July 22 / Proverbs 22 / Matthew 22

thorny path

Proverbs 22:5

There are thorns and snares on the path of the crooked; the one who guards himself stays far from them.

For the person living for self, he will find himself hampered by an imaginary liberty, and tormented by his pleasures. Everything in his day will fret and vex him.
Infinite Love created us to be filled with infinite love. Filling with anything else will cause one to run improperly and well below optimum, like putting Mountain Dew in the fuel tank of your car.
Living with an agenda is stressful and enslaving. You have to do X! And you have to get everybody else to X!
Resting in the care of the Good Shepherd, you just do what He tells you to do and trust in His wisdom and knowledge that is far above human wisdom and knowledge. It’s passively active, I guess you could say. It’s a lot of listening, which I find to be very low stress.

Matthew 22:11-14
But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. “Friend,” he asked, “how is it you are here without wearing proper wedding clothes? But the man had no reply. Then the king said to his aides, “Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.
This is a sobering passage.
Many are invited and given access to everything God has to offer, but few take advantage of it.
Everyone was provided a wedding garment in those days in that culture, so there was no excuse to be dressed poorly. The man had no reply. He had no excuse.
You must take what is lovingly provided to you by YHWH– the sacrificial, atoning death of His Son. Everyone is provided it.
You could say that heart transformation, which is evident in repentance, faith, and obedience to Jesus, is the “wedding garment” that this guy lacked.
You can’t get to Him your own or any other way.
As Christians, we are called to “examine” ourselves to see whether we are “in the faith” (2 Cor.13:5).
Are you a follower of Jesus, dependent on Him?

And for some supplemental reading, how about 2 Peter 1:3-15:
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

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