October 6, 2011

Disciplined Exercise

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 6, 2011

I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. 1 Corinthians 9:27a (NLT).

For the most part, Jesus walked everywhere he went; He had built-in exercise in His daily routine. Indeed, the comforts of modern society are actually in conflict with creating an exercise regimen. Discretionary time is filled with less important activities to the detriment of keeping the body in a condition to be a blessing and not a burden.

For example, when someone stays up late to watch television, they typically sleep later the next day. If the morning is the best time to walk, run, lift weights or engage in aerobics, then the probability of exercise is much lower. A disciplined life understands the need to calendar activities that compliment one another. Disciplined exercise requires you to plan ahead.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Yes, some followers of Jesus are more disciplined than others, but His Spirit empowers all who ask for self-discipline with a spiritual source. A disciple of Jesus, by nature, leans into the Lord motivated by discipline and determination. A disciple without discipline is like a mother without compassion, unnatural. So, see exercise as a stewardship of God’s gift of health and train your body to obey and serve the will of God for your life.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

There are those who turn exercise into an idol, and miss the point of good health, as an offering to Jesus Christ. It is not for our own vanity that we get into shape; rather it is for the glory of God. You invest an hour a day in physical training so that you can most effectively balance the day at work, home and leisure. It is better to pay a trainer or gym a modest fee now, than to wake up in the hospital one day with a catastrophic bill.

How does your fitness determine your service for God? Do you take it for granted or do you see it as a gift from the Lord to be managed well? Your health, good or bad, is a platform to pronounce the faithfulness of God. You do not seek attention for yourself, but use the interest of others to interest them in eternal matters. Point people to Jesus as you prepare His earthly temple for a life of love and worship. Thus, exercise for eternal purposes.

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).

How can I create a routine in my life that incorporates disciplined exercise for God’s glory?

Related Readings: Daniel 1:5; Proverbs 5:23; 1 Timothy 4:8; Titus 1:8

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