Summary: To be physically fit requires proper nutrition. The same is true spiritually. The proper nutrition for us as believers is the Word of God.
“Get fit.” That’s the lead story in this month’s Cleveland magazine. Are you in shape spiritually?
“If God had intended for us to touch our toes, He’d have put them on our knees.” “I’m in shape – “Round” is a shape, isn’t it?”
But getting fit is really not a joking matter. I like the idea in this quote much better.
“The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” Lot of us are bleeding because of battles in our marriages, in our relationships with our kids, in the challenges at school and at work because we aren’t in shape. We weren’t ready for the trouble when they came. Why? We haven’t been sweating in training. We just aren’t in shape. We need to “get fit!”
Today, I want to talk to you about…
Food for a spiritually fit life
Fit 4 Life: Part 3
Text: II Timothy 3:16-17, p. 166
Let me remind you that on February 29, we are beginning a new series responding to issues raised by Mel Gibson’s film, “The Passion of the Christ.” The talk on the Sunday after the movie opens will be answering the question “Who really killed Jesus Christ?” I hope you are praying about who you are going to invite. Buy some friends some tickets and take them.
Next week, we’re going wrap up the “fit 4 life” series and we are going to ask you for a 16 week commitment to get fit. We’re going to provide a tool – a booklet – we can use over the next 16 weeks to guide us as a church family. Remember, there are no shortcuts. So, we’re going to ask you to commit to spend time with Jesus by reading His Word and by praying. The first four weeks, we’re going to challenge you to spend at least ten minutes a day with Jesus. The second four weeks, 20. The third four weeks, 40. By May, we’ll be spending 60 minutes a day with Jesus. If enough of us do this, we’ll be a spiritually fit church. You’ll be a spiritually fit dad, mom, teacher, teammate, friend – filled with joy and peace and ready to face the battles to come.
Let’s review where we’ve been in this “Fit 4 Life” series. Two weeks ago, Gary Nave encouraged us to ask…
What does a spiritually fit life look like?
It looks like Jesus’ life – the fruit of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)
What comes out when you are tipped over?
Last week, we asked…
What is keeping me from being spiritually fit?
Sin holds me back. (Eliminate the “donuts”!)
Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily
hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set
before us. Hebrews 12:1b (NLT)
Father, search me.
Jesus, wash me.
Spirit, fill me.
(Illustrate with the cup, the donut, and the pitcher of water.)
Talk about “The Calvary Road.”
What will help me become spiritually fit?
Scripture helps me out. (Eat the right stuff!)
To be physically fit requires proper nutrition. The same is true spiritually. The proper nutrition for us as believers is the Word of God.
Over and over in the Bible, God’s Word is referred to as food. Jesus said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” David wrote in the Psalm 19 that God’s word is sweeter than honey. Peter calls the Bible “spiritual milk.” In Hebrews 5 the Word is called “solid food.” You want to eat the right stuff to be spiritually fit? Get God’s Word into your life!
I’m reminded of a verse in Jeremiah:
Your words were found and I ate them. And Your words became a joy to me and
the happiness of my heart.
Jeremiah 15:16 (NLV)
See what happens when you get God’s word into your heart and life? Get the Bible into your life on a consistent basis and over time, His word will become a joy! There it is! An element of the fruit of the Spirit!
How should I feed on God’s word?
Five ways. Notice the little hand drawn on your notes. If you grab the Bible this way, you will be able to feed yourself spiritually.
We feed on the Word when we hear it. You’re hearing it taught now. Show up on Sundays. And why not take notes? We hope you will write things down that God teaches you. John Zachardelli came up to me a few weeks ago to say “Thanks.” He was looking through some old notes of talks he’d heard here over the years. He’d been fed from the Word of God. He took notes. He was encouraged by how much he’s learned and by how much he’s grown. Just remembering how he’s been hearing of the Word of God put a smile on his face. We feed on the Word when we hear it.