Change Your Life - Part III - Build Your Life
February 26, 2007 • By Ed Wrather
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. - Romans 12:1-2 NKJV.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. - 2 Peter 3:18 NKJV.
To be healthy physically it is well known that you cannot just stop eating bad foods and start eating good foods. No, something else is needed. There are many in our churches that are blessed to live long lives while still remaining very active. How have they been able to do that? One part is that they have had a lot of physical exercise over the course of their lives. No, they haven’t been going to a gym and working out. No, the exercise that they have received for the most part has been in the form of good old hard work. They have worked hard all of their lives and that physical exercise has paid off for them by helping keep their bodies running well and active even into their older years.
Physical exercise is vital to obtaining and maintaining physical well-being. “Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General,” gives the following benefits of exercise: reduce the risk of premature death; reduce the risk of developing and/or dying from heart disease; reduce high blood pressure or the risk of developing high blood pressure; reduce high cholesterol or the risk of developing high cholesterol; reduce the risk of developing colon cancer and breast cancer; reduce the risk of developing diabetes; reduce depression and anxiety, and there are many more benefits of exercise listed in the report.
Although it is possible to misuse your body usually hard work and exercise results in your body becoming stronger. Your body is a machine designed to be used and if you do not use it then it will grow weak. Without use, your body will grow weak, even if you are not eating or drinking things that are harmful; and it will grow weak even if you are eating and drinking those things that are good for it.
Your spiritual self is much like your physical body. You can be avoiding sin and having an intake of prayer, the Word, and church and still grow spiritually weak. Why? Because you need exercise, you need to put into practice those things that you have learned and are learning - to grow strong spiritually. So, I want to share with you how you can change your life by building your life, exercising your life.
One thing that you should already be doing is spending time in prayer, talking to your Lord. However, many Christians never go beyond praying about their own needs, what is going on in their own lives. To build our lives we need to go beyond ourselves and begin to pray for others. The apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:1-2a, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority….” If we want to change our lives, and build our lives, then we must become prayer warriors; and surely it is a sin (1 Samuel 12:23) for us not to be prayer warriors.
Another spiritual exercise that needs to be an active part of our lives is servanthood. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).” Surely, we are to follow the example of Jesus and be servants. If we want to change our lives, and build our lives then we must become servants. As we become servants, we will find that we are not only changing and building our lives, but we are changing and building the lives of those around us as well.
Witnessing is also a spiritual exercise that we need. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).” We are witnesses. If you are a Christian, a child of God, you are a witness; there is not an opt-out provision in this verse. But you do have the option of being a bad witness or of being a good witness. Being a good witness will build your life giving you fulfillment and joy. There is nothing like joy of sharing Christ with someone that is lost. Being a good witness will also give you empowerment to live the Christian life, to enable you to witness as you should. “But you shall receive power….”
One last spiritual exercise that we need is discipleship. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen (Matthew 28:18-20).” The Great Commission tells us that we are to go beyond witnessing. We are not to just lead people to Jesus, but to make disciples. Then we are to teach those disciples, and train those disciples. In the teaching and the training, we will find that we ourselves are growing and our lives are being built up as well.
The year is 2007 and isn’t it time to change your life for the better? You can do that if you stop pouring the spiritual trans-fat of sin into your life. You can do that by having an intake of the spiritual foods of prayer, the Word of God, and faithful attendance in church. And you can do that; change your life for the better, by exercising your spiritual life through becoming a prayer warrior, a servant, a witness, and a discipler.