Summary: How to allocate strength from God so that we may live a holy life and build effective relationships with others.
How to Find Real Strength
Open your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 6.
Introduction: This morning I am starting a series entitled “Eight Essential Exercises for Building a Better Body.” Let’s face it, most of us could use a little body building. Most of us are undisciplined, soft, out of shape and ill-prepared for any kind of real contest or struggle. In fact, most of us would be easily defeated by an opponent with just a little strength.
With that hard fact firmly in focus, we all would probably admit that we could use a little tuning up. We need some body-building. We need to improve our bodies.
Now, I’m not simply talking about our physical bodies. Although the statements I just read are probably true for most of us physically, and although it is unhealthy, even dangerous to be out of shape, flabby and weak, there is a greater danger we face.
You may be asking yourself, “If the pastor isn’t talking about the physical body, then what body is he talking about?” I am talking about the body of relationships you are involved in daily.
The relationship between you and your spouse
The relationship between you and your children
The relationship between you and your parents
The relationship between you and your brothers or sisters
The relationship between you and your co-workers
The relationship between you and the other parents at little-league
The relationship between you and the person sitting in the seat next to you this morning.
The “body” of relationships that make up our church, which is called “The Body of Christ.”
This body of relationships that we all have is the context in which we live life. Now, I don’t know about you, but I tend to think that life can be kind of difficult at times. Life is often hard. But we don’t have to just endure life, we can thoroughly enjoy it and live it to the fullest. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 “…I came that everyone would have life and have it in it’s fullest.”
The full life that Christ came to give us starts in a personal relationship with him, and it is daily lived out in the context of the relationships we have with others, inside the church, inside the home, inside the office, etc. Jesus wants us to live the full life and he gave his very life so that we can do just that. It is His free gift, offered to us. However, to truly experience all the fullness that he offers to us, we need to make sure that the body of relationships we live in is a healthy body. That’s why we’re going to spend the next eight (8) weeks considering the essential exercises for building a better body.
These exercises, or principles, for building a better body are found in the Bible, God’s Word to us. The biblical principles I am going to look at over the next eight (8) weeks can be applied to our relationship within the local church and they can be applied to our relationships with our families. These principles can be applied to any of the relationships you have, at church, at home, at work, on the athletic field, at school, whatever. These biblical principles, these eight exercises can be applied to every relationship you have. In fact, they are essential exercises if you want to build healthier, stronger relationships.
Now, since these are Biblical principles, or principles based upon what the Bible teaches, then the first thing we need to do is to look at the Bible and see what it says to us regarding these eight essential exercises.
Look with me at Ephesians chapter 6, verses 10-18. We’re going to look at this passage of scripture with an eye toward building a better body.
Ep. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ep. 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ep. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ep. 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ep. 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
Ep. 6:15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
Ep. 6:16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.