1 Timothy 4:8 “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.”
A recent online article caught my eye. It was entitled: ‘Can exercise slow aging?’ It was an interesting read. It seems that active people have cells that look younger on a molecular level than those of us who may be couch potatoes. The bottom line is that there is strong evidence to show that exercise may stave off aging. People who exercise regularly, look and feel younger and actually live longer.
The Apostle Paul spoke about physical training in his first letter to Timothy and noted that while physical training has some value, godliness is of even greater value. He was talking about the exercise of being close to God through prayer and the study of the Word.
Pastors who talk about ‘Church growth’ are usually referring to numerical growth – getting more members for the Church. But I believe that when the Bible talks about ‘Church growth’ it refers to spiritual growth. We are directed to grow in our knowledge of God and faith in God. The task of adding more believers to the Church belongs to God. Our Church growth task is to grow in our relationship with God in Christ.
Our individual task of growth with Jesus comes through worship, prayer and study of God’s Word. This is our ‘spiritual exercise’ if you want to see it that way. I once heard of a book entitled ‘Working Out with the Word of God’ and it reminded me that we all need a daily ‘workout’ with God.
In today’s world there is so much emphasis on being physically fit. Perhaps many of you have been influenced by the drive to ‘get into shape.’ The benefits of entering into a physical fitness program are many. You will have a healthier body and probably live longer. You will have more stamina. You will look better, feel better about yourself, and be able to relate to others with more confidence.
While it is good to be concerned with physical training, it is even better to be concerned with spiritual training. We are not only physical beings, but we have a spiritual dimension to our lives.
Yes, with good physical fitness we will live longer and ultimately die with a healthier body, but spiritual fitness impacts our life beyond the grave.
Is ‘spiritual fitness’ a priority for you? Give it some thought . . .