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Thoughts on swimsuit readiness, skinny Italian Chefs, and DIY Spiritual Fitness advice from Jude.
Are you ready for summer and swimsuit weather?
Not quite ready for that just yet?
Neither am I.
Today I got on the Nordic Track to work out while watching the Food Network. Afterwards I felt stronger and carb crazy.
How can Giada eat all those dishes filled with cheese and stay so skinny? Maybe the farro neutralizes all the calories in the cheese. Just in case that’s remotely possible, I’m including the recipe links.
Every year it’s the same routine. I know I’m not the only woman who pulls on a pair of shorts on warm Spring day and almost goes into cardiac arrest. Winter hibernation has left a thermal layer cloaked for months in sweat pants and wool slacks. Time for the Big Reveal has come and I can all too clearly see my need for some exercise.
The Bible says physical exercise is good, but spiritual exercise is much more important.
Physical exercise is useful in this life, but spiritual exercise produces godliness and that offers benefits in this life and in the life to come. A double payoff.
Tucked near the end of the New Testament is the little book of Jude.
It was written by the half brother of Jesus to warn believers of false teaching making it’s way to their local churches. The whole book is only 25 verses long and ends in a powerful doxology.
Verses 20-21 describe spiritual exercises for Christians.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God,
How can we do this?
Hearing the Bible taught, or reading it ourselves, we should focus on the promises. The ‘Promise Passages’ help us build our spiritual muscles.
They activate our faith.
Take a familiar promise like Romans 8:28.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Want to get some definition in those spiritual muscles? This is the kind of heavy lifting we need to create contours and provide that sculpted effect. This verse is so useful, so applicable in our lives. At work, in our marriages, or even our finances, this is a promise that will deliver results.
The next time it seems like things are going awfully wrong, here’s a promise to start lifting up.
What’s it mean to pray in the Holy Spirit.
The simplest way to think of this is that we’re praying as believers filled and directed by the Holy Spirit. There’s nothing here beyond what should be our usual fellowship with God. We’re His children and He’s given us the Holy Spirit to help us walk with Him.
Praying like this increases spiritual strength in us.
And last Jude mentions that we should keep ourselves in the love of God.
Have you ever worked out in front of a mirror?
There’s a good reason for it. It’s the best way to know that your form is correct. It prevents injuries and helps us know we are going to get the greatest possible benefit from our labor. Keeping ourselves in the love of God is a safety instruction.
Jude is warning these people he loves. He wants them to be strong and safe. That’s what God wants for us as His children. There’s a part we play in our own spiritual fitness.
Jude closes his letter with this amazing and reassuring promise.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.