9th April 2016

The Safe Narrow Path

“I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob,
I will surely gather the remnant of Israel;
I will put them together like sheep of the fold,
Like a flock in the midst of their pasture;
They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.”
Micah 2:12 (NKJV)

Whilst on the bus one day, on our way to see a relative in hospital, we passed a field with a flock of sheep in it.  Although it was a large field, all of the sheep were standing spread out over only a very small area in relation to the size of the field. Each individual sheep had plenty of room around it to graze to its heart’s content.

All except one that is. One sheep was walking sedately on a well-worn rut in the grass which was clearly visible.  It was narrow, but that particular sheep kept walking on it. It was reasonably straight, well as much as a well-worn track can be in a field, but the sheep kept on it.  It did not turn its head to the left, nor to the right, but walked at a steady pace on the path keeping its eyes on the path it was walking.  This sheep had a whole field to wander in, but no, it stayed on the narrow path within the safety of the flock knowing this would take it to its goal, even if it was not as direct as going ‘cross country.’

As God’s sheep, He has set a Shepherd to look over us and bring us to Him. Ezekiel 34:12 says, “As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.”

We also enter by the narrow gate and tread a narrow path, as we read in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (See also Luke 13:24).  It can be all too easy to look at the green grass all around us and think it is ‘better over there.’

For the sheep, the narrow path may not have been the most direct, but it was safe, it was free of holes, it was known! Just like this sheep, our way is safe, our path is known—“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Our path leads us to the true Shepherd spoken of in John 10:14-15, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”

Prayer
Father, guide us to stay on that narrow path— the one path that leads us to the one, true Shepherd, Jesus. In His name we ask for your wisdom and direction.
Amen

Study by Rosemary Gent

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075-Gardens-leafy pathAbout the Author:
Rosemary Gent attends Nottingham Grace Communion.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane
Beeston
NOTTINGHAM
NG9 5HZ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email: icgwoodley@gmail.com

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