Sunday, April 30, 2017

Strength training for the Soul

1 Timothy 4:8 - "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."

We have been raised on the Message of the faith and have been taught to follow sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. I have been working out daily in the morning for the last almost four years. Sure, I have missed some mornings (like when deployed as a NCBM Chaplain), but generally I seek to have aerobic, strength-training, and stretching exercises to keep in shape. At 65, I know that I need to keep my body under subjection. I have lost 80 pounds, been taken off all but one of my medications, and feel great.

Do I say this to brag? No, but to seek to encourage you to take up daily exercise. It really helps. But, not only in the physical realm, but in the spiritual realm as well. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.

This time today will concentrate on ten spiritual strength-training exercises (or disciplines or Christian habits if your will) that I have found helpful in my Christian walk. Of course, this is not a comprehensive list. Let’s work on this list! I hope that you will share your favorite spiritual strength-training exercises! But here are my top ten (not in any particular order):

1) Prayer 
2) Listening to God 
3) Private & corporate worship
4) Bible-reading & studying
5) Obeying God’s commands
6) Loving (God, ourselves & our neighbors)
7) Stepping out in faith when urged to do something
8) Fasting (of TV or something else poisonous in my life)
9) Service for others
10) Fellowship of believers

Let’s exercise daily in God! Let’s be fit both today and forever! Let’s take it to heart!

Prayer: Father, may I seek to get in shape both physically and spiritually. May I seek to incorporate at least one physical and one spiritual strengthening exercise each day. Take away the flab (physically and spiritually) and make me fit for You. Amen.

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