North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose 

    Eric Liddell won the 1924 Olympic Games 400 Meters. He had an inspirational conversation with his father and brothers before he started his athletic training. Mr. Liddell told Eric, “What this world needs is a muscular Christian!”    Eric’s brother chimed in and said, “That’s right, one that makes folks stand up and take notice!”

    This endeavor requires the Christian to never be guilty of neglecting their spiritual health. Keeping spiritually fit requires effort and one that’s often resisted by the world’s standards. The Bible, particularly the Book of Proverbs, teaches spiritual principles that lead to good health. And you don’t have to be a star athlete to benefit. The Bible has a unique way of making successful connections between physical and spiritual health. Consider Proverbs 4:20-22, “Pay attention; listen to my Words. Never let them get away from you. Remember them and keep them in your heart. They will give life and health to anyone who understands them.” Proverbs 17:22 says, “Being cheerful (in a positive spirit) keeps you healthy.”

    Several business chains that sale products cater to those who aim to lose weight, build muscle, train for 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. The commonality in these goals is a focus on the physical body and how it’s trained.

    People feel accomplished when they can workout at a gym, run, walk, exercise and eat healthy to benefit physical health. Discipline can never be overemphasized when adhering to a physical training plan. All Christians need to adopt the same kind of discipline to benefit spiritual health. The apostle Paul says, “Keep yourself in training for a godly life. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future” (1 Timothy 4:8).

    The reality and presence of health breeds hope in the heart, and if a person has hope, they have what’s needed to face life’s challenges. Two dictionaries give us their definitions of health. Merriam-Webster defines it as “the overall condition of someone’s body or mind.” And the second one adds “social well-being” to the mix. Followers of Christ realize that spiritual well-being needs to be a top priority.

    There are four “Daily Ds” that can keep you spiritually fit:

    Daily devotions. Don’t neglect to read your Bible and pray because you’re too busy with selfish pursuits. If you do neglect this, you will experience spiritual immaturity and lack for understanding. We must take time for fellowship with God every day. Victory is assured for those who are consistently in a state of prayer.

    Daily dedication. Some people dedicate themselves on Sunday and Wednesday nights, but the trials of life are faced every day. Therefore, we must commit ourselves to God daily. If you fail to yield to God’s Spirit completely, you’re prone to becoming disillusioned. A person who has a life pattern of discouragement, often gives up in despair. The secret of victorious living is surrendering to His will, no matter the circumstances of our lives. Psalm 37:5 says, “Give yourselves to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will help you.”

    Daily diligence. It’s easy to be drawn away from church attendance, especially when the weather is right for outdoor activities and you place sports and recreational events as a priority over going to church. A pattern of selfish pursuits leads to an anemic Christian. Don’t be spiritual in name only. We should be diligent for God. When we keep alive spiritually by attending church, witnessing, loving, and helping others, God will not forget our works (Hebrews 6:10-11).

    Daily direction. In an ever changing world, we need God’s daily guidance for every detail of our lives. Sometimes we don’t get second opportunities, so our first choice needs to be our best choice. Never choose the inferior way or persist on your own desires. Remember, as we keep our will under the control of His will, we’re led by the Holy Spirit. Let John’s prayer be for all of us: “My dear friend, I pray that in everything you may prosper and that you may be in good health—as I know you are well in Spirit” (3 John 2)—AMEN!

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. He recently published another book titled “Living With Purpose Volume III” and it can be purchased on Contact him at:

Posted by on Jul 17 2016. Filed under Church News, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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