Tag Archives: exercise

Faith is Not Routine

There is nothing routine about God! We like things neat, tidy and wrapped with a bow… but God’s not on a schedule, and there’s no such thing as time in Heaven.

Text: Ephesians 3:16-19

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Four verses, one sentence and a lot of goodness that we need to understand. And by the way, nothing common, ordinary or routine. Because just when we think we have God figured out, He goes and does beyond anything we could ever imagine.

When we think we can’t take anymore, He allows more. Just to prove to us that we’re stronger than we think, and that we need Him more than ever.

Exercise routines are good… I’m lousy at them, but they’re very good. They strengthen the body the same way trials strengthen our spirit when our faith is exercised. It builds faith muscles when we’re pushed outside our comfort zone. Praise God it’s not routine. They don’t happen every day, if they did, we’d likely give up. God never puts things on us to cause us to quit, He wants us to understand how far His love extends and how far He’ll go down this road with us. All the way to the end of this road, when eternity begins.

Paul said that the love of Christ “passeth” our knowledge. We can’t imagine the depth of it. It’s like the bible school song many of us sang, “Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.” And remember the second verse, when we’d add the Mmmm… in place of the words. I thought a lot about that today, and how the writer of that song may have been inspired by the fact that the depth and width of God’s fountain of overflowing love is indescribable.

After this weekend, where 30 people were killed by the wicked devices of this world, we need to remember that love. Those people were just living life, not waging war, and yet they were killed. That is a level of evil most of us, praise God, cannot understand either. We can’t imagine the frame of mind of those murderous individuals. But it’s not hard to understand the feeling of hopelessness that many people in this world face because they’ve never experienced the “fullness of God.”

Our church just came out of revival. Our annual tent meeting. A yearly scheduled event we call revival. But that’s not the revival God wants. Paul lived in a state of revival, not because life was roses, but because he was constantly under persecution and threat of death. That will cause you to get your priorities in check, quickly! A look around us should remind us of our need for bold exercised faith.

I kind of figure there was a time the very disciplined Paul lived a routine. But when Jesus blinded him along the road, Paul’s routine life went right out the window. And he became a man who lived in the moment.

In the last two verses of Chapter 3 of Ephesus Paul writes this:

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

He reminds us all that God can and will do far more than we ask or think, but He just won’t do it and hand it too us on a silver platter; He does it through us and through our church body. And He does it for His glory!

What are you going to do this week for the cause? Are you in revival, or are you a walking corpse waiting for the upper taker. Be alive in Christ Jesus and working for His cause. He is worthy!!

How To Find Strength For the Day

chick sense

I don’t know how it goes for you on the brink of a new day but for me it goes something like this.

  1. I wake up.
  2. Satan starts messing with my head.
  3. God says, “Shari, come to my room. He’s not allowed in here.”

Where’s God’s room? Just down the hall from mine. It’s a pink door with my name inscribed in gold, there’s also a black door, burgundy door, even a digital door. God’s high tech you know. It’s the Word of God, and in my house it can be found in various colors and forms and in my only preferred version, the King James. That for me is God’s room, the only place that I can make sense of the day and find strength for the day.

The writer of Hebrews said in the last verse of chapter 5, But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (vs.14)

Exercised senses? I’ve been in the process of bodily exercise to try to reshape this shape of mine for a few months now and its hard work, especially for this aging woman. But the writer, who is believed by many to be the Apostle Paul, says that the strong meat (the Word of God) belongs to those who are “full age.” Those who have grown up! Those who have used the Word of God in a disciplined fashion to discern (recognize) good from evil.

There is some serious truth in that one verse (and all the verses proceeding and following it) But for the sake of this morning and getting you and I off to a good start let’s just unpack this one verse.

Carrying the Word of God is not for the faint at heart

Just like building muscle takes repetitive strengthening exercises, strengthening the spirit takes spiritual exercise and discipline. Being full of age has nothing to do with the physical age you are, but rather the spiritual age. How much weight can you carry? If the world were to heap a few thousand pounds of grief on you today are you prepared to carry the load? Not unless you own the gospel; and by own the gospel I mean that you walk in the confidence of the Word of God, having read your portion for the day, seeking the wisdom of God that you might walk in His strength.

Using the Word of God is not for the feeble in mind

Discerning good from evil is sometimes the splitting of hairs and at other times it’s the splitting of wood. Both are tedious, one takes focus, the other brute strength. The decisions you face today may take some serious consideration for direction, or the opposition you face today may take great strength to defend yourself. The writer to the Hebrews knew that when he penned verse 14. Many of them were trying to live life being spoon fed the gospel in the form of milk rather than meat.

They probably attended services…well at least once a week. But when they relied on others to give them the Word of God rather than reading and studying for themselves, it was like hiring their exercise out. Wouldn’t that be awesome! Yes, and totally non-beneficial. In many churches the preacher has to be as strong as an ox because he’s doing everyone’s fitness routine! It’s not until the body or day is in crisis that they turn to the Word of God, but because they haven’t picked it up in a month of Sunday’s it’s heavy and hard to understand. If they’d have read it every day the words would have built spiritual strength within them and the trials and troubles they faced could have been fought off with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Glory! That runs joy through my veins to think that in reading and studying even this one verse this morning God has strengthened my spirit!

Good and Evil. They’re both out there and one will win today’s battle. Here’s a few training exercises:

Isaiah 40:28-31 – STRENGTHEN YOURSELF (READ THE WORD)

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 – STRENGTHEN OTHERS (SHARE THE WORD)

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

And it never hurts to wear cute exercise outfits! Have a blessed day!

Exercise Don’t Come Easy

exercise

Ecclesiastes 1:13 ~ And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Ol’ Solomon. Or so tradition has it. Some believe Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon in his youth, the book of Proverbs in his middle age, and the book of Ecclesiastes when he was old. His entire life he’d given to search out the wisdom of God, and it was often a burdensome feat.

I get that. Especially this week, only it’s not a burdensome feat, but rather burdensome feet that have got me in sore travail. Another crazy antic in the life of Shari found me in nothing less than a Physical Education teacher class with PE teachers being trained to implement SPARK curriculum. Shari… the blogger… who exercises her mind, not her body, although I should have been. Shari… the out of shape blogger has had 3 six hours days of jumping, dancing, hoola hooping… (don’t go there, not a pretty image) and now has a sore heel due to the “cute” little flat sandals I wore the first day, not knowing I was going to be actually in this class, not just helping to set it up.

How much better it would have been had I been studied up. Or at least thinner.

I fear there will be those taking the tests of life, and especially the final, unprepared and sore vexed for answers from their lack of exercise of faith. Solomon himself said it was a hard task to study the things of God, even before the days of Facebook and Twitter and all the other gadgets and activities that consume our time. How much more now… are these gadgets and activities a trial or blessing. We need time to prepare.

It’s not only preachers who need to “study to show themselves approved” (2 Timothy 2:15). Studying scripture is not for the bible scholar, although they need it, but for every common man, woman and child so that when the trials of life come upon them they’ve had an exercised faith that’s ready for the work out. Someone dies, someone’s ill, financial struggle, broken hearts and all of life’s frustrations are covered in the training manual. And practiced in the lives of saints if you’ll watch them every day.

During this training a young man sat down at our breakfast table before the day started and out of the corner of my eye I watched him bow his head and bless his food. He not only had trained his body, but trained his mind in Spiritual things as well. I was so grateful! I had wondered that morning if my own faith would be understood that day, and God sent another of his warriors to the table as if to say… you’re not alone Shari.

Perhaps to day you’re in the midst of exercise of faith. Train on. God will strengthen you in the trial.

So… what if today you stood before God taking the final, are you prepared? Would you have the answer if He ask, “Why should I allow you to enter Heaven?”

I’ll even give you a cheat sheet. The answer would be given by Christ when He said, “They’re mine. They’ve claimed Me as their Savior, trusted me for their Salvation. They ask me into their heart at the age of _____.”

Could you fill in the blank? If not you’ve failed, and that’s one exam you can’t afford to fail, because there’s not a do-over. Eternity in Hell will be the penalty.

A loving God will not make you prepare, it’s your choice. I hope you’ve made it! If you’d like to know more or you’re unsure, follow this link: http://thejesuschick.com/the-road-to-salvation/

Getting fit in the faith!

There are so many times yet today that I feel like a babe in Christ. I’ll read what I suppose to be the simplest of verses and discover how very rich every small word that Christ says is, and how needful it is that I don’t take it for granted. It’s why I don’t miss out on any opportunity to be taught, to have my senses “exercised.” That’s why I’m in Lexington, Virginia with some “Sista Chicks!” We traveled 200 miles and a hundred giggles to get to this place of aerobic worship. (Aerobic exercise increases oxygen, Jesus is the breath of life, therefore it’s aerobic worship!) I want to exercise my faith that it might get stronger, increasing endurance for the journey of life.

Hebrews 5:11-14 ~ Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

I don’t ever want those verses read of me; that I’m a milk baby! But I’ve met my fair share of Christians in my day who are content in infancy. They show up to church on Sunday morning to be bottle fed the gospel having no desire to be fed the meat of the word. The meat of the word of God requires chewing and digestion, it won’t just flow through and make a body feel good. They’ll be some effort necessary to cause the nutrients to travel throughout the body nourishing it and providing strength for labor. It’s what big boys and girls in the gospel eat so that may apply it to their lives and in turn be an example for others to follow.

Milk has (for the most part) one flavor. But meat! What a variety and the same holds true in the gospel. Every time you read and study the word of God it has an entirely different flavor depending upon where you are in life. I can remember as a young convert I read a scripture and my eyes would just glaze over, it would be so far above what I could comprehend at the time, but then a little further down the road I’d read it again and the meaning and depth of God’s word would come to life. I soon learned that as a baby Christian I only needed the milk of the word, just the basics to become grounded in my new found faith. But as I grew in Christ, the Lord had greater expectations for me and from me, and little by little He would reveal a greater meaning in His word until one day I discovered I was no longer being nursed but was now sitting at the big girls table.

Today, I’m settin’ at the big girls table again. I’m going to a banquet to feast on a variety of flavors doled out by women of God who have walked another path than I have but are leading to same main highway. I hope to take what I hear today and apply it to my life and ministry which will strengthen me. I never know when I may have to help carry a heavier load, or perhaps carry someone else’s share of the load. I can’t do that unless I exercise my faith. If you happen to be around Kerr’s Creek Baptist Church in Lexington, VA, come and dine with me! If not, you have a banquet table set before you with the Word of God.

Edify your soul.

Exercise your faith.

Encourage your heart!

Get fit!