Bible Reference: 1 Timothy 4:6-10
Translation: The Message (MSG)
Bible Text: You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. 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.
OBSERVATION: Any doctor, or good friend, will encourage you to exercise daily at the gym or anywhere that you could get yourself moving. However, of even more importance is the need to regularly exercise and enrich our souls in the Lord Jesus, so that our relationship with Him might always be fresh, finely tuned and growing daily. Because this comes directly from the Word of God, let us meditate on this today.
APPLICATION: I believe that a lot of money is spent on gym memberships, and a lot of time is well spent on physical fitness in order to keep our heart and muscles in great physical shape, due to the stationary, inactive lifestyles we have in our desk jobs or just the bad priorities we choose in watching TV or playing on computer devices. So what if we did to our physical bodies what we do in our spiritual lives? You know, we may open our Bibles once a week when we attend church, or in some cases two or three times per year for special occasions. Do you suppose that we might see more physical deaths if we only exercised that infrequent? Do you suppose that this might be the reason we see so many spiritual ‘deaths’ in the church? If we only connect with the Master of this world on a very occasional basis, will that develop ‘relationship’ with Him? Physical exercise requires commitment to a designated time of fitness each day. It means sacrificing a warm bed for working out at the gym or jogging down a long, dark path, often until we feel like we are about to drop! It means ‘beating’ ourselves into submission, so that we can do it even when we don’t feel like it. Now, think about Spiritual fitness. Should it be any different? The results, or the outcome, is way more important, for it leads to an active, participating relationship with the King of this universe, One who sent His Son to die for us so that we might accept His sacrifice and the forgiveness of our sin, and therefore ultimately be with Him in glory one day. Physical fitness helps you condition your bodies to fight off diseases, have less pain and recover much faster from illnesses, and it may extend your life here on earth by a few years. Spiritual fitness opens the doors of heaven for you while here on earth, and to life ever after with the Creator. It gives you hope, peace and love here on earth and rewards for eternity that are out of this world! Spiritual fitness is suitable for all walks of life, for those fit enough to do physical fitness or not. Please don’t make excuses Brothers and Sisters. Seek to strengthen your spiritual lives so that you may be usable by God here on earth, until He is ready for you in Heaven. Each of us will face Him at Judgment Day, will you be prepared to smile and thank Him for allowing You to stay Spiritually Fit while here on earth? Make it a priority each and every day! I hope there will be no regrets.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we are such a blessed people, because of Your persistent love for us, and the way that You show that in so many ways to us daily. Please touch the lives of each one reading this devotional today with a desire to enhance our Spiritual fitness so that we might be drawn closer to You in every aspect of our lives. Others are watching to validate that we are who we say we are. May we be so engrossed in Your Word, and have such a determination to follow Your teachings, that the evidence might be obvious in all that we say or do while here on earth. We want them to see Jesus. May we be fit vessels that You can work through to reach those in our realm of influence dear Lord, AMEN!