Life According to … Week 24 Fitness by Crossing Barriers Ministry

How many of you participate in those 5K Fun Runs? I used to but I was the photographer.  How many go to the gym, go for a run, or work out at home?  I used to but lost interest and then sold the equipment. Seriously though, how many of you think you are fit?  How does fit connect with family and faith?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Two weeks ago, we started a new series titled “Life According to…”. It is a five-part series and each week we will learn one secret of life and as we move forward how each secret relates to the other.

The first week of the series we learn the first secret and the anchor is “Faith”.  Nothing happens less you have faith. Then last week, we learned about the second secret of life – Family.  We discovered that families started back in the book of Genesis with Adam & Eve.  This makes us descendants of Adam & Eve, but we also belong to God.

Oxford Dictionary defines fitness as “the condition of being physically fit and healthy” or “ the quality of being suitable to fulfill a role or task”. Obviously, someone out of shape may not be able to pass to become a firefighter.

Proverbs 10:17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: But he that refuseth reproof erreth.

The two points to be made here are to have a disciplined life and if you ignore correction, you are lost for good. Those that have a regular regimen will stay fit and healthy (make a note here that no matter what you do to say fit, you still may get sick) but you lose your way and chances are there is no coming back. 

Do you think that ball players just do nothing the few months they are off before returning to spring training?

Now let’s look at another type of fitness.  How about your mental fitness?  This can be defined as having and maintaining a state of well-being and cultivating awareness of how we think, behave, and feel. Just as physical fitness provides us with an increased ability to respond to life in all its richness, mental fitness helps in the same way. Just as physical fitness helps our bodies to stay strong, mental fitness helps us to achieve and sustain a state of good mental health. When we are mentally healthy, we enjoy our life and environment, and the people in it. We can be creative, learn, try new things, and take risks

Mental fitness is our daily challenge that our brain has been trained to handle daily stresses without feeling overwhelmed, upset, or worried.  Remember, this is mental fitness we are talking about and not mental health.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Mental fitness is fear, or some may call cowardice.  Timothy may have been fearful to fulfill his duties because of a timid personality and the intense opposition he faced from false teachers. Paul reminds Timothy that such fear does not come from God’s Spirit.

Mental fitness needs power. In this context, power refers to courage to fulfill his ministerial duties, namely, the proclamation of the gospel.

Mental fitness includes love, the greatest of the Christian virtues.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Suggested ways to prevent your mental fitness getting out of hand:

  • spend time with friends, loved ones and people you trust
  • talk about or express your feelings regularly
  • reduce alcohol consumption
  • avoid illicit drug use
  • keep active and eat well
  • develop new skills and challenge your capabilities
  • relax and enjoy your hobbies
  • set realistic goals
  • take time out
  • get enough sleep.

It makes it hard on us when we hold feelings in or try and navigate with less than required amount of sleep on a regular basis.  Remember we are commanded in the bible to take our problems to the Lord.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

The third type of fitness we are going to look at today would be spiritual fitness which is what our scripture reading relates to.

Spiritual Fitness is the beliefs and practices that strengthen your connectedness with sources of hope, meaning, and purpose.  Spiritual fitness relates to our ability to develop core beliefs, highest principles, and ultimate values, and if we can live our life accordingly.

Starts off with “All scriptures” which refers to the totality of scripture or to every passage of scripture. 

It goes on to say, “Inspiration of God” or “inspired by God” to mean “God breathed”. Paul is using this to assure Timothy that scripture is in fact, from God. Although God used people to produce the scriptures, their ultimate origins come from God.

2 Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

By contrast, the false teaching that Timothy opposed comes from evil forces who spread their doctrine through errant teachers. Paul is merely warning Timothy to guard the gospel message against false teaching.

1 Timothy 1:3-7 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Spiritual fitness must be profitable.  In other words, scriptures need to be valuable because it corrects false teachings while making believers live Godly lives.

Scripture needs to be for teaching.  This was Timothy’s primary task in Ephesus.

1 Timothy 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

Scripture needs to be used for correction.  It allows believers to grow in Godly behavior.

Spiritual fitness needs to be training in righteousness.  Scripture describes what is right or what is in accordance with godliness.

Scripture is equipped for every good work.  This is what makes scripture profitable or valuable. Paul reminds Timothy that Scripture helps believers fulfill the work of the ministry. It is therefore a gift to His people.

God has not left Timothy or the believers in Ephesus to do good works on their own; He has provided them with Scripture and each other, all for doing good works in Christ Jesus.

Physical fitness obeys God, gives you time with family and keeps you going.  Mental fitness keeps the stress out of your life and those of you family and allows your more time to concentrate on God.  Finally, spiritual fitness allows us to stay on track with our faith and be godly with ourselves and the family.

So where is your fitness?  All three of them?

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