This time of year…especially in the month of January…millions of people make New Year’s resolutions about losing weight and getting into better physical shape. I am a huge proponent of this endeavor. God gave us a body and He calls it a temple. I am well aware that not taking care of ourselves is an act of selfishness. If we don’t take care of ourselves, one or two things are likely to happen. First, we will not be able to take care of anyone else. Second, someone may end up taking care of us. So, it is our job, our responsibility, to take care of ourselves………no question.
In I Corinthians 6 Paul speaks plainly about how God views sexual immorality. We are to honor God in how we treat our bodies. I think it would be safe to say verses 19-20 could apply to other areas as well. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies,” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
Today’s post is to encourage you to consider becoming a “Spiritual HOG” in 2016…and it can start in December. No need to put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Becoming a “Spiritual Hog”…Fat on Jesus…will take as much discipline, if not more, than changing your eating habits or implementing exercise for your physical self.
How do I/ you/we go about becoming fat on Jesus? I have found that the book of 1 John is excellent in leading us to the “trough”.
1. When we pray, pray for God’s will. 1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God [prayer]: that if you ask anything according to HIS WILL, he HEARS us. And if we know HE HEARS us—-Whatever we ask—WE KNOW that we have what we asked of him” [emphasis mine].
2. Spend time in confession. 1 John 1:9-10, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” YIKES! To be a spiritual HOG…FAT on Jesus…confession is key. We cannot look at Jesus as a liar and then say we trust HIM.
3. Marinate in God’s word! 1 John 2:5-6, “But if anyone obeys his WORD, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” [emphasis added]. I/you/we have to read His word to know HOW HE LIVED……..so we can then duplicate.
4. Overcome evil with good! 1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with ACTIONS and in TRUTH” [emphasis added]. Let your actions be so loud that I/you/we can’t hear what you are saying.
5. Love your enemies! 1 John 3:11-16, “For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brothers were righteous…anyone who hates a brother or a sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
6. Feed the poor. 1 John 3:17, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”
7. Be obedient. 1 John 3:24, “The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them…”
8. Demolish idols. 1 John 5:21, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”
I am writing mostly to myself and sharing it with you to encourage anyone who wants to join me. I may want to be skinny in the physical sense but I desire to be FAT in the spiritual sense. I’m asking God that my weight gain in 2016…will be His “light” in me. 1 John 1:5-6, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is LIGHT; in him there is NO darkness at all. IF we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” [emphasis added].
Dispel the darkness in 2016. “Remain in Him.” “Let your light shine…so that your heavenly Father may be seen.”