The Path is not a Mountain

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The path of Jesus is not a mountain to be climbed.
It is not desert to cross.
It is not a code to be cracked.
It is not a puzzle to be solved.
It is a love to be lived.

Too many times I have approached the journey of following Jesus as if it were through some secret doorway that God moves every night as I sleep. When in fact it is a door and a path that is “hidden in plain sight”. So, why is it so hard to see? The proverbial path less traveled is not less traveled because it is so hard to find. It is less traveled because of what it requires of us. It requires us to love.

We would rather it was a puzzle to be solved, because then we could feel clever when walking it. We would rather it was a mountain to climb, because then we could feel heroic. We would rather it was a desert to cross, because then we could congratulate ourselves on our strength, commitment, and dedication to the goal.

But true love does not flatter us in any of these ways. The Way of Life is the way of love, it is the way of the cross. It is not focused inward, it is focused outward, on the good of others. True love can be defined as follows:

Benefiting others – at my expense.

This is the way of Jesus, this is the way of love, this is the way of the cross.

The Path of Jesus

1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Philippians 2:1-5 (ESV)

The path is a simple path, but not an easy path. The path is quite simply loving others. It is unity with others. The path will have us defer to others out of concern for their well being. Love is not being better or getting more than others. There is no rivalry there. Love sees the others well being as more important than its own. Jesus showed us this love when He left His place in glory with the Father and became human, like one of us. This passage continues:

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus had it all, he was equal with God. But out of love he did not grasp at his position. Instead he laid it all down for us. He was equal with God, but made himself nothing. He became the servant of all, humble beyond all. Even to the point of ultimately laying down his life for us all.

In obedience to the Father and out of love for us all, He gave his all. But in the kingdom of God, values are very different than we find in operation on Earth. In giving his life away for us he did not lose it, he gained it – forever. Consider the close of this passage:

The Reward of the Path

9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore, as we follow the path of Jesus we need not fear loss. We have everything in Christ – forever. We give out of our abundance in Christ because he has now been glorified above every name. We are now in Christ, we possess an inheritance in Him. We are exalted with Him as we live and walk in Him. His eternal possession is our eternal inheritance. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we follow the path of Jesus. Love is expensive – but valuable things are always expensive. Eternal life is of infinite value. The price we pay is nothing in comparison.

So walk the Path of Jesus, the Path of Life – and give yourselves in love for others. This path contains both blessings now and forever.

covered bridge

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