Summary: This is the first sermon in a series called "The Seven Steps to Spiritual Health and Fitness."

Series: Seven Steps to Spiritual Fitness.

Sermon #1 "How to Put John 3:16 into Practice."

A few years ago the Surgeon General released a report on the Physical Fitness and Health of Americans. He said that most Americans are overweight and out of shape. And he stressed that the key to good health and physical fitness is plenty of exercise, a balanced nutritional diet, and a proper amount of rest. I’m glad that the Surgeon General’s Office is telling people that it’s important to stay Physically Fit, but their report is lacking. They didn’t mention that we have a body AND a soul - therefore, there’s a spiritual side to us as well. And it’s even more important to stay Spiritually Fit. The Surgeon General tells us how to stay physically Fit, while the Bible tells us how to stay spiritually fit.

For the next few weeks, I want us to look at, what I call "The Seven Steps to Spiritual Fitness." We’ll look at these seven steps one at a time - beginning with the first.

If you want to get Spiritually Healthy and stay spiritually fit then you must, first of all, put John 3:16 into practice. If you don’t do this, then everything else you do will be wasted. You’ll never be spiritually healthy, you’ll never get your soul "in shape", and you’ll die in your sins. So this is the first and MOST IMPORTANT key when it comes to staying spiritually fit.

John 3:16 reveals three important truths that will change your life for the better. Please notice . . .

I. The LIFE God Offers.

He offers . . .

A. Eternal Life (John 3:16)

That is, a life that lasts forever, a life that never ends, a life that death can never take away.

That’s how it will be in Heaven. You’ll face each day knowing that you and those around you will never grow old and die - because God gives eternal life.

Somebody says, "Who wants to live forever? It’ll eventually get boring." Not the life that God offers. He offers eternal life and he offers . . .

B. An Exciting Life.

Matthew 25:31 tells us that on the day of judgment, Jesus will say to faithful believers, ""Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!" (NIV)

"Come and share your master’s happiness." That’s one of my favorite descriptions of Heaven. God doesn’t tell us everything there is to know about Heaven, but He does tell us, over and over, that it is a place of happiness, celebration, and festivity - and it will be an exciting life.

Somebody says, "That’s good and fine, but I need something that will help me in the here and now." Then you need the kind of life God offers. He offers eternal life, an exciting life, and . . .

C. An Abundant Life.

In John 10:10, Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (NIV). In other words, "I have come to give you life and to help you live it to the fullest." That’s exactly what happens when you come to Christ and you start following Him. He helps you make the most out of life and to live it to the fullest.

What kind of life does God offer? In essence, He offers the kind of life you and I need.

Somebody says, "That’s good, but tell me why. Why does God offer this kind of life?

I’m glad you asked that question because it brings us to the second truth . . .

II. The LOVE God Has.

Why does God offer this kind of life? Simply because He loves us. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world . . ."

This is one of the greatest truths in all of the Bible. The Creator of the Universe, the Greatest Person in Existence, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob loves the world.

The word "world" doesn’t refer to our planet. It refers to the people on our planet: you, me, and everyone else!

Keep in mind that God doesn’t love us because we deserve it. Heavens no! We are sinners and the Bible says the wages of sin is death! We don’t deserve God’s love and eternal life. We deserve His wrath and eternal death. But thankfully, He loves us, even though we don’t deserve it.

God doesn’t love us because of who we are. If you want to get a good picture of the what the human race is really like, then read Romans 3:9-18. But I warn you, it isn’t pretty. It paints a picture of a wicked and evil people. God doesn’t love us because of who we are. He loves us because of WHO HE IS. God is love - and that’s why He loves us. He loves us because it’s part of His nature!

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