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Summary: A sermon in 2 parts - how to keep the Body of Christ fit and healthy - applying spiritual lessons from our need for diet and exercise.

DIET & EXERCISE:

A Spiritual Perspective ~ Part II

1. Someone once said: “I don’t exercise at all. If God had wanted me to touch my toes He would have put them up higher on my body.”

• My gym teacher told me to touch my toes. I said, "I don’t have that kind of relationship with my feet. Can I just wave?"

• The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat are really good friends.

• Every time I get the urge to exercise, I lie down till the feeling passes.

• The only reason I would take up exercising is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

• A blonde is terribly overweight, so her doctor puts her on a diet. "I want you to eat regularly for two days, then skip a day, and repeat this procedure for two weeks. The next time I see you, you’ll have lost at least five pounds."

When the blonde returns, she’s lost nearly 20 pounds. "Why, that’s amazing!" the doctor says. "Did you follow my instructions?"

The blonde nods. "I’ll tell you, though, I thought I was going to drop dead that third day."

"From hunger, you mean?" asked the doctor.

"No, from skipping."

2. Last Sunday we commenced a 2-Part series on Diet and Exercise from a Spiritual Perspective. We examined the essential components of a healthy diet - the Proteins, the Carbohydrates, and the Fats and a sufficient quantity of Water and then made application to the spiritual ingredients that help build and nourish the Body of Christ and keep the system healthy.

3. Today, for our workout, we are going to examine the three main types of exercise – AEROBIC or ENDURANCE TRAINING, STRENGTH TRAINING, and FLEXIBILITY TRAINING and we will make the application to how these fitness routines work in the Body of Christ to develop spiritual muscle, spiritual flexibility, and spiritual endurance.

4. As I reflected on each of these three types of exercise, just as each of them benefits many different parts of the body and there is obviously some overlapping, each type has a main target or focus.

• AEROBIC or ENDURANCE TRAINING specifically benefits the heart and lungs

• STRENGTH TRAINING zeros in on strengthening the muscles and the bones

• FLEXIBILITY TRAINING targets the joints and lengthens and tones the muscles

5. As we make the spiritual application, we will be doing the same thing by focusing in on the development of a specific Christian characteristic in each area.

6. So we have had our warm up time, and our time of stretching to loosen up our joints and relax our muscles for the workout. Now since a workout is something you DO and not something you sit and listen to – these are simply some basic instructions given to move us into ACTION.

ENDURANCE TRAINING

1. Aerobic or endurance training strengthens the heart and lungs and provides the body with larger amounts of oxygen-rich blood. As we do this type of workout, our heart and lungs are forced to work harder, and our cardiovascular system is strengthened as we breathe faster, pumping more oxygen into our bloodstream that flows into our muscles to produce energy and develop strength.

• Such exercise also helps burn calories to help us lose weight

• It is good to do some form of aerobic exercise every day – like walking, jogging, cycling, playing tennis, swimming, mopping or scrubbing the floor and so on.

• We can keep up this kind of exercise for several minutes or even hours – enough to work up a good sweat.

• Obviously, the more regularly and frequently we do this kind of workout, the fitter we become and the longer we are able to keep going.

2. So what is it that boosts the flow of God’s life and energy through the Body of Christ and that helps build endurance?

• I would say that it is nothing other than Christ-like love – the kind that Paul describes so eloquently in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

• This is not your mushy-gushy, oozy-woozy, soft and sentimental kind of love – but it is a gutsy, tough and tenacious, purposefully persistent commitment that chooses to seek the well-being of another in spite of their past failures, in spite of their arrogance or rudeness, their irritability or resentfulness, their jealousy or boastfulness.

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