by Tony Nester

A Straight and Narrow Way
Tony R. Nester
Matthew 7:13-14

When I ask myself why I remain a Christian I find myself listening to what Jesus Christ has to say about life.

It is life that truly concerns me.

Not the churches. I am a pastor so churches are obviously important to me. I also believe that the Church itself is of vital significance for God's work in our world. But as soon as you focus on any one congregation in particular you'll see lots of inadequacies, failings, and sinful behavior.

I'm not talking now about this congregation. I'm not laying blame on us. I'm just acknowledging that every congregation falls short of the high calling that God has placed upon His Church. Our focus has to stay on Jesus Christ Himself and not on the churches.

In the same way I'm not that concerned about religion. There's too much superstition mixed up in religion for me to take religion with full seriousness. Too many religious people want God to do things for them instead of wanting to serve God. Religion all too often becomes a means of people pursing agendas other than the will of God. It's easy to turn religion into self-help techniques for improving your life; or into political action groups for somebody's special interests, or into a social club for people's enjoyment. There's nothing necessarily wrong with any of these things other than that they are not always rooted in a revelation from God. Religion is simply too human to take it with full seriousness.

It's neither churches nor religion that interests me. What interests me is life and the truth about life.

I heard a story about a large woman who stood on a walk up scale to read her weight. She didn't realize that the scale was out of order. The hand went to only 70 pounds. A little boy who was watching her yelled out, "Whew! She's hollow!"

I don't want to live a hollow life; I want to know life in its depth and fullness.

If Jesus can lead me to life, I'll ...

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