Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from. And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
Most folks I know would say that a good gym work-out will leave you exhausted – and, as the saying goes, you will probably “suffer in the morning”. Whether you walk, run, lift weights, do aerobics, study yoga or pilates, swim, do floorwork, raise Kids, etc., exercising takes effort, endurance, perseverance, courage, and on and on. That’s why our world is not full of exceptionally-fit folks – it’s hard!!! But, the Truth is that while doing the actual work is hard, making the choice to exercise is quite easy. It’s simple, even. Making the time is hard, as is getting to the gym or doing the actual exercise itself. Most things in life are quite simple – like accepting Jesus into our hearts. But, living a life in Christ is very hard at times. Just like at the gym, by following Christ in this world, it’s going to hurt and we’re going to get sore. Also, just like the gym, someone might point a finger at our Spiritual Work-Out, make a derogatory comment, and/or tease us. In the gym, we start small and work our way up to more advanced things – and, it’s the same with our Faith Exercise Program (regardless of the headwind that we may face). Many will say that they don’t have time to work-out or go to the gym. Fitness Experts will remind us that we can start small and build from there over time. They will also remind us of our priorities and that we have time to binge-watch a TV program or go to the ice cream parlor. Believers will be there to encourage us and “spot-us” during our Faith Walks. When it gets harder, they will be there to lift us up. And, one step towards Jesus will cause Jesus to get much more involved with us. He is there with us doing the Work-Out’s even when we’re “sweating to the oldies”. Trust that He will be there through it all for you, too, and strive to enter by the narrow gate – it’s the only gate that counts!