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exercise : I deal in hope

I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Devotional Conditioning

Read: I Corinthians 9:24-27

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. –1 Corinthians 9:27 (KJV)

As he entered the house, Mark sucked in a deep breath. He slowly walked back and forth across the living room floor, allowing his body to cool and his breathing to return to normal.
Nine-year-old Crystal slid into the room. “How’d you do today, Dad?”
Mark blew out a breath. Smiled. “Eleven miles. Walked another two. Need to work up to twenty by June for the marathon.”
Crystal clapped her hands. “Sure hope you win it, Dad. What with running, swimming, exercising, and lifting those weights in the basement, you’ll be the best conditioned athlete in the race.”
Mark chuckled at his daughter’s unfettered enthusiasm and belief in him as he ruffled her hair. “Well, Crys. All those things are important components to help me condition for this race.” He paused before continuing, “But you know, God’s Word says there is a much more important race to condition for than this marathon.”
Crystal scrunched up her forehead in confusion. “Say what? What are you talking about?”
“Spiritual conditioning.”
Crystal shrugged and plopped down on the couch. “What’s spiritual conditioning?”

Picking up his well-used Bible from the end table, he sat down next to her and flipped the Bible open to a passage found in I Corinthians 9:24-27 and began to read. “The things we do, like regularly reading the Bible, praying and trusting God to meet our needs, even gathering with other believers to fellowship and to hear teaching from God’s Word, are all spiritual conditioning exercises that keep us strong in our walk of faith with Jesus.”
Mark continued, “This is a race we enter when we ask Jesus to be our Savior and seek to know and follow Him.”
Crystal’s chin snapped up. “I’ve done that, but didn’t know it was a race.”
Mark patted her knee. “Not like the marathon,” he agreed. “These exercises aren’t just for one day, but for a lifetime. They make sure we don’t put other things in place of our time with Jesus.”
Like when you took a nap instead of lifting weights downstairs.”
“Umm. You saw that?
“Snoring like crazy, Dad.”
Yeah, well. If I did that very often, I wouldn’t be ready for the marathon would I?”
She shook her head. “I see. If we do spiritual exercises, we will stay close to Jesus and be strong when Satan tries to make us do bad things.”
Exactly! When we’re strong in living for Jesus, others will want to know Him, too.” He paused. “I know you want me to win the marathon, Honey, and I’ll do my best, but it is more important win our spiritual race.”
I hear ya, Dad. I hear ya.”

Lord, help me commit to doing those activities that promote not just my physical well-being, but my spiritual well-being as well. Help me stay close to You so I will not falter in the most important race of all. Amen.

Monday: I Timothy 4:6-16
Tuesday: II Timothy 1
Wednesday: II Timothy 2
Thursday: II Timothy 3
Friday: II Timothy 4
Saturday: I Corinthians 6:9-20

(C) 2018 Carolyn R Scheidies
From Listen! Who Me?

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