Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Pump It Up!

1 Timothy 4:8

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.

82015 RayMuch is said at this time of the year about staying physically fit.  The fall and winter – when outside activities slow and gym memberships are pushed – is a prime time to look at our diets and our exercise plans.  Many will wait until the New Year to make resolutions – some will begin now before Thanksgiving trying to make a plan. What about our spiritual shape?

Do we have an ideal weight for our physical body?  Are we taking steps to reach that ideal weight?  Are we exercising – dieting – working to draw closer to that ideal?  Or have we given up?  Some friends and family are into Fitbit trackers and trying to get the most steps they can each day.

Are there things we would like to be able to do in the physical world?  Would we like to run a marathon?  Would we like to ride in a 100-mile bike run?  Would we like to hike up a mountain?  If so – sisters and brother – most of us simply need to pump it up – working up to such an event.

Olympians and professional athletes – as gifted as they might be physically – do train.  Some have dedicated their whole lives to being able to compete at the level they compete now.

Have we ever set spiritual goals?  Like how much of the Bible we could read in a month or a year.  How about setting aside time to pray – to do devotions – or exercise our spiritual self?

Pumping_up_with_Hans_and_FranzHow much time do we put into our spiritual shape?  Is it a lifetime effort or does it get small amounts of time here and there?  Oh what God could do with a church that set aside time to become spiritually mature and in shape – to pump it up – spiritually.

Most physical or spiritual plans fail because we try to change our condition overnight.  We set goals that are only reachable with super effort.  We fail because most of us are not willing to put that much effort into much of anything.  We need to set reachable goals so that the positive encourages us.

For instance – adding five minutes (or doing five minutes) to our daily devotion time each month would be doable for most people.  If we did this – in a year – we would be doing an hour more or an hour of devotion a day.  An hour seems like a lot of time – if we tried to do it all at once – but by simply adding 5 minutes a month to our daily devotion – it sneaks up on us.

Developing a prayer life might seem overwhelming with all that needs to be prayed about in the world around us – even in our own lives.  What if we determined to add five things a month to our prayer list?  Again – in a year – we would be praying for 60 more things during our devotional time.

Deciding to read the Bible through from cover to cover seems like a large task.  But if we do it a few verses a day – as some yearly Bible reading plans suggest – it can be done in a few minutes each day.

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 – 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

What is our plan to pump it up?  I am personally not satisfied with my physical or spiritual shape.  There is much room for growth and improvement in each.  It can be overwhelming if I try to go from point now to point where we want to be – but taking it one step at a time we can reach our goals.  God – give us the courage to try.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way!

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November 16, 2015 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , ,

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