As many of us are advancing in years it becomes increasingly important for us to stay as healthy and active as we can. Sometimes this is very difficult. I can certainly attest to this fact! But what is even more important is for us as Christians to stay flexible in our walk with Jesus. Anyone who has worked or played sports can tell you “stretching” is vital before doing any physical labor or sports activity. Loosening up our muscles and “warming” them up helps to keep us from becoming injured. I equate “stretching” of our Christian muscles to reading God’s word. Listening to good Christian music is another. We have so much to choose from now for all tastes. Listening to Bible tracts is one. Fellowship with other Christians who also love this stretch. There are many, many more. I’m sure as many as God’s blessings on all of us. Practicing these connections will keep us flexible, pliable to God’s work in us.
Some time back I was reminded how important it is as we go about learning and growing to be “coachable”. Our ability to listen to what God is telling us. Our willingness to “let go and let God” as well as the “practice” of reading God’s word for us, are crucial to growing in Christ. Our willingness to take direction is directly affected by how much we “know” of the love God has for us. He loves us. We must also love ourselves in a balanced manner. He is working out a perfect plan in our lives. God also tells us what he is looking for from us.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] Matthew 22:37-39
Loving God and loving ourselves and our neighbors is the goal. What must we do to reach the goal? How do we as Christians attain the goal God has planned for us? The answer is to stretch our muscles in God’s word. To read or listen or watch God’s holy word given to us so that we might become stronger in Christ. There are many resources available to us to help us learn and spread the good news of Jesus throughout “our” world.
I come from a place of not loving myself very much. Broken, hurting and confused I tried my best to “perform” without God in my life. Seemed like no matter how hard I worked or what I looked like in the world I was still on the “broken list”. God lifted me up out of the pit and held me close! Now as I grow it is my desire to live for him and in him. I have no desire to let my Christian muscles grow weak. My day starts with prayerful thanks. Stretching out and looking for all the blessings God has given me. Working my ears and reminding myself that God tells us he loves us always. Using my voice to praise and thank him for “all” that he has done and will do.
We can’t allow ourselves to stay dwelling around the past. Are you stuck in your old way of doing things? What was it like when you first came to Jesus? We must stretch our muscles. We must grow and look to our God for his plan not our old one.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 2 Corinthians 5:16-18
We are new creations! Our old is gone forever! God loves us! Jesus says take his hand and walk with him. “Follow me” he told his disciples. Stretch our hands high! Take a deep breath! Let the air out slowly…..God loves you! :-)