Friday, December 3, 2010

The One Thing of any True Worth

Do you know what happens when you eat like a pig and neglect anything resembling exercise?  I'll make this personal so as not to offend on this particular point. When I eat like a pig and neglect exercise, I get fat.  True confession.  It is my fault, my own fault, my own most grievous fault.  And I can be a really good excuse maker as I open the next chocolate truffle BAG or nibble the next dozen cookies.  Is food bad?  No.  The food isn't the problem.  Food is a gift from God to be thankful for.  It is to be eaten for His glory ("whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" - 1 Cor. 10:31).  It is to be eaten from faith ("for whatever is not from faith is sin" - Rom. 14:23). One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control and truth be known, I don't always limit my intake appropriately.  And I can pretty much guarantee that when I'm sneaking, yes sneaking food like a regular ole white-washed tomb that wants to look good while being sinfully self-absorbed, I am not eating it from faith and with thankfulness to God for the glory of His name.  And it doesn't take terribly long for the plain truth to be evident.  It's evident once again.

The book of Judges seems to display a cycle of God's people falling into sin, God warning them, God judging them, repentance, restoration for awhile and then a new fall into sin starting the cycle all over again.  I relate.  The verse my family just memorized is Proverbs 24:16 which says: "For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity."  A Japanese proverb restates it this way: "Fall seven times, stand eight."  By God's grace, I am getting up again, but before you think this post is all about some close-to-the new-year's-resolution to be a better steward, I want to shift gears.

Last night I started reading a book about the reality that there is no other way to have peace with God other than through Jesus.  He is THE WAY, the only way.  I believe that with all my heart. On THIS point, I will risk offending. The author writes with an urgency because in our day of pluralistic, I'm okay-you're okay, egalitarian mindsets, we need to be reminded that there are many yet who need to hear the gospel preached to them, and that if God has entrusted the gospel to us and made us His children, WE have a part to play in that.

So this morning as I was exercising, and remembering what it feels like to use my muscle's for something other than lifting more food to my mouth, I was listening to the music on my blog's playlist.  Songs that sing of God at work in the city, of facing giants in faith with nothing but a sling and a stone, and how our God saves filled the air and stirred my mind.  What prompted this post was not any innate need to confess to the public my recurring sin-issues with food (though now that you know, you can pray for me and that would be nice!).  I was thinking about how so many people make it their new year's resolution to lose weight (for reasons that range everywhere from pride/vanity to seeking to be a good steward for the glory of God).  And I was thinking about how a cannibal would currently find me to be a nicely marbled treat so I better start now.  But let's get to the point. 1 Timothy 4:7-10 tells us: "...exercise yourself toward godliness.  For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come...for to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men..." Let's put bodily exercise in perspective.    Americans spend gobs of time and money and effort on dieting, but truth be known, whether we're lowered into the grave fat or skinny isn't the biggest issue...will we use the resources God has given us to plan and exert effort in exercising ourselves toward godliness? Those of us who trust in the living God have the promise of life, but what about those who don't?

Rom 10:13-17 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!"  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"   So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

I joked about my potential of being a marbly treat for a cannibal, but DO I CARE about the cannibals of the world?  Do I care enough about ANYONE who has not yet heard the good news of our great and gracious King to put effort into sharing Jesus with them?  How many of us put "seek to make the most of opportunities to share Christ with others" at the top of their New Year's resolution lists? 

In Ephesians 6:20, Paul asked for prayer that "utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel."  In 2 Cor. 5:18-21 we are reminded that God has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus and has given us the ministry of reconciliation...we are His ambassadors "as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  May God plead through us as He gives us opportunity in the lives of those in our sphere of influence ...may we be granted the joy of seeing men, women and children come to know Jesus as we offer them the only thing we have of any true worth, the hope of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.


  1. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

  2. Oh so very good! Thank you for this post!

  3. Serious counsel. It is so easy to bask in our affluent comfort.