The road to heaven is narrow. The road to heaven is to love Jesus with all my heart, mind, body and spirit. This is proactively to have a sincere relationship with Jesus with all my heart, taking the time to know him, love him, and finally to follow him by doing – God’s will. Doing God’s will is not what I want, but what God wants for me.
Praying for God’s will in my life means picking up the cross of Jesus. For me this means stepping out of my comfort zone to trust and love Jesus, and, to love my neighbours. I am happy and content to exist in my little shell. It’s stress free and easy. Stepping out means I trust in Jesus to lead me along the rocky and narrow road towards heaven – and not hide in the four corners of my comfortable shell.
I am saved by grace, and this means for me to step out and love those around me. It can be a simple smile, a genuine greeting, a helping hand, and above all to love the unloveable.
Yes it’s hard to love our neighbours, and it is only through God’s grace and knowing that Jesus lives in my heart that I can do this. You can also!
Jesus, help me to enter through the narrow door. Guide and lead me to let go of the things in this world and focus just on the cross – to heed your words with a trusting and sincere heart – and to obey you🙏
I pray that each of you come to know Jesus, love him, and take up the cross to follow him. I pray for God’s blessings upon each of us to love our neighbours and ask for their salvation in our prayers, to sincerely love, greet, hugs, and give in good will.
May the light of the Cross in each of us radiate outwards.
Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from. And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
“When you pray, you only have to ask for two things: You should ask for the light to see the will of God, and you have to ask for the courage to be able to do the will of God.” –Venerable Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz
I came across this wonderful prayer inspiration in one of my daily feeds and it is an inspiration during times when I feel my prayer life has become a routine. My prayers end up being a long self monologue of all the ills around me.
When I feel this in my prayer life, I simply ask for the strength to see God’s will for me and to act on it as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus echoes this in Luke 10:25-37:
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
a poem i wrote as i reflected upon Your death on the Cross.
i/I cry out
my heart asunder
at what price
my soul so scarred by my sins
a new life i/I now have
washed in Your Blood
by Your death on the cross
my sins an inheritance from my parents
passed into me from that moment in time
the testament of your love
in a gift so free
in Your creation of me
i/I was created to love you
in Your image
i/I were meant as a perfect gift
him/her created to continue your legacy
to gift a love so pure
it can only be mirrored in her and him
the beauty of Eden gone
seduced by the serpent
they left your embrace in shame
now lust and concupiscence
a scar their hearts running deep and forever
until returning as a babe
pure and Divine
Your body hung on the cross
death was defeated
i/I too have crucified you
like one of your accusers
Your sacrifice so great
so that a new life i/I can have
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
18 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples across the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, procuring a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfil the word which he had spoken, “Of those whom thou gavest me I lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?”
Jesus before the High Priest
12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas; for he was the father-in-law of Ca′iaphas, who was high priest that year.[a]14 It was Ca′iaphas who had given counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
Peter Denies Jesus
15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. As this disciple was known to the high priest, he entered the court of the high priest along with Jesus, 16 while Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The maid who kept the door said to Peter, “Are not you also one of this man’s disciples?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants[b] and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves; Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus
19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together; I have said nothing secretly. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me, what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said this, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Ca′iaphas the high priest.
Peter Denies Jesus Again
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “Are not you also one of his disciples?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants[c] of the high priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it; and at once the cock crowed.
Jesus before Pilate
28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Ca′iaphas to the praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.[d]29 So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”[e]30 They answered him, “If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.”[f]32 This was to fulfil the word which Jesus had spoken to show by what death he was to die.
33 Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.” 37 Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
Jesus Sentenced to Death
After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again, and told them, “I find no crime in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover; will you have me release for you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barab′bas!” Now Barab′bas was a robber.
19 Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. 2 And the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and arrayed him in a purple robe; 3 they came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no crime in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God.”[g]8 When Pilate heard these words, he was the more afraid; 9 he entered the praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?”[h] But Jesus gave no answer. 10 Pilate therefore said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin.”
12 Upon this Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar.” 13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gab′batha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
17 So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Gol′gotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews then said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfil the scripture,
“They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
25 So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag′dalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.[i]
28 After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus’ Side Is Pierced
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; 33 but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of him shall be broken.” 37 And again another scripture says, “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.”
The Burial of Jesus
38 After this Joseph of Arimathe′a, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicode′mus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds’ weight. 40 They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
I am set free by Your death on the Cross from the evil that has bound me in sin.
It’s been a heartfelt and spiritual journey this week reflecting on Jesus Christ’s last days before his crucifixion. I feel there is a sadness in Christ knowing that Judas was seduced by Satan and betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver.
The king takes the role of servant. There is also a great sense of humbleness and humility in our beloved Christ washing the feet of his disciples.
In the Gospel, Matthew 20:28, Jesus came “not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus taking a towel and basin expresses His deep humbleness and it foreshadowed His ultimate act of humility and love on the cross – and the washing away our sins.
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.” For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”
Reading the Bible and meditating on God’s word has helped me establish a deeper relationship with him. Reading and rereading a Bible verse over a period of a few days and visualizing it within my minds eye (placing myself in the scene/words), allows me to pray and meditate over a word or phrase which pops out at me. Sitting in silent prayer allows the Holy Spirit to pour forth graces of understanding and insight.
For many coming to know Jesus, the Bible is a source of not only comfort, but a foundation in our faith journey. It helps us stand strong in our faith, so that life’s curve balls don’t strike us down. From my own personal experience, knowing specific Bible verses has helped me overcome doubt, spiritual attacks, and depression. Specific Bible verses have saved me from myself.
I have compiled Bible verses for those on their faith journey. My hope is that these verses will help each of us establish a deeper relationship in our daily walk with God.
christ the center
2 Corinthians 5:17 (RSVCE)
17 Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.
Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST
Romans 12:1 (RSVCE)
12 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
John 14:21 (RSVCE)
21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
Joshua 1:8 (RSVCE)
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.
2 Timothy 3:16 (RSVCE)
6 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
John 15:7 (RSVCE)
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
Philippians 4:6-7 (RSVCE)
6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
1 John 1:3 (RSVCE)
3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Planting seeds/working for God
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
1 Corinthians 15:58
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
There will definitely be times in our lives when a certain doubtfulness or uncertainty sets in. I found that memorizing the following Bible verses have helped me immensely. They offer a source of truth that lights my way. Often, I would choose one and pray with it. Here are a six Bible verses which has grounded me with God’s assurance:
11 And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12
24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. John 6:24
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV – I like the use of the word temptation used in this translation)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
Perplexed, worried, concerned, or deeply shocked are some of the emotions that must have played in Mary’s mind and heart upon Gabriel’s message to her from Almighty God. Her response is a normal human one – of confusion along with a medley of amplified feelings of not only humbleness, but uncertainty.
Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.
Mary accepts her new fate. Her path from that moment onwards is based explicitly on trusting God to lead her. The very act of stepping out of her “comfort” zone or previous life, and into a new journey based on faith is the true essence of coming to God. All previous notions of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty are stripped away, as she lets God take the lead.
How would I react if God calls me?
How willing am I to let go of my life to follow Him?
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
For a whole year, I’ve been physically inactive. Aside from short walks with my dog to our neighbourhood park, I have not worked out. I feel my clothes getting tighter, my extra weight gain now visibly obvious. Urgh!
God has a way of revealing to us our shortcomings and imperfections. In my Alpha group this week I was moved by many of the personal testimonies shared. One participant reminded us that as we feed our spiritual body, we can’t neglect our physical one.
God has a way of communicating with us through the Holy Spirit. He often uses those around us, along with what’s within our sphere to guide and lead us. Well, again this week one of my favourite bloggers on Instagram posted:
God also moves me through the testimonies of a personal friend and colleague. Her stories gives me encouragement and strength. She inspires me with her kickboxing updates on Instagram. I admire her fortitude when she is also going through personal health challenges. Her faith in Jesus has inspired and deepened my own trust in Him.
Wow, I can’t ignore this, especially as everyday this week I have been waking up at 5:30. Each time, as soon as I realized how early it was, I snuggled back into the warmth of my duvet, “No!” “Please Jesus, it’s too early – 30 more minutes”. Then, “6:30!” “No, too early!”
Yesterday at 5:30 am, and I even felt a light nudge – a gentle caress on my left hand – the light and feathery touch of my guardian angel. I woke up immediately and seeing it was 5:30, I shamefully went back to sleep. “No!”
Finally, today at 5:30, I slowly got up and said to myself, “OK, I’ll listen!” After a coffee to wake myself up along with toast and jam, I prepared myself – in slow mode – to go work out. When I finally stepped onto the elliptical, it was cutting into my morning Rosary time, so I put on my earphones and listened to the Rosary while I silently murmured along with each breathe. It was not easy, but I did it!
Although I’ve been getting my daily spiritual nutrients, I have ignored my physical well being. Although I eat well (ok, I’ll admit a weakness for poutine and potato chips), and take my vitamins, I have neglected keeping my body healthy through exercise. I sit in front of my laptop or devices for the greater part of the day (as I am now, writing). God has been sending me nudges throughout the course of this week – all ignored! I finally stop to listen.
Thank you to all those around me for being God’s conduit.
My prayer is for God’s continued blessings for all those around me. I give thanks to all of you – my Christian family. Please continue to keep me in your prayers, as I do for each of you.