First, I wonder if anyone will get the song reference in the title…I expect most y’all won’t …primarily because it’s a song from my childhood. Yes, they had music back then.
Well, done with that squirrel. On to the post…
You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers. (1 Timothy 4:6-10 MSG)
I rarely quote from the Message version of scripture, but I loved the way it laid these verses out. I almost titled this post…Flabby Christians….but then c’mon get healthy got stuck in my head.
Here’s the ESV version of the same passage:
If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
At Crossroads we’re focusing in on health in 2020 — Physical, Emotional, and, most importantly, Spiritual. I believe if we start on spiritual health, the emotional and maybe even the physical will improve.
What does being spiritually healthy look like?.
How do we become more spiritually healthy?
Paul’s instruction to Timothy can help with answering those questions. (It’s here where I liked how the Message read.)
“Exercise daily in God.”
“Stay clear of silly stories.”
Our training will make us “fit both today and forever”
“banking on the living God”
At first, the phrase “banking on the living God” struck me as a bit odd. But the more I dwelt on the statement, the more it grew on me…and I saw we could compress it down to one word — abide. Our trust, our hope, our rest, our salvation, our every breath, our existence is from God. We need to hold on to Him (the Vine) with everything we have, growing our strength to hold on by training ourselves in Godliness.
How many of us have grown flabby for lack of spiritual exercise?
Does our walk with God display traits of training? Are we growing in our spiritual strength?
Have we plateaued in our journey of becoming more like Christ?
Did we become comfortable or complacent in our relationship with God?
Each one of us should take a health assessment — asking ourselves these questions and answering honestly. Maybe you don’t like the questions I asked, so let’s go to a more authoritative source.
[Romans 12:9 ESV] Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Is your love genuine, or are you wearing a mask? Do you hate/shun what is evil and only hold on to the good?
[Romans 12:10 ESV] Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Are you loving others as you should…not by the world’s standard but by God’s?
[Romans 12:11 ESV] Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Are you fervently serving the Lord?
[Romans 12:12 ESV] Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Are you joyful, patient…especially when things don’t go your way, are you praying faithfully?
[Romans 12:13 ESV] Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Are you giving…your money/possessions and your time?
[Romans 12:14 ESV] Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Do you turn the other cheek? Bless your enemies?
[Romans 12:15 ESV] Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Do you rejoice with others (or do you let envy take root)? Do you hurt for those who hurt (or do you think they got what they deserved)?
[Romans 12:16 ESV] Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
Do you seek confrontation? Do you consider yourself better than some other people group? Do you think you know enough to not need others to instruct you?
That’s just a few verses to read and measure where you’re at…and where you need to work on.
There are a few more, but I won’t phrase questions…I strongly suggest you make these a subject of prayer. Let the Holy Spirit direct, convict, instruct, and begin your training.
[Romans 12:17 ESV] Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
[Romans 12:18 ESV] If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
[Romans 12:19 ESV] Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
[Romans 12:20 ESV] To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
[Romans 12:21 ESV] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Hey…. c’mon get healthy.
(for those wondering about the song reference …it’s the theme song to The Partridge Family television show – “c’mon get happy”.)