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Why Is This So Hard-Part II

Why Is This So Hard-Part II
Getting Spiritually Fit

If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Romans 12:8 (NLT)

In Part I of this devotional I shared a story of a lady who I had personally observed at the gym.  She hopped up on a piece of cardio equipment and was exercising for about a minute; she looked up at a passing fitness trainer and asked him,

 "Why is this so hard?"

The trainer looked over at her saying with a smile, "Its suppose to be--Its exercise."  He went on to ask her some questions about how long she had been exercising, and advised her of the different types of help that she had available to her--he offered to tailor her a specific program complete with a personal trainer to guide her in her new lifestyle.  

She handled every question that was proposed by the trainer with regards to her new commitment to live healthy.  She gave every excuse imaginable to detract from "her" responsibility that this she was going to have to give up old bad habits, and replace them with a healthier way of eating, and exercising.  

The trainer stood fast to what was true, and he didn't waiver.  He continued to respond in a loving way but in a firm way as well.   He asked what her plans were for today's workout.  He finished by letting her know that he would be happy to help her in her new commitment and gave her some encouragement.

This is the same way a healthy, God loving church should work--there will be people fellowshipping there who genuinely love the Lord, and who are committed and ready to show others the ministry opportunities that are available, and how they work to help them in their walk with God.  There will usually be people from the men and women's ministry available to help you to get plugged in with other Christian believers (Workout partners) to help you in your accountability.  

A good healthy Church will usually offer a variety of bible studies to choose from to start help with your spiritual growth.   And there will always be a bible-reading outline to help guide you in your "Daily" study of God's Word.  You see, our spiritual muscles are much like our physical ones--they need to be exercised daily to keep them in shape--once we stop exercising them, they like their physical counterparts, start to atrophy (weaken or waste away).  

So, as the conversation concluded between the trainer and the lady, I continued to watch as he left her.  She decided not to pursue doing the cardio exercise, and instead she grabbed her berry smoothie, her towel, and went over to do a couple of reps on a weight machine. Soon after she gathered her stuff and left.  As fast as her workout began, it was over!  She had been given everything needed to complete her mission.  She had the facility and a person willing to show and help her in every step--a person to encourage, and hold her accountable--one that would push her to go beyond what was uncomfortable.  

And that's the way it was, or will be, for every one of us in our Christian walk at some point.  We will be just like the new member at the gym--the ones in a new unfamiliar territory.  It can be going to a new church--one that encourages everyone to bring their bibles, and to open them up as well, and read along throughout church service.  For others it can be getting involved in serving in some sort of capacity in the church ministry, or even simply attending a bible study.  

The bottom line is that there will be something that causes us to be out of our comfort zone, and/or it will challenge us. And when this happens, we will be in a position like that lady at the gym; we can either put a minimal amount of effort, or even decide that this just isn't for us and quit.  Or we can decide that we are determined to allow God to help us change our life, and we are going to stay the course.

At some point, we will be like the trainer at the gym--we will be the ones familiar with our surroundings, and will be spiritually fit. If we are one of those who have been blessed with a good church, and are a part of a healthy church family--it is important for us to keep our eye out for those new people who show up attempting to change their lives, and get spiritually fit. Let's take the time to show them how things work at the church, and be a mentor (trainer) to them.

Like the trainer in the gym--we are to instruct those who don't know; teach them according to the truth of God's word.  That's what it means to be an imitator of Christ.

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34 (NKJV)

There will be people coming into our life that may not know the very things that we have taken for granted.   It will be these skills that we have shared with them, that in time, they will share with others, and the process will continue to keep our body of believers healthy and ready to serve the Lord.

STUDY QUESTION: What does Romans 12:8 tell us about our responsibility as Christians?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: If you were to imitate Jesus according to Ephesians 5:1, what can we learn about our responsibilities in Mark 6:34?

APPLICATION: Take the time to look around at those who are new in your church.  God wants to use each of us to mentor others and to disciple them in the things that we have been discipled in.

Father, thank You for sending people into my life that stopped and took time to invest into me.  Lord help me to be disciplined in my daily workout to maintain my spiritual fitness.  Give me the strength to push through those times when I want to take the easier path of least resistance.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000