READ: Hebrews 5
THINK: Even the weakest among us can participate in sports, but only the strongest can survive as spectators. According to a heart specialist, when you become a spectator rather than a participant, the wrong things go up and the wrong things come down. Body weight, blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and triglycerides go up. Vital capacity, oxygen consumption, flexibility, stamina, and strength go down.
Being an onlooker in the arena of Christian living is also risky. The wrong things go up, and the wrong things come down. Criticism, discouragement, disillusionment, and boredom go up. Sensitivity to sin and the needs of others, and receptivity to the Word of God go down. Sure, there’s a certain amount of thrill and excitement in hearing someone’s testimony about how God has worked. But it’s nothing like knowing that joy yourself. There’s no substitute for piling up your own experiences of faith, and using your own God-given abilities in behalf of others.
Leonardo da Vinci’s contributions to art, science, and engineering establish him as one of the great geniuses in history. Whether it be designing a flying machine or painting the Mona Lisa, his mind was alive, observant, and creative. He is credited with making this comment about maintaining mental sharpness: “Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity; . . . even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”
Whenever we choose to be a spectator then we become stagnant in our Christian life. This is what happened to the recipients of the book of Hebrews. The inspired author saw the symptoms and knew the cure. “Solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
The word exercised is from the Greek gymnasium and relates to our idea of a disciplined workout. The Christian life is to be one of growing in knowledge so that we learn to choose the right path. And we do that by looking into the Word of God.
Take a fresh look at the Bible and ask God for new insights on how it affects your relationship with Him and with others. Work at staying spiritually fit.
God calls us to get into the game, not to keep the score!
– Adapted from Mart DeHaan and Dennis Fischer in Our Daily Bread
PRAY: Thank God for providing you with the nourishment and resources to grow in your spiritual life. Ask him where he wants you to get into the game today!