When I was asked to preach this week, I really wanted to present something that would be applicable to us in our daily lives. Having not been here long, and not knowing you all that well, I began thinking about what we all have in common.
The conclusion I came to was life. As baptized believers, we have life in Jesus as it says in John 20:31. But since you all are here today, we also share another life…the physical one!
Each of us are alive today spiritually and physically so I want to look at what we do that keeps us living and growing.
The Three Essentials -
We all have things we want or sometime “think” we need to survive. But I want to get it down to the essentials for a long life full of growth. The three things I see nourishment, exercise and interaction with people.
First Essential -
Physical Nourishment -
Statistics show that a person can live many weeks without food until they die. When people die of starvation, it is not a surprise. They start getting weaker as our bodies turn our fat and muscle into burnable energy.
Even though it is not a surprise, we still know that it happens in the world today. Most all cases are because people don’t have the food they need to live but what if we heard of someone dieing because they refused to or forgot to eat. What would we think? Wouldn’t that be ridiculous?
Would you say nourishment is important to our bodies to stay alive? If nourishment is important in life what is our spiritual nourishment?
Spiritual Nourishment -
As I looked in my bible, I know there was a time when Jesus was really hungry.
He had been fasting in the desert when Satan tempts him to turn some stones into bread, Jesus responds – Mathew 4:4
So to parallel it, our bible is spiritual nourishment; God’s word is our food of faith!
Do we look at not reading our bible’s as starving spiritually?
Second Essential –
Physical Exercise –
Without exercise, your muscles will become weak, your heart and lungs won’t function properly. Your joints become stiff and on top of that, you become susceptible to all sorts of disease and health risks.
Your body shuts down. Something made to be used is not being used so it thinks, “What’s the use?”
The same idea applies to your brain. As we get older, the parts of our brain we don’t use becomes unusable.
Would you say that exercise is important to the physical body?
Spiritual Exercise –
In the bible we see the same importance given to exercise as we see with our physical bodies.
1st Corinthians 9:24-27
In both passages, it talked about our Christian walk being a race to be run. I really like these verses because they are doing exactly what I am trying to do in showing our spiritual life in physical terms.
It talks about sin being the thing that ways us down and hinders us. So my question is are we beating our bodies into submission and exercising our faith or are we laying down and allowing sin to eat away at our spiritual strength?
Third Essential –
Physical Interaction –
As soon as we were born, we had a need for interaction with people. Not only did we need nourishment but we needed physical touch. Doctors have shown that without human touch, a baby will physically wither and die. As we get older, this need doesn’t completely go away. We are now able to spend longer periods of time without interaction, but we still have a need for people. People have created support groups to help beat specific addictions and created clubs just to share in something they all have in common.
Spiritual Fellowship -
This is the same for our spiritual life. It starts with a need for people. Romans 10:14
Devoted - To give or apply (one's time, attention, or self) entirely to a particular activity, pursuit, cause, or person.
We also see in James 5:16 a need for confessing to one another. Even the secular understands that there is healing in confession but this is not some evolutionary, psychological development. We see it in scripture and need to live it in our lives.
So, just like our physical body, our spiritual life needs care in order to live and grow. We need to be eating and exercising daily and we need to devote ourselves to fellowship.
My question for us is, are we looking at these things as necessities for life and growth or are we looking at it as, “well, I missed eating again today and this whole week is pretty full, maybe I’ll eat next week.”
We might laugh if we heard someone say that about physical eating but isn’t that how it is with our bibles sometime?
What about exercise and interaction? Are we making them a priority in our lives? Are we standing up against temptation and gaining the strength and endurance to persevere or are we lying down to it and watch as your strength diminishes?
Are we trusting in and spending time with our Christian family for growth and healing or are we making excuses to stay home and miss our time with our brothers and sisters.
In closing, I challenge us as a congregation and as individuals to look at our spiritual lives in the same way we see Jesus do when going through his race. As he said, we do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.