“If anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” 2 Timothy 2:5
“Until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence.” Matthew 11:12
If those cannot expect to be crowned who strive — but not lawfully, what must become of those who do not strive at all?
O Lord, grant both to direct and to strengthen my soul, that I may glorify You by resisting and overcoming all my spiritual adversaries. In humble reliance on Your grace, I will go forth and fight the good fight of faith, till the happy hour arrives when I shall be summoned by the Captain of salvation to quit the combat, to leave the scene of watch and of trial, and I shall joyfully exclaim, “Thanks be to God, who gives me the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
My soul, you have foes to conquer and a kingdom to obtain. The armor of God must be taken, and the strength of God must be sought. No other weapons will conquer your foes; no other strength is sufficient for your work. But in the strength of God, with the armor of righteousness, the weakest will overcome, and the lame will take the prey. Take, therefore, to yourself the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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