24 Strive to enter by the narrow door [force yourselves through it], for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.
Luke 13:24 AMPC
Strive to enter through
Jesus our Lord, commands us to strive to enter through the narrow gate. The word strive in the Greek is agōnizomai. Its Biblical definition is: to contend with adversaries, fight
metaph. to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers
to endeavour with strenuous zeal, strive: to obtain something
When I was young, I learned at an early age how to strive in sports. I learned about making sacrifices and giving it all that I have to become victorious. At the age of 10, I would get up at 6am with my dad and go to the track to run 400s and 800s. The workouts were very hard and difficult. Sometimes, I would even have tears in my eyes because of the pain and suffering from the workouts. At the end of the track season I was a national champion in the 400m. I truly understood at that age that what you put in is what you get out. All of the pain and suffering was worth it!
Jesus wants the same effort that we put into school, sports, or jobs in the faith. Jesus wants us to strive for the Kingdom of Heaven. He wants us to give our ALL! It is going to be HARD to enter in the Kingdom of Heaven.
"22 Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."
Acts 14:22 AMPC
When I got to the Arizona Cardinals I had some obstacles to fight through. I was moved from the cornerback position to wide receiver because I ran 4.24 in the 40yd dash. They wanted to use my speed on offense. I didn't play WR since my junior year in high school. I had to relearn the position and I had to stay after practice to work on my hands. There were many days when I had to make difficult catches. I was determined to make the team so I put in the extra work.
The Apostle Paul talks about working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Jesus put in the work on the cross so we can be reconciled back to the Father. The Father commands that we live lives that are Holy, as He is Holy. It takes work to live a life of holiness to abstain from the things of the world. It is hard and it's not easy.
"12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
Philippians 2:12 KJV
15 But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.
16 For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.
1 Peter 1:15-16 AMPC