“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because man, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” (Luke 13:24)

Are you as impressed as I am when watching an Olympic athlete? Arguably, Olympic athletes train and exercise more than anyone else for their particular sport. They struggle, strain, strive. They are disciplined, determined, and dedicated. For what purpose? A medal, a prize, a record.

But, I have to admit, I am put to shame when I watch them. Why? No, not because I wish I was in better physical shape – even though there’s a lot of room for improvement there 🙂 No, I’m put to shame at their dedication for something earthly. When I examine my own spiritual life, just how dedicated, determined, and disciplined am I? And that’s not a medal – that’s eternity!

Jesus said, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door.” The original word “make every effort” is from the Greek word “agonizomai” and is the word we get “agonize” from. It was used for ancient athletes who strive and strain for their competition. So, are you making every effort to enter through the narrow door to eternal life? Are you dedicated and disciplined and determined to do whatever it takes to grow in your faith in Jesus as your Savior?

Thank the Lord that our salvation does not rest on our efforts or performance! Thank the Lord that we have a Savior who competed perfectly for you and me! Thank the Lord that Jesus suffered and died for every bit of our lackadaisical and lazy spiritual life! Jesus made every effort to open the door to heaven for you! And by grace through faith in him you are on the narrow path to eternal life!

So, in response, we should jump on the couch, turn on the TV, and eat potato chips spiritually, right? Wrong! Don’t we want to make every effort to hear about our gracious Savior in the Bible, to join in worship with fellow believers, to partake of the Lord’s Supper often? Absolutely!

Making every effort spiritually for a Savior who’s already made every effort for me, just like you,