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Summary: If we don’t use our faith we could lose it.

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USE IT OR LOSE IT

II Pet. 2:20-21

INTRO.- ILL.- Neon pink shorts and pink running shoes. What would you think of a guy who runs in

these? You might think he was either gay or else he just didn’t care what other people thought.

GUESS WHO RAN IN THEM? I’ll give you two guesses and the first one doesn’t count.

Rick Vicenzi, a deacon in the First Christian Church of Anna, IL, saw me in those pink shoes and shorts

one time during a race and commented, “Any man who would wear those is certainly sure of his masculinity.” And I thought, “Thank you very much,” because I was quite sure of my masculinity. And

still am.

It may be not much masculinity, but it’s still masculinity. I just happen to like the color pink, however, I like red better and I always ran faster in red.

ILL.- After winning the over-40 division (called Master’s division) in a half-marathon in Nashville, TN, my picture appeared the next week in the Democrat/Gazette newspaper of Anna, IL. The next day I received a phone call from a lady preacher in town, who said, “Hey, I just wanted you to know that

you’ve got a great-looking pair of legs.”

And I said, “Thank you very much.” No, I don’t even remember what I said. I was so taken back by her remark I didn’t know what to say.

Brethren, believe it or not, at one time my legs were very strong and muscular from running all the time. BUT THEY’RE NOT ANY MORE!

I haven’t run since 1995. In the spring of 1995 my doctor diagnosed my right hip with osteoarthritis.

From then on it was all downhill. I couldn’t run and my walking even deteriorated to a limp.

I limped for three years before finally giving in and having my hip replaced. And just before my surgery

on April 15th I discovered something else about my body. MY RIGHT LEG HAD ATROPHIED!

My right leg had shrunk as a result of three years of limping. I WAS A FREAK! Of course, some people

thought that all along. Some still do.

Brethren, the old axiom applies: USE IT OR LOSE IT!

The principle is this: If you don’t keep on using your body and using your muscles in various forms of work and exercise, you will lose a certain amount of muscle tone. THEY WILL ATROPHY!

ILL.- A man who was having a great deal of trouble in life and was really becoming frustrated and discouraged, said, “It’s enough to make a man lose his religion.”

A friend observed, “NO, IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE IT SHOULD MAKE A MAN USE HIS RELIGION.”

Whenever we are faced with some difficulty in life we will either turn away from the Lord or turn to Him. We will either use lose our religion or use it. I prefer to use it.

Use it or lose it. If we don’t continue using our faith, i.e. living by faith, then there is a good possibility it won’t be there whenever we are faced with some serious trouble in life.

And living by faith in the Lord is the only way I know how to effectively cope with life’s difficulties!

Use it or lose it. Generally, the principle can be applied to almost everything in life.

PROP.- In this message I want to talk about three areas where we must “use it or lose it.”

1- Use your body or lose it

2- Use your faith or lose it

3- Use your church or lose it

I. USE YOUR BODY OR LOSE IT

ILL.- Baseball pitcher Dizzy Dean was the first to admit that he wasn’t that smart. On being enshrined

in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953, he said, “I want to thank the good Lord for giving me a strong right arm, a strong back, and a weak mind.”

Brothers and sisters, no matter what you’ve been given: a strong arm or a weak arm, a strong back or

a weak back, a strong mind or a weak mind, it still comes from God!

There are definitely some things that we don’t like about our bodies. If most of us had the opportunity

to change something about bodies, we’d do it! Few of us are truly satisfied with what we’ve been given.

That’s why we fix up, paint up, color up, doll up, dress up, and jump up! Or something like that.

Why do you think runners run? It’s not because they like to run. It’s because they don’t like their

bodies. They are trying to reshape their bodies. That’s also why guys lift weights!

Regardless of what kind of body you have, it comes from God.

Ps. 139:13-14 “For you (God) created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

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