Greetings to Our Sedona UMC Family & Friends,

“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.” ̴ Matthew 7:13-14

An excerpt from the “Chosen (Season 3) Bible Study:

We’re prone to wander away from God, but we don’t have to, and self-sabotage is not a foregone conclusion. There’s a different way to live for those who believe Jesus when He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Jesus is the narrow gate the leads to life, but according to the Bible, those who find Him are few. How can that be? Why don’t all the ways we’ve messed up apart from Jesus cause us to run right to Him and to stay there?

The answer is obvious. His way is hard.

By its very nature, following requires submission – which is perhaps one of the most despised words of the twenty-first century. To submit means to yield our desires to someone else. To make personal sacrifices. To exercise self-control and self-denial. To be humble and, oftentimes, to repent. To change our hearts and our very lives when it’s required, because submitting means to obey the One who knows better than we do; the One whose ways are different from our own.

No wonder we so often refuse it and go our own way. But since the consequence of the wide road is our own demise, perhaps it’s time to embrace the hard stuff of following and storm the narrow gate. Perhaps it’s time to go the way of the Chosen.

As I read and reflected on these words in preparing to kick off another “Chosen’ (Season 3) bible study it struck me that in our lives we indeed so often search out the path of least resistance—Even in our faith journey. Think about it, all the modern conveniences and technological advances designed to make our lives easier.

Running water (hot and cold) and indoor plumbing, information at tip of our fingers, food prepared and neatly packaged, microwave ovens that cook food in seconds. Cars that park themselves, and some that even drive themselves. So many today don’t even have to go to the effort of getting up and getting ready to go to an office to work or even a church to worship.

And faith? So many today believe that just by claiming faith their lives will automatically get easier and better. Everything will go the way we desire, and they will have no troubles or challenges. I am here to tell you your life will be better when you choose Jesus—maybe not in the ways you might think or desire. Life is full of challenges, that’s the world we live in.

But followers of Jesus can be assured of these things:
You will have a constant companion 24/7/365—Just call out to Him!
You will know that you are loved beyond human comprehension!
You are accepted just the way you are!
Ask from your heart and you will be forgiven!
You will be under the care of a shepherd that will guide you each and every step of life!
You can live knowing that you need not fear even death—because you have Salvation!
And so many others.

All of these things and so much more are available in a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ—Submit your life to Him and live in the way of the Chosen. It may not be the widest and easiest path—But it will be the best lit path and it will be worth the effort.

“God doesn’t want weekend visits—God wants full custody.”

Are you ready to surrender your life, you will, and the world’s ways over to a better, fuller, more blessed way of living? Join us as we continue our journey with Jesus in the “Chosen” Bible Study (Season 3) beginning September 19th & 20th. Call the church office for details.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Fred