Sunday, February 12, 2012

Growing Toward Glorifying God Physically

#3 Jesus grew in stature  --Goals for the New  Year                                        

Do you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? (Mark 12:30)

Luke 2:52 "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."
In God’s Word, we encounter numerous passages that refer to our physical body and the importance of taking care of our body. Probably the best known verse is I Corinthians 6:19-20  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

Jesus was fully human, and had a physical body. It was important for him to grow and be healthy physically if he were going to fulfill God’s plan for his life. It is important for us, also, to recognize that we honor God through our body.

It is one thing to say those words—believe those words—but it is another thing to follow through on what God tells us in this passage.  Gary Thomas, in his book Every Body Matters, reminds us “all the proper doctrine in the world can’t save us from eating away our sensitivity to God’s presence or throwing away years of potential ministry if we wreck our heart’s physical home. We want to pursue God, to serve God, to know God, but we live in a body that often seems at war with our soul.” (location 44 of 2881, Kindle edition).   

For most of my adult life I have struggled with my weight. There have been seasons of time that I have exercised and eaten as I should, but unfortunately, there have been more and longer seasons of time that I did not discipline myself to exercise and eat as I should. God has relentlessly convicted me across the years about the importance of this ongoing battle, yet I have not made regular exercise a priority.

My desire to discipline myself should not be motivated by a desire to “look better” (everyone still ages, overweight or slim) or to “enjoy better health”  (many fit people die of cancer or heart disease).  No, my desire should be to be more holy.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:11-13. 

My struggle with the discipline of what I eat and the effort I expend in exercise is actually part of learning to say “no” to worldly passions and “yes” to living a self-controlled life. 

So, my goal for this year is to exercise consistently--4 days a week, and to loose weight to be healthier. You can see that I have quantified how many days I will exercise, but not how much weight I want to loose. I have set that specific number [Just not making it public. :-) ]  All goals need to be measurable, possible to complete, and beneficial.

What goal do you need to set for this year concerning better health? If you can not think of ways you could be healthier, consider doing some reading about brain health (many lifestyle changes and foods that can impact brain health).
Ask God to give you direction about what He would see as a good goal for you in this area.   A couple of great books to help you would include Gary Thomas' book, Every Body Matters, and Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, by Daniel Amen.

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