Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Today’s Topic: A Spiritual Work Out.
Today’s Text: 1 Timothy 4:7-8 “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”
I hurt. I know why. I used muscles that have been inactive for too long. Last Saturday and the following Monday I cut branches, trimmed bushes, raked leaves, and stomped on literally dozens of feet of mole tunnels. My legs and arms are still sore. I need more exercise.
That got me thinking about spiritual exercise, and then yesterday an email came from Daniel Henderson of Strategic Renewal. He wrote about the kind of exercise we all need – the exercise of the mind so that it is renewed according to godliness. His four step plan made perfect sense, so I share it with you today giving Pastor Henderson full credit. Thanks Dan.
The Eternal Exercise Plan
First, I can exercise my feet, standing firm, “planted in the house of the Lord.” I find it sad when people mature physically but shrink into spiritual pygmies because they stop choosing to plant their lives in the place of passionate worship. I want to keep “pressing on” in my pursuit of God in my everyday practice of His presence. Someday, I want to be that old dude who the young people laugh at (but secretly admire) because he is unrestrained and cuts loose in worship, even if he looks a little goofy. I don’t want to stay home and watch “senior citizens’ church” as long as I can stand among the godly with my heart soaring in His presence in the courts of our God.
Second, I can exercise my tongue, “declaring that the Lord is upright.” When this kind of praise frames the substance of my speech there is little room left to whine about the parts that don’t work and complain about my pain.
Third, I can exercise my heart, trusting fully that “He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Of course, energy wanes, days get lonely, and the scoreboard of significance becomes blurred – but the Lord is still my security and there is no unrighteousness in Him. I will trust and obey these great truths – and be happy in Jesus.
Finally, I can exercise my eyes, focusing on the reality of eternal significance, not just the earthly vapor of this physical life. Paul says it this way: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). As a child I sang, “Be careful, little eyes, what you see.” As I approach the finish line I must sing, “Be careful, little eyes, HOW you see.”
(Thanks to Daniel Henderson of Strategic Renewal for today’s Eternal Exercise Plan.)
Now the tough part – being disciplined enough to exercise every day.
No Pain, No Gain!
Know Pain – Know Gain!
Godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)