Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 28, 2016
By Tripp Prince.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8
Though it often feels like a losing battle, most weeks I do my best to spend a few hours at the gym. Whenever I’m there, I am always reminded of the value our culture places on health and beauty, and the time and effort we are willing to give to this pursuit. From exercise and diet to fitness trackers and health supplements, it can at times be all encompassing!
On one hand, this desire for bodily health is good and right. I’ve found the discipline needed to keep the body healthy actually aids and supports my spiritual health and growth. However, we can be so focused on our physical health that we neglect the care of our souls and growth in godliness. As St. Paul reminds us, physical health and beauty are fleeting, but godliness is an eternal investment! How then are we to grow in our spiritual health?
The first step to getting in shape spiritually is acknowledging we are out of shape! Like a couch potato who believes they are a world-class athlete, our temptation is to assume we are far healthier than we actually are! In many parts of our culture, faith and spirituality have been reduced to a form of divine affirmation, as though Jesus accepts us just as we are but never asks us to change or grow. This is a half-truth and we shouldn’t believe it for a second. As Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matthew 9:12). The only way we will move towards spiritual health is to first acknowledge that we are sick and in need of God’s healing grace.
Once we accept that we are out of shape, we are then free to pursue spiritual fitness by taking advantage of the many God-given opportunities for growth. And while we are always growing and never fully arrive in our relationship with God, there are several signs of spiritual health that we can look for.
A spiritually healthy person commits themselves to regular and intentional study of the Scriptures. Their life is shaped by regular times of prayer where they open their hearts to the Lord and hear from him. Their faith is not only personal but nurtured and encouraged by the faith of the Christian community, gathering together to encourage one another and receive from the Lord (Hebrews 10:25). And finally, their faith is not simply lived for themselves but overflows with love for their family, friends, and a world in need.
Prayer: Father, through the work of your Spirit would you help me grow in my spiritual health, living a life characterized by holiness and godliness?
Application: What signs of spiritual vitality are lacking in your life? How can you pursue spiritual health in that area?
Related Readings: Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 1:10; 2 Peter 1:5-8
Post/Tweet this today: The first step to getting in shape spiritually is acknowledging we are out of shape. #WisdomHunters #spiritualhealth
Worship Resource: 5 minute video – United Pursuit: Head to Heart
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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