Spiritual Aerobics And Exercise

1 Timothy 4:6-8 (NKJV) "If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. {7} But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. {8} For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."

Anyone in this society can tell you that the exercise industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Everywhere you go, you see all sorts of exercise equipment.

You also find all the necessary accessories to help develop some part of the body or to develop some skill in some sort of sport. Shelves are lined with vitamins and herbs. Sometimes entire stores are dedicated to exercise. Some businesses exist for the purpose of helping people obtain healthy bodies. So much effort goes into the physical bodies of so many people.

It is a shame that they do not consider the spiritual body as equally or even more important. Seems like every new product is either low-fat, low-calorie, low-sodium, or low-sugar. Our society treats those with good healthy bodies in high esteem. Our society says that unless you have a good healthy body, you are repulsive in many respects.

We also have a new vocabulary and new meanings to words used in other ways in the past. Extreme, Jazzercise, Optimize, Rip, Blast, Nail, Stick, "He could go all the way", "Deep!" Aerobicize, Crunchers. etc.

Physical exercise has become so important that it affects all of us in some way, form, or fashion. Even the entertainment industry capitalizes on its uses.

Exercise comes from a greek word which means to practice naked (in the games) or to train and prepare oneself for the battle, or the games.

1128. gumnazo, goom-nad'-zo; from G1131; to practise naked (in the games), i.e. train (fig.):--exercise.

1129. gumnasia, goom-nas-ee'-ah; from G1128; training, i.e. (fig.) asceticism:--exercise.

Notice that this word gives us gymnasium. Also conveys the idea that exercise has an aceticism or inner beauty associated with it. But as always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The word is also translated into discipline in the NASB. This word is also found in:

2 Peter 2:14 (NKJV) "having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children."

Here the word is translated "trained".

Hebrews 12:11 (NKJV) "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

Here the word is translated "chastening".

Hebrews 5:14 (NKJV) "But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

Here the word is translated "exercised"

The Bible teachs us that our culture is backwards====emphasizing the physical instead of the spiritual. The key thought is that even the physical has its rewards for excellence and hard work. Dedication is necessary to be a winner. We must learn from the dedication and zeal demonstrated by worldly people and apply the same fervor and zeal in our efforts to please God. God does not allow for laziness, or hap-hazardness.

Verse 8 teaches that there is nothing wrong with physical exercise and says that it even does some good, but not near as much as exercising the spiritual.

Some do not accept and obey the gospel because they have to give up the good stuff. But the Bible teaches that we will be given even greater stuff, and also in the life to come.

Luke 18:29-30 (NKJV) "So He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, {30} "who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life."

1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV) "For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil."

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; {7} and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV) "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,"

These blessings are in accordance with Bible principles. There are rewards to be received, both in this life and the one to come. But usually, when one thinks of rewards, it is something physical, (money,prize,trophy,etc.).

One of the rewards mentioned in scripture is the crown of life, but there is a price that must be paid. Faithfulness till death.

Revelation 2:10 (NKJV) "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."

We must learn to apply a divine principle in our spiritual lives. We cannot train or prepare for one thing and be ready to do something else. A football player cannot glide across the ice with poise and beauty. A tennis player cannot safely play hockey. And so on.

Galatians 6:7 (NKJV) "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."

Example. Two boxer are challenged to a fight. One trains real hard and the other watches football and eats hot dogs and drinks beer. On fight day, which one do you think will win the match?

In the same way, two "christians" say they are going to heaven. One trains real hard and the other watches football and eats hot dogs and drinks root beer. On judgement day, which one do you think will win the crown?

Spiritual exercise is vital for our growth and development as christians.

Hebrews 5:13-14 (NKJV) "For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. {14} But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

Now we must examine ourselves to see what kind of spiritual exercise program we are involved with and what we are engaged in. Are we giving ourselves the proper kind of food? The proper amount of rest? The study of our opponent and tendencies of behaviour? The correct physical and mental training and discipline? A thorough knowledge of the rules?

Those who are devoted to worldliness are seen in:

Ephesians 4:18-19 (NKJV) "having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; {19} who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."

Those who are devoted to spiritual mindedness are seen in:

Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things."

We must get the proper food that will produce positive results.

1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV) "as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,"

We must work together as a team, and eliminate the individual weaknesses.

Hebrews 10:23-24 (NKJV) "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. {24} And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,"

The worldly minded person will say that Bible study is only for preachers. He says that it is too hard to understand anyway. The worldly minded person feels that if they are not too bad, then they are okay.

The spiritually minded person knows that self discipline is necessary for salvation. They also know that the Bible is to be understood. So they apply themselves to the task at hand and learn what God wants them to know and do.

Ephesians 3:3-4 (NKJV) "how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, {4} by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),"

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NKJV) "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, {4} who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

We must exercise ourselves toward godliness.

Colossians 3:2 (NKJV) "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."

Does the spiritual exercise program you belong to, help you on your way to reaching this greatest of all goals?

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