Posted by: pastortomvabeach | February 10, 2010

Thought for the Week February 14, 2010

We had another eventful weekend due to significant weather concerns. After discussions with the board members, we decided to cancel our earlier service and The Living Room (formerly known as Sunday School) because of the possibility of icing on the roads. It turned out to be a good call, not because of the roads but because of our parking lot. Until about 10AM it was nearly covered in very slick ice which thankfully melted in time for the later service. Even with the advance planning we missed many of you who opted not to test the elements. The Lord willing we will have no weather issues this week and everyone will get to be here together.

Rev. Steve Green, who pastors Fleming Assembly of God in Fleming, CO, wrote an interesting article for the Daily Boost, which is sent out by the General Council to email subscribers. His article suggests that, “Just as physical exercise develops and maintains our physical bodies, spiritual exercise will improve our spiritual life.” I have mentioned this concept many times encouraging us to think in terms of “training” rather than “trying” when it comes to our spiritual growth and health. “Trying” to accomplish something for which I am not fit is usually impossible, but “training” so that I can eventually reach that level of fitness is something anyone can do.

Pastor Green challenged us to look in a spiritual mirror and honestly ask ourselves what kind of shape we are in spiritually; “Throughout Scripture, physical fitness is used as a metaphor for spiritual fitness, as in ‘running the race,’ or ‘fighting the good fight.’ Paul wrote to Timothy, encouraging him to ‘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.’ (1 Timothy 4:7,8, NKJV).”

Green then recommended some exercises that flabby Christians can “do to become limber, healthy and ready for action?” Maybe we could try some of his suggestions.

Stretching: a limbering exercise with multiple benefits. Stretch your horizons. Gain a vision of what God is doing beyond your doors. Stretch your faith. Go for the gold, not just the good enough. Your impossibilities are God’s possibilities. Stretch out your hand. Reach out to others with Christ’s love and compassion.”

Bending: an exercise that cures a stiff neck and helps improve our posture. Bend in prayer. Humble yourself before God. If you keep your priorities clear, He will keep your path straight. Bend with meekness. Humility before others can build relationships and ministry partnerships.”

Walking: steady exercise that does the heart good. Walk in the Spirit. This allows you to cruise past temptation (Galatians 5:16). Walk in love just like Jesus did (Ephesians 5:2). Walk in the Light (1 John 1:7), a sure-fire way to avoid running into something nasty that you didn’t see.”

Running: take your exercise to the next level. The wise Christian will both run from sin and run to Christ. Run your own race. Watching what everyone else is doing usually means that you’re behind them. Run to win and toward the goal. Don’t let short cuts or distractions compromise the most important race you will ever run.”

Lifting: Jesus’ original power lifting was prayer. Lift up others in prayer. You provide a useful service, become a blessing and build up your own faith. Lift up your needs. You have a Great Physician on your team, and He wants to know what’s going on in your life. Remember, it’s almost impossible to run and limp at the same time. Lift up your eyes. Maintain a positive outlook. Focus your eyes on Jesus, not the gravel you are trotting over. Lift up your hands and voice in praise. God’s presence will strengthen and help you throughout your race. With the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit behind you, you can go anywhere and do anything that needs doing.” Pastor Green says, “Say goodbye to that lethargic flab and commit yourself to a regimen of spiritual exercise. You can’t lose. You’re a winner in Christ!” I would add to that comment that training is something we do consistently and over time little changes build upon each other until we become toned and fit. You may not notice the changes at first but as you continue to train, the evidence will be there.

So what do you see in the spiritual mirror? Is there any fruit coming from your spirit? Take a tip from Pastor Green and get with the program. You’ll be fit in no time! Just a thought.

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