June 14, 2016
READ: Luke 13:22-30
[Jesus] replied, “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom” (vv.23-24).
Croissants, dumplings, Thai pork curry, and all sorts of scrumptious cuisine. These delicious fares and more await those who find the Narrow Door Café and venture in.
The Narrow Door Café in Tainan, Taiwan, is every bit a hole-in-the-wall; the entrance is barely 15 inches wide! One blogger describes: “Once into the opening, you’ll have to skinny your way about 50 feet to the stairs. From there, you’ll climb the graciously wide 24-inch stairway to the second floor. That is, unless you encounter someone coming the other way, in which case someone needs to retreat and start over.”
We read of another “narrow door” in Luke’s gospel. It’s used as a figure of speech and not a literal opening. A person had asked Jesus in essence, “Will the saved be few?” but Jesus turned it around to ask, “Will the saved be you?” He challenged the individual to “work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom” (Luke 13:24) because the door will one day be closed; and once closed, it will remain so for eternity.
The Scriptures reveal that salvation in Jesus is a gift, received by the free and unmerited favor of God through faith—not based on our own effort. So what does it mean to “work hard”? Like the Narrow Door Café, where one needs to strive to enter, similarly we don’t drift into faith in Jesus. The Holy Spirit draws us to Him and reveals our need for salvation, but we must actively receive Him as our Savior.
Have you entered the narrow door to God’s love and forgiveness? Do you have a personal, growing relationship with Jesus, or is it simply superficial? (Luke 13:26-27). The door is narrow, but it’s wide open right now. Don’t delay. Call out to Jesus and confess your need for Him. He’s opened the door for you!
Read Ephesians 2:5-10 and consider how God has reached out to you by His grace.
How can we know that we’ve entered through the narrow door? How can salvation be a free gift simply received, and yet still require our response?