SPIRITUAL ATROPHY 

 

How is your soul muscle?

 

In these days of rigorous physical workouts we need to be aware that our soul needs to be fit as well. Physical fitness has become a religion in our culture. Here are statements that lead me to say this:

“Can’t miss a workout”

“Have to run a little faster”

“Need to buy these better shoes”

“Hope I don’t pull a muscle”

“Can’t put on any weight

 

We are in danger of putting so much emphasis on the physical that can we miss on what is most important in life. Don’t get me wrong–it feels good to be in shape! Taking care of ourselves may help prevent decline in health, reduce medical expenses and extend quality of life. But as scripture says, “for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” I Timothy 4:8

 

 

I am not suggesting anyone stop working out. What I am suggesting is that we put as much time (or more!) into the development of our spiritual lives. Satan wants to keep us from getting into the Word and spending time in prayer so that he can hamstring us spiritually and make us ineffective. Be careful.

 

If it was possible to measure spiritual muscle, how would it measure up to our physical muscle?  What is most important to you?

 

Have you ever lived life to get it over with?



You may be asking what I mean by that statement. Part of the answer is that we can easily get into a mode of living life to get the day over with rather than seeing each day as a gift orchestrated by God.

 

We may have a tight schedule or tough appointment ahead of us and we hold our breath to get through it. I think this can be pretty natural. At least it has been for me.

 

When we are facing tough conversations or uncomfortable situations, it may be that God does not want us to live in our own natural ability, but rather in His supernatural care; to rely on him in all situations.

 

There are going to be tough days that are no fun. In fact, they may be very painful.  But do we believe that God is able to use those times to mature us in our faith? Do we see them as annoying or do we see them as God-given opportunities to grow and learn?

 

Our human nature will typically avoid conflict and by no means should our lives be about creating conflict for others. My challenge to all of us is to embrace tough times as part of the process that God uses to mature us into people He can use for HIS kingdom.

 

This is a shift in the way we naturally think. God is allowing this current situation so that, although I may be nervous about the problem, I can approach it with the thought that God has my back and will use the process. These situations are divine appointments!

 

Matthew 10:29-30

“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

 

Hebrews 12:2

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of Go

5 HUMAN NEEDS…


RECENTLY I WAS INVITED TO SIT ON A SESSION HELD BY LYLE WELLS. WHAT A GREAT COMMUNICATOR!

 

THE FOLLOWING WAS PART OF THE PRESENTATION GIVEN BY LYLE AS PART OF“THE FLIPPEN GROUP”.

 

HERE IS JUST A SMALL PORTION OF WHAT LYLE SHARED:

 

THEY HAVE DISCOVERED THAT THERE ARE 5 THINGS WE ALL NEED AS HUMANS:

 

1.   SECURITY

2.   COMMUNITY

3.   CLARITY

4.   AUTHORITY

5.   DIGNITY

 IT IS SO COOL HOW JESUS DEALS WITH EACH OF THESE!

 SO, RATHER THAN SPOON FEED YOU THIS WEEK, HERE IS MY CHALLENGE:

SEARCH YOUR BIBLE AND FIND VERSES THAT PARALLEL WHAT IS LISTED ABOVE.

 

JESUS IS THE ANSWER!

 

PURE EVIL


If you could legally kill someone, who might that be? There, I should have your attention…ha-ha.

 

Another question: When you think of Pure evil, who comes to mind? (Other than Satan)

 

I am rereading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and have been very hooked on chapter 8 of the book. Here are just a few quotes from that chapter on Pride.

 

“According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride.”

 

“Now what you want to get clear is that Pride is essentially competitive-is competitive by its very nature-while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.”

 

“…a proud man will take your girl from you, not because he wants her, but just to prove to himself that he is a better man than you.”

 

“Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”

 

“Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good-above all, that we are better than someone else-I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil. The real test of being in the presence of God is, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether.”

 

So, back to the first two questions. Look them over again this week and see why you have such thoughts.

 

Trials…

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2ff


The US Track and Field trials to determine who will be selected for Rio start today. The GB trials were last weekend and for some the European Championships will serve as a second set of trials in some events for GB athletes. It is a particularly stressful time for those involved.

When thinking of what to write on this subject, I thought of using James 1 as a joke but as I looked at it, it seemed strangely appropriate. Of course, when James writes about facing trials, he did not have in mind Olympic selection trials! However, his advice seems so relevant..

How should an athlete face trials this week? (And if you are not an athlete, you can apply it to whatever else is happening in your life).

WITH JOY – This week someone asked our 90 year old queen how she was, she replied “I am alive”. What a joy it is to be alive and to have the talent and opportunity to compete. To be among the best in your event in the country is something to be joyful and thankful about. Don’t let stress rob you of that joy.

WELCOME THE TEST – the trials will test your ability to run/jump/throw to the best of your ability when it really matters. Welcome the opportunity to test your ability in a tough environment. Welcome too the chance to develop your character. I recently asked an American athlete for his view of the US Trials system. He replied: “It’s a love hate thing! I love it because if you get through the trials you are on a good trajectory to make the final of whatever championship it is. The mental toughness which it takes, carries over for the rest of your life

”.TRY TO DEVELOP PERSEVERANCE – perseverance, keeping going to the end is an important Christian virtue which will help you in sport and in life.

REMEMBER THAT YOUR VALUE IS NOT DETERMINED BY THE TRIALS – you are created by God and redeemed by Jesus. You are significant and loved by God. You are a professional athlete and of course you want to give it 100% to get to the Olympics. But if you don’t, you are no less significant.

Stewart Weir

Focus….

​Everyone needs a vacation, right? I do anyway! With that in mind I will be taking the next two weeks off and posting blogs from trusted friends. Here is the first!

I’m one of those people who likes things clarified. (I can hear my siblings laughing right now.  I’m laughing too!) The Pharisees were trying to test Jesus. -silly. His response brought great clarification, just in case you needed some today. 

“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second one is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.'” It’s time to be all in with Jesus. Our focus for today.

Julie Kinzer

WHAT IS TRUTH?

Pilate said, “So you are a king?”

Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. John 18:37-38

 This is a question that man has been wrestling with for ages. Is something true only if we believe it and act upon it?

 

In C.S. Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity, he has this to say about truth:

 “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth-only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with, and in the end, despair.”

 So my question today is one that was asked by Pilate. What is truth?  Is Jesus truth? For some of you this will be a difficult question to answer. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”(John 14:6) Is he a liar? Or is Jesus who he says he is?