HOW TO BE SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY
1 Timothy 4:7-8 (2 Thessalonians – 1 Timothy – 2 Timothy)
“Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness.
Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.”
(v. 7 = “Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.”)
Physical Health/Fitness has become a billion-dollar business and it continues to grow.
- television features the latest fitness product – for the thigh, for the stomach, for the heart etc.
- “The Thigh Master”
It is good to be physically fit. Many people go to gym - regular workout.
- But physical fitness doesn’t happen overnight.
- We need a personal regular routine – and stick to it.
Our Physical Food is also Very Important.
There are also many Health Products which promote Good Health.
E.g. of the 1st Lady Direct Diamond in Malaysia selling Health Products.
- Health Food is Big Business.
Qn: How to be Physically Healthy?
Only 3 steps to follow:
1. Eat a Balanced Diet - to Maintain Energy.
2. Exercise Regularly - to Build Muscles and your Heart Systems.
3. Get Proper Rest - to Recharge Yourself.
In 1 Timothy 4:7-8 it says =It’s good to be physically fit, and it’s even better to be spiritually fit.
What does it mean to be “Spiritually Fit”? And how do you get there?
In the same way, I want to teach you – How to be Spiritually Healthy?
(1) You Need Proper Spiritual Food.
Just as the body needs the proper daily nourishment of food
- to be spiritually fit you need the proper daily nourishment of spiritual food.
Matthew 4:4 Jesus stated: (Malachi – Matthew – Mark)
"It is written: ’Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’"
- Man is more than just a physical being.
He is a spiritual being as well as a physical being.
And just as the physical side of him needs nourishment, so does the spiritual nature.
In Exodus 16:11-31 (Genesis – Exodus – Leviticus)
In the Old Testament there is a story about how God miraculously provided food for the Israelites during their forty-year journey from their slavery in Egypt to their entering the Promised Land.
11The LORD said to Moses, 12"I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ’At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread … … …31The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
- they had miracles every day for 40 years = supernatural meat and honey pancakes.
Notice some of the conditions on the Manna or the “Bread of God that came down from heaven”:
(i) It was to be gathered once a day.
(ii) It was to be consumed for that day and not to be kept over … it would spoil if kept.(iii) On the sixth day, they were to gather twice as much for the Sabbath. (So that on the day of Rest they don’t have to Work – but go to honor God)
It is the same with Spiritual Food – Word of God.
- You need God’s Word everyday.
- You cannot depend on Yesterday’s Food. Yesterday is only good for Yesterday. You need Today’s Food or you are taking Rotten Food with Maggots and a bad Smell.
- In this Church we have many opportunities to take in Spiritual Food.
- We have Anointed and Powerful Messages on Sunday service, we have Bible Class at 11.00 a.m., we have Youth meeting and Children Sunday School – where the Word is being preached, We have Cell Groups where the Word is being shared.
- We must Take and Grab this Opportunity.
Job 23:12 (Esther – Job - Psalms)
I have not departed from the commands of his lips;I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
Jeremiah 15:16 (Isaiah – Jeremiah – Lamentations)
Your words are what sustain me.
They bring me great joy and are my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.
Psalm 119:103 David said: (Job – Psalms – Proverbs)
How sweet are your words to my taste; they are sweeter than honey.
Hebrews 4:12 (Philemon – Hebrews – James)
For the Word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.
There is a popular practice on “Detox – Program”
- In the Physical, People go through Detox Program – to get rid of the Rubbish/Toxin in the Body.
- They then Take in Lots of Water/Juices – to get back their Health
- Same, in the Spiritual, Detox yourself Regularly – from the Material Things around us
- E.g. My TV that is spoiled most of the time – search ourselves to see whether we are too attached.
- And Take in Lots of God’s Word to cleanse our thoughts and desires.
- Praying and Fasting also does the same.
a. You Need God’s Word Everyday
b. You cannot depend on Yesterday’s Word.
You will never find anything better as food for your spirit other than the Word of God!
When You’re Down It’ll Lift You Up!
When You’re Lost It’ll Help You Find Your Way!
When You’re Fearful It’ll Give You Courage!
When You’re Weak It’ll Give You Strength!
When You’re Hurting It’ll Give You Healing!
Qn: How to be Spiritually Healthy?
(2) You need Regular Spiritual Exercise.
We get Regular Spiritual Exercise by Exercising our Faith.
Faith is like a muscle; it must be used and exercised in order for it to grow.
How do you exercise your “faith muscles”?- I called it Faith to Serve – Exercise our Faith by Serving
Romans 12:3-8 (Acts – Romans – 1 Corinthians)
Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.
God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. It your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift of showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
What does this passage tells us:
1. All of us have faith.
2. We must be honest by examining ourselves and not compare or imitate others.
3. God gives us faith for a function/purpose – we all have different work to do.
4. We need each other and we belong to each other.
5. All of us have different abilities.
6. We have to Use our Faith to Serve.
Story: Who killed the Dead Sea?
Answer: = The Dead Sea died of Selfishness and Stinginess.
The Dead Sea receives and received Year after Year – but it doesn’t Gives.
It has an Inlet but it has no Outlet.
- Similarly, a Person who takes in Spiritually – but never gives anything out will have no Life.
A Student went to a wise Teacher and said, “Teacher – I am not making any improvement. I cannot progress in my studies”. And the Student ask, “Please can you help me to get a tutor?”
The wise Teacher replied, “You don’t need a Tutor. What you need is a Pupil/another Student you can Teach”.
In the Church – there are no Spectators. Everyone is a Participator.
Everyone is a Minister. Everyone has a Ministry.
Everyone has Gifts and Talents.
We are all individually Shaped Differently – just like the different parts of the Body, so that we can Function/Work Together – to Fulfil God’s Purpose for this Church.
Note: If you Do not Want to Serve – You are Cheating us.
We don’t want people to cheat us of our money – similarly don’t Cheat us of the Gifts and Talents that God has given to your life – to compliment our lives.
- IF the Hand refuse to Work Today – the Hand is Cheating the Body of its Function.
a. Begin to Serve God in whatever you can Do.
Qn: How to be Spiritually Healthy?
(3) You need Spiritual Rest.
Exekiel 37:1, 3, 5, 9, 10 (Lamentations – Ezekiel – Daniel)
1 The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones.
3 Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”
5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to breathe into you and make you live again!
9 Then he said to me, “Speak to the winds and say: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O Breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so that they may live again.”
10 So I spoke as he commanded me, and the wind entered the bodies, and they began to breathe. They all came to life and stood up on their feet – a great army of them.
Dry bones = people of God
Wind = Spirit of God
In Wellington, NZ I saw hundreds of Seagulls by the Seaside. They were flapping their wings – but they were going Backwards. Then, after a while, they remain stationary/still in the air. They were no longer flapping their wings. But they were allowing the wind to carry them up or down or sideways.
They were resting in the Wind.
Note: Spiritual Rest = Resting in the Presence of God = in the Atmosphere where the Spirit of God is.
In the church, we want to Build a Strong Spiritual Atmosphere.
- That comes about because of Everyone Participating – in the Worship.
Isaiah 40:31 (Song of Songs – Isaiah – Jeremiah)
But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Resting in God’s Presence – Transform us – from Dry Bones – into an Army
Physical Rest recharges us Physically. Spiritual Rest recharges us Spiritually.
a. Begin to Worship God Regularly.
b. Begin to Pray in tongues Regularly (1/2 hour per day = recharge you, renew you).
Message preached in August 2004