Thursday, December 3, 2009

Spiritual Couch Potato!

In my previous post I told you how my cholesterol was much higher than it needed to be. As a result, I have been making some changes in my lifestyle. I am trying to change my eating habits, I am taking some supplements and I have been talking about exercising. I actually watched the Fitness Channel the other night. Those folks were really working hard, they were breathing heavy and sweating profusely. I kept thinking boy I should do that. But I never got off the couch, I just watched. I kept saying to myself if I did what they are doing I would look like they look, fit, trim and healthy, but I did not get off the couch. The guy on the show kept encouraging me to get off the couch, come on you can do this he said. You don't need any fancy gym equipment, no expensive memberships, just stand up and do this with me, but I never got off the couch. For many of us, our spiritual health is just as bad if not worse than our physical health. We try to make some changes, I am going to church this Sunday, I am going to serve in the nursery, I am going to read my Bible, but you never get off the couch. You tell yourself that if you spent more time in the Word you know things would get better for you, you have heard it from the pastor numerous times that true peace and joy comes from the intimate relationship we have with Christ, but you never get off the couch. You have even been in church where the Sunday school teacher or the pastor encourages you to spend time in the Word, you don't need an expensive study Bible or a class in Biblical Greek to hear what God wants to say to you but you never get off the couch.

The examples of men and women we read about in God's Word are men and women who got off the couch. They did not think about getting involved in the kingdom, they did not pray long and hard about whether or not they should be involved in the Great Commission, they heeded the command to go and they went. Listen to the advice Paul gives Timothy in his first letter to Timothy:

I Timothy 4: 7-8 7Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Notice what he says, "train yourself to be godly". This is not something that Timothy could do just sitting on the couch so to speak. He had to train himself, he had to work at it and Paul tells him how to do this in the verses that follow:

I Timothy 4: 9-16 9This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. 11Command and teach these things. 12Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

In verse 10 Paul says "for this we labor and strive", this is not something that will always be easy, it will require some hard work. In verse 11 Paul tells Timothy to command and teach these things, in verse 12 he tells Timothy to set an example, Timothy has to be actively engaging people in order to command and teach, he could not set an example unless he was physically involved in the lives of other believers. And finally Paul tells Timothy what to do with God's it, preach it and teach it! Paul was encouraging Timothy to get off the couch and do what God had gifted him to do. My question is are we actively engaged in doing what God's word tells us to do or are we simply sitting on the couch watching others as they are breathing heavily and sweating profusely for the Kingdom?

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