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Friday, February 13, 2009

Exercise is good for the SOUL

Do you work out, are you a health nut? What daily exercises do you do? How do you maintain an healthy lifestyle? What do you do to stay in shape? What activities keep you active and busy especially during the winter months?

If you think that I am writing about exercise you are right but not physical exercise. In our text for reflection today the Apostle Paul writes to the church at Corinth telling them about the ministry of life's race. See for Paul living as a Christian was like running a race that you just have to win. Let's look to the text:

1st Corinthians 9:24-27 24
Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. 25Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable garland, but we an imperishable one. 26So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; 27but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified.

Paul reminds us that in life many can compete in sporting events but soon it's down to just a few competitors and in the end only one person, or team wins. In sports the prize is always money, or some sort of trophy and gift. This passage of text is only three verses but instructs us to live our faith out in a Christian lifestyle like it was the race of a lifetime. Paul shares with us that we don't need to cheat, and to show self control remembering that at the end of our race we will receive more than any gift or trophy this world can offer. We will receive salvation and join with the beloved of God. For Paul and for us this race would not and is not an easy one, we have to train and be prepared. We have to work and exercise, at times we must punish our bodies, minds, and emotions keeping them on track.

In our society working out and eating out are not only good things to do but they are also the cool fads. Everyone belongs to a gym, or has a personal trainer. It's hot. But many of us don't use the trainer or gym memberships regularly enough to make a relevant difference in our lives. and just waste the money. It's funny because the church is abused in the church and God are abused in the same way. A lot of people belong to or attend church on Sunday, have bibles, and pray occasionally- but not enough to make a relevant difference in our lives.

When I ask the question do you work out, and what exercised do you do, I meant spiritually. How are you staying spiritually fit for the race of a lifetime, the race you run as a Christian believer?
Do you pray, read scripture, and attend church?
Are you active in the ministries of your church, how much time per week do you spend working for God?
How much time a week do you spend in prayer and communication with God?

Are you healthy spiritually?
Brothers and sisters today and this weekend and forever take time out to ALWAYS, always to nurture your spiritual health.

Let us pray, God encourage us to hold and value our spiritual health as much as our physical and mental health. Remind us always that as those who believe we run a race pressing toward the mark of Christian perfection and holiness. Keep us along our journey during the long days and longer nights. Comfort us and give us peace, keep us from harm and from harming others, and provide opportunities for us to evangelize and testify to all we come into contact with. This is our prayer, A-Men.

Until Tuesday~Be Well
Pastor J

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