, "When he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!" Isn't that what happened when Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us? Isaiah 35:8 says, "And a great road will go through the once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God's ways."
We know there is another way though, don't we? Twice in Proverbs (14:12, 16:25), we are told: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." Jesus compares the two ways in Matthew 7:13-14, "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
I wonder if it would be good for us to refer to ourselves as "people of the Way." I suspect it would create an opportunity for conversation.
Lord Jesus, the True Way, may all Your Father's children be as bold in proclaiming the only Way to be right before the Holy God.
"So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. Walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied."
Interesting plan for church growth, don't you think? I suspect surveys, outreach ministries, and multiple programs are easier to implement.
Lord Jesus, thank You for providing both the means and the ends. Forgive Your church for pursuing growth using worldly methodology. You alone are the builder of Your Church. We are just instruments in your hand. Please use us as You will. Holy Spirit convict us of the necessity to walk in the fear of the Lord and the comfort only You provide.
"Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds. But they say, 'That is in vain!' We will follow our own plans and everyone will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart."
The NLT gives the people's reply as "Don't waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires." Seems like a perfect illustration of Proverbs 14:12, 16:25, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."
Father God, thank You for faithfully sending those who speak Your word even in the face of such opposition and rejection. Thank You for the gift of repentance and faith. Thank You for Jesus Christ.