Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Spiritual Obesity

Chuckle: "As we grow older, our actions creak louder than words!"
Quote: "To our friends we owe our loyalty; to our enemies, our prayers; to our families, our love; to our Master, ourselves." --William Arthur Ward

"Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next" (1 Timothy 4:8 NLT). "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations . . .(Matthew 28:19 NLT).
Physical health requires both proper nourishment and physical exercise. Physical obesity in America has become an epidemic. Even young children's health is being threatened by their unhealthy diets and lack of exercise. The "couch potato" mentality is taking its toll and television and video games have replaced physical activity for many. It has been shown that obesity makes a person more susceptible to diabetes, heart disease, joint and foot problems, and many other physical ailments. Even when armed with the knowledge about the dangers of obesity, many people continue unabated in their unhealthy lifestyles.
Likewise, for our spiritual health, we require a balance of spiritual food and spiritual exercise. But many Christians have become concerned only about the nourishment and neglect the exercise. As a pastor, I have had many opportunities to observe this truth up close. I know people who attend worship services and Bible study classes regularly. They are continually being fed, spiritually, but many of these same people neglect their spiritual exercise by refusing to (1) use their spiritual gifts, (2) tell others about Jesus; (3) take a leadership position in the church, (4) minister to physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of others, and (5) help others to grow in their faith. We should not neglect putting what we have learned into practice.
The spiritually obese know the Bible and understands God's commands that we witness and minister. They have consumed and gorged themselves on spiritual food for so long that they have come to think that's all a Christian needs to do. By having the pastor "step on their toes," they feel they have paid their penitence to God. They continue to grow more spiritually unhealthy. We must get out of our comfortable chairs in worship services, Bible classes, and at home and get moving in service to our Lord by serving others. "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1:22 NLT).
Our passage says spiritual exercise is even more important than physical exercise in God's grand scheme of things and brings us rewards both in this life and the life to come. As you exercise your faith, you will be amazed at the spiritual energy God will give you and how you will grow in your faith. You will find joy by serving others. Are you developing your spiritual muscles and becoming spiritually fit by exercising your faith?
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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