Summary: A topical sermon on spiritual workouts of specific sections of the body (Portions adapted from Dennis Rainey of FamilyLife.com from his book Moments Together for Couples)
Sermon for 4/24/2005
From an advertisement in Time Magazine in 1997- My life is hectic! I’m running all day, meetings, phone calls, paperwork, and appointments. I push myself to the limit, fall into bed exhausted, and get up early the next morning to do it all again. My output is tremendous; I’m getting a lot done. But I get this feeling inside sometimes, “So what? What are you doing that really counts?” I have to admit, I don’t know.
A. In this world many are like this. WE are working hard, long hours and getting a lot done. We are being efficient and running to and fro to get everything in- sports with the children, church activities, groceries to buy, errands to run.
B. In this day and time we are not getting enough exercise. Most jobs today are not as physically demanding as a few generations ago so we also need to take time out and get some exercise to keep up our bodies. We have to make the time to do this. As I look at our society it seems that those who need exercise the most get it the least. They are good at getting up and down and going to the buffet line but they are not interested in any real exercise.
C. If you don’t find time to exercise you’ll have to find time for illness.
D. The Bible encourages us to get some exercise. (1 Tim 4:7 NIV) train yourself to be godly.(1 Tim 4:8 NIV) 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.
E. The Bible tells us to exercise. Take time out to exercise. However, the Bible is more concerned with spiritual exercise. Yes, it does say that physical training, exercise is of some value. This is good. But what is better is spiritual exercise, training to be godly.
B. Dennis Rainey- The fat-farm advertisements finally reached me one Christmas season. After seeing all the television ads showing how to shed those holiday pounds, and after looking in a mirror one morning, guilt got me. So with my bag of sweats and jogging shoes in tow, I dutifully followed those pied pipers of unwanted pounds to the local health club to shed some cellulite (that sounds better than "fat," which just lacks dignity).There I stood in the doorway of this workout room, looking at all these slim and trim, toned and tuned hard bodies. My greatest fear was that they would all look up at me simultaneously and fall to the floor, laughing hysterically.
After enduring the humiliation of walking to the dressing room and getting into my sweat suit (I wish I had arrived already dressed), I couldn’t help but notice the mirrors. They were everywhere. I felt like I was in some sort of narcissistic cathedral. People throughout the room were staring at their bodies. For my part, I carefully ignored the mirrors-I already knew what I looked like.
Then the Scripture above from 1 Timothy hit me. As I began to perspire while working on my "perishing" muscles, I thought about my spiritual muscles and the truth of that Scripture.
Here I was, moving from machine to machine, an out-of-shape, plump glob of midlife molecules, surrounded by the "saints of Muscledonia." But I couldn’t help pondering Paul’s admonition to train ourselves in godliness, and asking whether as a people we are equally concerned about our spiritual conditioning.
That isn’t just "of little profit." It’s of eternal importance.
C. Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 if not already read.
D. We need to go into strict training, not for things that do not last, but for those things that are important. WE need to make sure that what we are doing really counts.
E. Dennis Rainey- I’d like to invent a spiritual workout system with machines similar to those in health spas that can zero in on specific muscles you want to develop. My spiritual spa would be a place with individual stations where muscles of the faith would be purposely developed, a place where we could be intentional about cultivating spiritual stamina.
F. We need to target specific sections of the body.
Thesis: Let’s talk about these workout stations that target specific sections of the body.
A. Bridle the tongue when it is tempted to say harsh words.
(James 3:9 NIV) With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.(James 3:10 NIV) Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
B. Toughen it when it needs to speak out boldly for the Lord.