Matthew 7:13-14 and Galatians 5:1, 13-25, he distinguished between trying to save ourselves by good works and submitting to God's will for us.
He told of a minister, who in his early years, was a bit sharp. The minister was a little hard to take, and after church one Sunday, three sisters made sport of him in imitation and fun. Their father heard the girls and asked them to follow him. He took the girls to a nearby pear tree and instructed them to pick one to eat. It was early in the season and the pears weren't ripe.
"But Dad," one girl argued. "They will be hard and maybe even sour."
"Exactly," the father said. "But they are going in the right direction."
Pastor Stephen built on this metaphor describing the narrow gate as the right direction. He followed up with the Fruit of the Spirit as evidence of that right direction.
The message called me to reflect on the sweetness of a life in Christ and the bitterness of separation from Him that is our living water.
As trouble hits us globally, and markets crash and rise again, as politics cover the media with scorn and bile, it is good to taste the sweetness of Scripture today. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose. Occasionally I see the Fruit of the Holy Spirit in myself, often I see it in others. When I see the Fruit, I taste the sweetness of life in Christ.
Yesterday a woman asked that I have a blessed day, simple really, but the instruction was a call to stay the path, live in right direction and its sweetness flooded me.
Thanks for reading. BEV