Daily Encouragement Net Header
The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home   About Us  Archives   Free email subscription   ListenListen to these messages
Contact Us
  Print Text only for printing
  Bookmark and Share  

Make A Donation
 See here for more info.

<Previous Message                           Next Message>

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Flowers on barn side 7/12/15
Flowers growing along side of barn.

"The Value Of Spiritual Fitness"

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come" (I Timothy 4:7b,8). "Build yourselves up in your most holy faith" (Jude 20).

Take time to be holy,
the world rushes on

Personal trainer
Our neighbor is a personal trainer. Essentially personal trainers develop unique physical exercise programs for individuals to help them get in good physical shape and maintain it.

I realize the importance of keeping myself physically fit and admit that I am not in the shape I would desire. This summer we have been doing a lot of biking in an attempt to improve our physical health. The accumulative effects of sports injuries over the years are taking their toll, as well as my ongoing struggle with too much weight and the discipline of getting regular exercise. Sound familiar?

Stephen running track relay in high schoolWhen I was younger I focused a lot on physical fitness and was involved in a variety of athletic pursuits including track and cross country. The photo to the left was taken about 45 years ago when I suppose I was in optimum physical shape, running for a relay team at Truman High School in Independence, Missouri. I am preparing to receive the baton and run my leg of the relay.

Likewise there is a time we as spiritual leaders accept the baton in our younger years of ministry. As we age we in turn pass the baton on to those who follow us in contending for the faith.

Emphasis on exercise is not a new phenomenon. After all "Ancient Greek and Roman culture put a high value on physical exercise. Paul tells Timothy that the same work and commitment that others put toward physical exercise should be put toward the pursuit of godliness." (David Guzik)

Today let us consider spiritual fitness, which is comparatively of much greater value than physical fitness. There's a tendency, due to an emphasis on truths regarding our positional relationship with Christ, that we might assume our role in this spiritual fitness is merely passive. We've heard the phrase, "let go and let God", and may assume any effort on our part is carnal. However, let us carefully examine the  two daily Scriptures. Both speak of an active responsibility on the believer's part in developing and maintaining spiritual fitness.

1 Timothy 4:8In the first text the apostle Paul addressed Timothy (and every believing reader through the Holy Scriptures, including you and me); "Train yourself to be godly."  The verb is active.  The NASV translates this phrase, "discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness". The word for train and discipline is "gumnazo" from which we get the English words, "gym" and "gymnastics".  The word is surely used in an athletic sense but, for the believer, the training's purpose is spiritual godliness, which has comparatively much greater value both in this life and the life to come. After all, one can be in optimum physical condition here yet have no preparations at all for their life hereafter.

"For physical training is of some value." Pastor Steven Cole comments, "Paul is not despising bodily exercise. Rather, he is making a comparison between bodily exercise and spiritual exercise. It’s fine to discipline your physical body; it will help you for a few years. But it’s far better to discipline yourself spiritually, because it will put you in good stead not only in this life, but also in the life to come. We ought to work much harder at godliness than we do at our games."

You, as a loyal reader of this dailyencouragement ministry, are exercising spiritual discipline as you read our daily Bible text and the lesson that follows. As you pray and perhaps avail yourself to included Christian music or further teaching links, and most especially as you apply Biblical truths we present you are daily engaging in spiritual training.

Jude 20In the second text the apostle Jude, in his small one-chapter epistle, charges his readers to, "Build yourselves up in your most holy faith".

What kind of spiritual shape are you in today? Although always important, given the increasingly evil days in which we live, we need to make a concerted effort to be spiritually fit. After all, we do want to finish the race well, don't we!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we build ourselves up in the most holy faith as we pray in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Spiritual training for the believer is not just for starters but it's for all who come under the banner of salvation, from the child mature enough to recognize his need for a Savior to the most senior saint among us. As we submit ourselves to Your authority, Your leading, and Your commands we are training ourselves to be spiritually fit for the heavenly kingdom. Help us not to grow lazy or indifferent toward spiritual truths, instead shape us into the kind of believer that brings glory to Your name while it also builds us up in our most holy faith. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Yesterday we shared a message about "Friends On Earth And Friends Above". Jim, a friend from Texas, sent this poem, which sadly reflects reality too often:

To dwell above with saints we love,
That will be grace and glory.
To live below with saints we know;
Now, that’s another story!

Colorful scenes in Lancaster County

Zinnia harvest 7/14/15
Yesterday on a bike ride down our road we watched the migrant workers harvesting Zinnias from the commercial flower farm down the road from us. We would have chatted but they didn't speak English yet were pleased to have their photo taken.

Amish planting contraption 7/14/15
Anyone know what this Amish planting contraption is? We saw it yesterday in a field just beyond the commercial flower farm.

Cantaloupes for sale 7/10/15
Harvest season is well under way although the sign says "August is PA Produce Month".
These cantaloupes sell for 50 cents each so you can probably guess what we're having a lot of!

Outhouse and washtubs on Amish farm 7/12/15
A deactivated outhouse and washtubs, presumably also deactivated.

Old-order Mennonite farm 7/10/15
A tidy old-order Mennonite farm

Old-order Mennonite cart 7/10/15
We encounter such a wide variety of conveyance.
The fenders set this buggy apart!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Take Time To Be Holy"
  Video  Dallas Christian Adult Concert Choir

Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

To receive the "Daily Encouragement" each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the Wordpress rss feed or through a Wordpress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)

Make A DonationAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? We ask you to consider making a donation to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.

Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. I do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.

Text only version for printing: To make a text only version for printing (without photos or any of the supplemental materials)
1) Open the basic text editor that comes with all computers (known as wordpad, textpad, etc.) You can also use a program like Word and select paste text only.
2) Select and copy the text from the portion of the message you want to print.
3) Paste into the text pad. (The photos won't show up but you will have a brief text description of the photo which you can delete or just ignore.)
4) Format if you desire (change font, increase or decrease size, etc.)
5) Print!

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

© Copyright 2015 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved

Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552  USA

This device counts unique visitors by nation and state. I installed the international version in mid April 2010 and the state version later. They thus register unique visitors to since then.
free counters

Free counters!

"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"