“If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. These things command and teach.”
I Timothy 4:6-11 NKJV
Increasing numbers of people are into fitness, as the log in endless miles, running, riding, walking, and more time spent in gyms lifting weights or cross training. A lot of time and money is spent in the pursuit of the perfect body, or the a better sense of being. Like many pursuits, there is not final goal, as the effort must be ongoing, in order to maintain what has been accomplished.
Those who are committed to this way of life, are overwhelmingly enthusiastic, devoted to the pursuit of physical growth.
Just think if those who are followers of Christ had that same devotion, that same desire to workout, to be come spiritually stronger. Imagine if the Bible, became the barbell of the soul, with constant repetitions, lifting deep passages of holiness from the Scriptures into the mind and the heart.
We would become strong and fully equipped for the work before us, toned in our spiritual awareness, ready to present the Good News with confidence.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
II Timothy 2:15 NKJV
There have been seasons in my life when I have admittedly been less than enthusiastic about the daily exercises of the faith. There have been times when my bible has become dusty, when few prayers have been lifted up, and the circumstances in my life have overwhelmed me to the degree that I was too distracted to focus on the things of God.
In those times, I noticed that the peace that I had enjoyed in my more intimate times with the Lord, had gone missing. I also noticed that sins, that had previously been under control, began to bubble up from the corpse of the dead man, like odiferous gas, stinking up the place.
Over time I have learned to recognize the signs, or at least the odor, and begin again in pursuit of the things of the Lord. Like going back to the gym after a long absence, the work is hard, and the resulting conviction is like aching muscles, as the word of God refines me.
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah”
Psalms 32:1-4 NKJV
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes.”
Psalms 119:9-12 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, a gauntlet is coming. We will face adversity and challenges from all sides, and we must be prepared and in shape to face all of it. Let us approach the word of God and prayer, as and athlete approaches training, seeking to build up those spiritual muscles that will give us endurance for the along haul.
Begin a reading plan today. It doesn’t have to be long, but it must be consistent. I make every effort to include a lot of Scripture in these blog/devotions. I know that for a few people, this is their daily devotion.
The times that are coming, and indeed may already be here, will require that we remain focused on the truth of God.
Let us also pray, pray, pray! It is contact with God, that the Holy Spirit helps us with our understanding, and application of the Scriptures. Pray over what you are reading.
The word of God is a place of peace for the follower of Christ, as it defines for us who we are, how we are to behave, and what we are to do. We are better able to obey when we know what God expects.
“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Hebrews 4:11-13 NKJV
Pray for sensitivity to the impressions of the Holy Spirit, as He is our personal trainer. Listen to His urgings, and obey. As we exercise those spiritual muscles, we will become strengthened and better able to serve the Lord.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!