home > Pastor’s Desk > 2023 > January 20th > 3 EXERCISES THAT WILL MAKE YOU HEALTHIER, FITTER, & STRONGER, Part 2

Part 2, Nutritional eating

A healthy lifestyle involves regular vigorous exercise (aerobic exercise) – such as long brisk walk, a competitive game of tennis, or a 30-minute jog – and, eating a healthy diet. In Part 1, I drew the parallel to how we maintain our physical health with how we can contribute to our spiritual health. In particular I pointed out that just as doing aerobic exercise delivered more oxygen into our blood stream, so too does developing our times of prayer add spiritual oxygen into our soul. In this instalment, I am going to draw parallels with maintaining a healthy diet of eating fresh fruit and vegetables, cutting down on sugared and processed foods, and how our spiritual diet. Too many Christians have poor diets. I hope to encourage you not to be one of them. 

 

A HEALTHY DIET OF SOUL FOOD

Your words were found, and I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your Name,
O LORD, God of hosts.
Jeremiah 15:16

Just as good physical health requires healthy eating so too does our spiritual health. In a moment of extreme physical hunger Jesus rebuked the devil with these words about the source of true (spiritual) food:

But He answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:4

At another stage Christ told His bewildered disciples that He had a secret source of energy-giving, soul-strengthening, food that they knew nothing about: 

But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”
So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him something to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.
John 3:32-34

 What Christ told His disciples reveals that the Scriptures are a necessary spiritual exercise for His followers that requires not just reading, but importantly, heeding.

 

EXERCISE #2: ANAEROBIC BIBLE HEEDING

In Part 1 I discussed the vital role that  oxygen intake has for physical health and linked it to the role that praying plays in being a follower of Christ. Exercises that demand increased oxygen intake are designated as aerobic exercises. Exercises that do not ordinarily result in puffing are referred to as anaerobic exercises. This includes exercises such as weight-lifting or resistance exercises (using heavy ropes or thick large rubber bands). Spiritually, this is analogous to how the follower of Christ depends on the Word of God to develop his or her spiritual strength. 

My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
Psalm 119:28

As we read through the Gospels we see Jesus quoting the Scriptures, teaching from the Scriptures, explaining the Scriptures, and boldly declaring that the Scriptures were about Him:  

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction,
that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:4

Here’s how you can practice this spiritual exercise –

  1.  Start reading the New Testament of the Bible each day.
  2.  Pray to God to help you to understand and obey His Word, the Bible.
  3.  Take a physical Bible to church and take notes on what was preached to help you retain what was taught.
  4.  Consider commencing a Bible study course such as The Christian Life Certificate.
  5.  Supplement your Bible reading with a good Bible commentary such as Matthew Henry’s.
  6.  Teach someone else what you have learned (teaching is the best way to learn!).
  7.  Close your prayer with worship seeking God for Him to be glorified in your life. 

If you are really pressed for time, then join me on YouTube each day I do a daily Bible reading and go through the entire Bible in one year. If you don’t understand why the Bible is so important for the follower of Christ, then please have a look at my explanatory video here.

In my next Pastor’s Desk I’ll share Spiritual Exercise #3. In the meantime, happy reading.

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

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