If any one contend in the games, he is not crowned unless he strive lawfully—2 Tim. 2: 5, Diaglott.
Jesus observed God's times and seasons and methods. He never recklessly exposed His life until from the Prophets He recognized that His hour had come to be delivered into the hands of His enemies. He did not make long prayers on the street corners to be heard of men, nor exhort the multitude with noisy harangue; as the prophet indicated, He did not lift up His voice nor cry aloud in the streets (Isa. 42: 2). He chose God's methods, which are rational and wise, and which are effective in selecting from among men the class which He desires to be heirs of the promised Kingdom. Let those who would so run as to obtain the prize, mark these footprints of the Master, and be filled more and more with His Spirit.
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Whenever a prize is offered for performance of worthy deeds, rules and conditions to govern the contestant's conduct are laid down; and only when these are observed is the winner awarded a prize. This was true of the games among the Greeks, and is true in our race for eternal life. The Lord has ordained that only those who develop a Christlike character, while laying down life for God's Plan, can have the prize of eternal life in the Kingdom. Nor will these conditions be altered or abridged for some who assume themselves to be special favorites. All are herein treated alike, and the worthy only are crowned with eternal life in the Kingdom.
Parallel passages: 1Cor. 9: 24-26; Eph. 6: 11-17; 1Tim. 6: 12; Phil. 3: 14; Heb. 12: 1, 2; 2Tim. 2: 3; 4: 7, 8.
Questions: How have I striven this week, lawfully or unlawfully? What encouraged me thereto? What hindered therefrom? How did I overcome hindrances? What was the effect on others and me?
COURAGE! PRESS ON
TIRED! Well, what of that?
Didst fancy life was spent on beds of ease,
Fluttering the rose leaves scattered by the breeze?
Come, rouse thee! work while it is called to-day:
Courage! arise! go forth upon thy way.
Lonely! and what of that?
Some must be lonely; 'tis not given to all
To feel a heart responsive rise and fall,
To blend another life within its own:
Work can be done in loneliness. Work on.
Dark! Well, what of that?
Didst fondly dream the sun would never set?
Dost fear to lose thy way? Take courage yet!
Learn thou to walk by faith, and not by sight;
Thy steps will guided be, and guided right.
Hard! Well, what of that?
Didst fancy life one summer holiday,
With lessons none to learn, and naught but play?
Go—get thee to thy task! Conquer or die!
It must be learned; learn it, then, patiently.
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