“Roads Paved with Good Intentions”

Pastor David C. Franklin
January 2, 2023
The New Year 2023 can be a road with good intentions however, it may fail to get us to a fruitful destination as Christ has predestined for our lives. If we are not careful, we may just carry over some weights (or sins) from the previous year that only serve as weights, snares and distractions from the true hope of our calling. Immediately one may feel that these weights and distractions are all sins. News flash, they don’t necessarily have to be sinful acts. These can consist of distractions that prohibit and distract one from sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning His ways to master a fruitful life.
Luke 10:39; 39.) And she (Martha) had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40.) But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me. 41.) And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42.) But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” 
If we are not careful, we can choose what may seem good, but it takes us down the wrong path, and we miss that which God wants for us. If there is anything more important than serving Jesus, it is simply being in His presence.
Hebrews 12:1-2; 1.) Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2.) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith……
As believer’s each day presents itself with paths of travel to choose from. Some paths may be good (intentions) but not the best, some filled with worldly influences, seductions, and distractions that shall bear no fruit. Jesus constantly tells us about the ease in following worldly treasures that can become idols we treasure and take first place in our lives pushing away from where our true focus should be on heavenly treasures. These are treasures are incorruptible, imperishable, and
There is always difficulty in following Him, and the purpose and path that He has set forth for every believer’s life as His masterpieces to do good works. In short, it requires, a love for His truth, focus, discipline, accountability, understanding that persecution will come, humility, a repentant heart, counting the cost, courage, obedience and faith in Jesus.
Matthew 6:19-24 NASB (95) 19.) Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20.) But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21.) for where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.
22.) “The eye is the lamp of the body, so than if your eye is clear (healthy or sincere), your whole body will be full of light. 23.) But if your eye is bad (or evil), your whole body will be full of darkness. If than the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24.) “No one can serve two two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth (wealth, money or other things personified as an object of worship)
Every believer has a choice as Jesus presents these two gates. Following Jesus or following self (other paths). Only choosing the more difficult path, the less chosen gate leads to fruitfulness in Jesus. As we are seeing in this world as the Day approaches many are forsaking (abandoning) choosing the right gate. Remember, the gate itself is not our destiny but the entrance to the path to the light and life found only in Jesus. There is always a right way and wrong way, but Jesus appeals to every believer to decide to go the more difficult way.
The wide road many will choose that leads to destruction and Jesus says many will find it. The narrow gate and way, few shall find but it is the way to present day grace to live and future everlasting life shared with Jesus.
We have seen through the testimony and life of Jesus the true gate is both narrow and difficult. If the gate you are choosing is consistently easy and well-traveled by many, you might do well to watch out!
“You must not therefore wonder if my precepts be hard to your carnal apprehensions, nor be scandalized though you see but few going in the right road to the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew Poole)
So if any has fallen short, as we come into the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior remembering with all passion, gratitude and humility the cause of His coming let one reflect, consider and hold fast to not just the profession of their faith but the critical actions that follow in faith that you might stay disciplined and focused on the hope of your calling receiving in you the great recompense of choosing Jesus.
1 John 1:9 NASB (95) 9.) if we confess our sins. He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleans us from all unrighteousness.
May be an image of 1 person and text that says '"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14'
 Saints pray and set your hearts with disciple and focus to do the very best thing and that is to set at the feet of Jesus letting His spirit guide you along the paths of righteousness and fruitfulness.
Matthew 11:29-30 KJV. 29.) Take my yoke upon you. and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. 30.) For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.