Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Friday, October 21, 2016

Living a Truly Balanced Life...series.... exercise


If you are able to exercise - be sure to get out there and do it - because there are those of us like me- who would love to be able to exercise.
The third element in living the Christian life, to keep us from losing our faith is exercise. Exercise, of course, is more and more in the foreground these days. Some people are overdoing it. I had a doctor told me that just recently. It made me feel good. Exercise, as far as bodily functions are concerned, is more and more considered a top priority in our world today. But it had gotten to be such a fad among any that the Reader's Digest had t publish and article entitled, "Why Not Not Jog." They
were suggesting a new fad of not jogging.
Now let's move from bodily exercise to spiritual. Paul made a very interesting statement to Timothy which, I suppose, would make the physical-education people thrown him out in a hurry. "Refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness if profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come" (1 Timothy 4:7,8). SO what is Paul's appeal? I am sure he must have gotten a lot of exercise himself, what with all the camping, walking, and traveling he did. But he said that in comparison, the most important exercise is exercising ourselves unto godliness. The book Steps to Christ, pages 80 and 81, makes a very good application of this in these words:
"Strength comes by exercise; activity is the very condition of life. Those who endeavor to maintain a Christian life by passively accepting the blessings that come through the means of grace, and doing nothing for Christ, are simply trying to live by eating without working. And in the spiritual as in the natural world, this always results in degeneration and decay. A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soo lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had."
I'm going to make a bold statement. Anyone, regardless of how much he reads his Bible, and how much he prays, how much he breathes, and how much he eats, spiritually, who does not become involved in exercise as well, is going to lose spiritual health. It always happens that way, and it always will. Every once in a while the phone rings, and someone says, "I've been reading my Bible, I've been studying the life of Christ, and I've been praying, but I have he religious blahs. God doesn't even know my address. My prayers go no higher than the ceiling." They were excited at first, but now there's nothing. As I probe a little bit with these people, I inevitably discover that they have not become involved in Christian service, witness, and outreach. And without exercise, eating and even breathing can kill you.
I admire those people that I see early in the morning and late at night getting their exercise. It reminds me of something I learned when I was the one o'clock classes, right after lunch. We'd sit there and doze and try to take notes. At the end of the class we'd do stumbling drunkenly down to the room for a three- hour nap, only to wake up feeling worse than when we went to sleep.
Then one day it dawned! Our problem wasn't that we were physically tired. Our problem was that we were nerve tired. So we went off to the gym instead and threw some baskets, or jumped on the trampoline. After thirty minutes we were feeling fine again. Don't miss it, you people with the white collars; you can be tired and exhausted all the time, not because you don't get enough sleep, but because you don't get enough exercise. That's true, isn't it? Have you discovered it? And if you get the proper amount of exercise, you don't have to sleep as much.
But exercising- Christian service and witness and outreach - will make us thirsty. And that brings us to the fourth of these eight preventive remedies for spiritual life.
On Monday we will talk about water and what it represents in the Christian life. Please be sure and join me. :O)

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