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When It Is Right to Strive (1 Corinthians 9:25)

Introductory Thoughts

Our studies reveal that the Bible places great emphasis upon the evils of strife. Any sincere believer should recognize that this negative strife is often based upon pride, hatred, and a love for transgression. Yet, there are times when the opposite holds true. Striving can be done out of a holy desire to please the Lord. Perhaps the most significant aspect concerns the enemy with whom believers strive. The apostle Paul said that he “strived to preach the gospel” (Romans 15:20) and desired for believers to “strive together with” him in prayers to God (Romans 15:30). He further illustrated his point concerning striving by pointing out some opposing parallels: the world strives for mastery in order to gain a corruptible crown, but believers should strive to gain an incorruptible crown.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): The rulers commanded Peter and John not to preach about Jesus (Acts 4:18-20). Yet, they kept on striving to preach because it was the right thing to do (Acts 4:29; Acts 5:27-29, 40-42).
  • (For everyone): Do you find that you strive more for ungodly causes or for godly causes? Why is it wrong to strive in evil ways? Why is it right and necessary to strive in godly warfare?
  • How can the Christian life be described as striving? What areas of your spiritual life require diligent striving on your part? Are you faithfully striving in those areas?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord for courage in the spiritual battle.
  • Ask God to help you strive in witnessing, prayer, etc.