May 21, 2018

Stronger

Devotion for the Week...

I took Zachary to see a physiotherapist last week. His basketball coach suggested it when he and Paul were talking about Zach's unusual running posture, saying that maybe she could identify the problem and offer help to correct it. It turns out that Zach has weak hip and butt muscles, which she says is really common, and those weak muscles cause his legs to turn in slightly. Because of that, he's running on the insides of his feet which is causing him to look awkward now and would likely lead to knee and back issues later. We came home armed with resistance bands and a few exercises for him to do to strengthen those muscles.

One of the things she told him really struck me. He doesn't need to go back to see her until he finds the exercises are all too easy for him because she can't do anything for him except tell him what exercises to do.

"I could hook you up to all kinds of machines and poke and prod you, but it wouldn't help any," she said. "Only you can make yourself stronger."

How true is that?? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could go to someone once or twice a week and have them hook us up to a machine and when we were done we'd be stronger and more fit than when we walked in? People everywhere would be so much healthier than we are now.

But that's not the case, of course. If I want to lose weight, then I have to take responsibility for my eating and my exercising. If I want to avoid back pain, I have to do the exercises I've been given. If I want to stay healthy as I age, then I have to keep moving. No one else can make me stronger and healthier.

The same is true spiritually too. No one else can give us knowledge of the Bible. No one else can memorize Scriptures for us. No one else can strengthen our faith and no one else can deepen our prayer lives.

At the most basic level, no one can make us accept salvation. I can take my boys to church, take them to the kids' mid-week program and drop them off for the youth program, but I can't believe for them. They have to make that choice themselves. I have to make that choice. You have to make that choice. John 3:16 says "For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." Notice it says "everyone who believes in him", not 'everyone who knows someone who believes in him' or 'everyone who has been told about him.' No one can have that belief for another person.

Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." You can't hide God's word in my heart and I can't hide it in yours. Sure, reading or hearing someone else explain a verse might help, but to really remember verses we have to make the effort to read them for ourselves.

2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth." Paul wrote this to Timothy, a young pastor, but it applies equally to anyone who may ever tell someone else about what God says in His word. That means it applies to every believer. We can only correctly explain the word of truth if we take the time to know it and to understand it. Again, listening to sermons or reading books and devotions can help, but they are not enough by themselves.
Weekly devotions for Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
It's easy to forget to do exercises as often as we should, or to put it off for another day when life gets busy. It's just as easy to put off the things that make us spiritually strong. But there is no substitute and no one else can do it for us. We are responsible for our own spiritual fitness.

5 comments:

  1. Wonderful reminder; thank you!

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  2. This is a tough one - my daughters both made decisions to follow Jesus when they were younger, but now that they're adults, they seem to have time for everything EXCEPT God. I would love to be able to "wish " them back to an active faith life, but that's not do-able... But we keep praying for them!

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