“…But small is the gate…”

I ran across a couple of people who were not familiar with a saying I use a lot. So I thought to share it here, too. I think it speaks to how we treat others and when we give of our best, and when perhaps our best is not appreciated.

“Do not cast your pearls before swine.”

My grandmother used to tell me this when I would lose a friendship or a boy I was crushing on did not return my affections. LOL. It was a lesson well learned. The part of Scripture it comes from is part of the Sermon on the Mount. I recall, as a child, our pastor doing a series on the Sermon on the Mount – all of it – not just this portion. And I also recall this was the last time we quit going to church, because my dad did not agree with what the pastor was saying. I was bummed because we had been going there regularly for years and it was at that church I had been baptized for the 7th, and final, time. First Christian Church. I was angry because I loved going there, and it was the last church my family attended, as a family. I remember being able to wear fish-net stockings for the first time at Easter there. I think I was about 12 years old. I loved lighting the candles, or helping out with the services. I even was asked to read Scripture during Services, because I was a good reader. And besides all that, I liked what the pastor had to say! “Judge not lest ye be judged” and “But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life and only a few find it.”

This part of Matthew always stayed with me and I am glad it has. We sort of need to be reminded of the fullness of Christ’s Word when the world around us gets a little shaken. So here is all of Matthew 7, for your pondering, prayer, and enjoyment. Blessings!

Matthew 7

“Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.“Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” 

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’ 

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” 

When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

 

 

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