Glorify God in YOUR Body!
As I read one of my textbooks for graduate theology I came across this quote:
1 Corinthians 6:20
NKJV “therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
TNIV “Therefore honor God with your bodies”
This example was chosen to illustrate that, on occasion, changes to the original text were made by copyists for theological reasons. The words “and in your spirit, which are God’s,” though found in most of the late medieval Greek manuscripts, do not appear in any early Greek evidence or in the Latin-speaking church in the West. Had they been in Paul’s original letter, it is nearly impossible to explain how/why they would have been left out so early and so often. But their late appearance in Greek manuscripts can be easily explained. All such manuscripts were copied in monasteries at a time when Greek philosophy, with its low view of the body, had made inroads into the Christian theology. So some monks added “in your spirit” and then concluded that both body and spirit “are God’s.” While this is true, these additional words deflect Paul’s obvious concern with the body in this passage and are thus no part of the Spirit’s inspiration of the apostle.
Fee, Gordon D., and Douglas K. Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2003
As most of you know, I swam on the varsity team during my undergraduate years, but after graduation, I became born-again, and left competitive sports right after. Problem was, I completely left off all exercise, and instead of staying in shape, I did not enter into another fitness program really, for almost ten years. Not healthy! Poured myself into work, prayer and ministry, and eventually, in 2009 had a mini-stroke, blacking out at the wheel while driving down a local highway here in Oklahoma. Fortunately doctors, meds, and discipline had its way with me, and I lost a pile of fat, began to watch my diet, and hit the gym again.
I know these verses:
But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
1 Timothy 4:8
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
So I began the disciplines of prayer, Bible study, weekly church attendance, financial stewardship, and carefully watching my words, my attitudes, and managing my time.
Yet what about bodily exercise?
I mean, I want to be all that I can be in Jesus, 1 Tim 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little..
So, I will take a little profit!
So, over the past twenty five years of life and ministry I have watched great Christian leaders, and watched their walks with the Lord, and noticed a couple of things.
Seems many Christian leaders, both in ministry, or whatever field of endeavor they find themselves involved in have often let themselves go physically.
I have wondered if a regular exercise program is a waste of time, or could actually help one in our pursuit of the press towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Well, amazing thing about common sense, is that it is not always very common.
Clearly, there are tons of benefits from regular exercise, from stress release, to hundreds of clear health benefits. Think about Jesus for a minute, he walked everywhere, and ate non-processed natural foods, and clearly He was not only healthy, but not only not sick, but so full of the life and power of God, that He healed the sick.
We are created in the image of God, and we need to honor God in our bodies, the temples of the Holy Spirit.
That means getting in shape, cutting the fat, and becoming strong in the Lord, and the power of His might.
I was speaking this week with a friend of mine that does missions trips like I have, to native American reservations, and takes a team of people to build something for them while there. His lament, and I agree, is that often local pastors cannot help with the actual work, because they are so out of shape physically, obese, or struggling with diabetes, or some other diability, that prevents them from hard manual labor that is a joy, to those of us that are in shape.
Come on leaders,
Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
Not sure how to say this really clearly, but it is true nonetheless: When you are strong, people respect you. When you are strong, you are able to lift others up…
So much more can be said here, and perhaps I will edit this at a later date, but let’s pray:
‘Father, help me to add a fitness program to my life, that will glorify You. Strengthen me, and give me the courage and discipline to lose extra weight, and to get into shape physically, that I might be strong in Your Lord, and in the power of Your might. I ask this Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen’