Spiritual Training Program
12 week long Bible study for women - https://fullarmorfitness.com/womens-whole-week-health-bible-study/
Books on Christian health and Fitness - https://www.lifeway.com/en/shop/books/christian-living/health-fitness
6 week Bible study program - https://www.amazon.com/Fearlessly-Fit-6-Week-Fitness-Faith/dp/0692538976
8 week challenge as well as a Bible Study both connecting God to fitness - https://www.soulstrengthfit.com/
9 Week Study "Motivated to Wellness" - https://www.firstplaceforhealth.com/shop/motivated-to-wellness-new-9-week-study/
As Christians, should we exercise?
God has given us each a physical body to take care of while we are on this earth. Although it is clear that our value should not be in worldly things, which would include our physical body (1 Timothy 4:8), we should still be good stewards of what God has given us. Stewardship means “the job of supervising or taking care of something”. When we are being good stewards of our bodies that can include exercising to stay in a good physical condition. Running is a great way to exercise our bodies to stay in good shape. Many studies have shown that running can increase longevity, it can improve sleep, it can improve knees and back, it will help people lose weight, it improves people’s immunity, it has been proven to help neurologically, it can lower people’s blood sugar, as well as many other health benefits!
Discipline is something that is seen throughout the bible. Discipline when it comes to the mind, body, tongue, sinful temptations, parent and child relationships, our growth as Christians and our relationship with God. The word discipline can mean “to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control”. When we begin exercising or running we have to be disciplined in our training. Most people do not always want to go for a run or exercise just as some days it could be hard for someone to be motivated to do their devotional or make it to church. As humans we are flawed, and that means we don’t always love to do the things that are good for us or things God tells us we should do. That is why God calls us to be disciplined (Hebrews 12:11). Also, discipline goes hand and hand with self-control, which is one of the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:23-24). When we discipline our bodies to be healthier we are practicing having self-control. This is because there will be days when you are tempted to not get up and exercise but rather sleep in or you would rather watch Netflix then go running, but when we decide to exercise over the other options we are having self-control and doing what is best for our bodies rather than just what we want to do. When we practice discipline we can become more like Christ.
Our bodies are made up of both body and soul, therefore we are both physical and spiritual beings. As Christians we hear a lot about being more like Christ, and doing all the things we need to do for our souls, but we do not normally hear a lot about what to do with our physical bodies. What we do with our physical body can be just as important as what we do with our souls. The body is definitely not as important as our souls but our physical bodies are what hold the holy spirit (Romans 8:5-8). Our bodies are also considered a temple, therefore we should treat it with respect and care (1 Corinthians 6:19)! We can respect our bodies by exercising, and eating things that are healthy and full of nutrition.
Therefore, as Christians, should we exercise?
The answer is yes!
What are you going to do with the body God has given you?
Weekly Blog #2:
Healthy Living for the Right Reasons
When deciding to exercise, eat healthy, and overall live a healthy life, you must first make sure that your motivation is steered in the right direction. In the world we live in there are many people trying to achieve the “ultimate goal” of healthy living and that is being “beautiful”. This is a lie that society has made people believe and it is something Christians need to stay far away from. The different diet fads, magic pills and “guaranteed” to lose weight exercise regimens are all trying to get people to participate with vanity in mind. Vanity is “excessive pride in or admiration in one’s own appearance or achievements”. They promise skinny beautiful results and people jump right in. A lot of times these things do not work and there is a very clear reason, it’s because people are losing weight for the wrong reasons. In general just living healthy to be skinny or to be beautiful is not a good way to look at it but as Christians it can actually be sinful. There are many times in the bible that warns us against vanity:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8
1 Timothy really sums it up well. Bodily training or exercise does have value. We are called to take care of our bodies because it is a gift that God has given us and we need to take care of it, but that is not our main goal in life. The goal that Christians should always be striving for is to glorify God with all that we do and become more like Christ (1 Cor. 10:31). Therefore taking care of our bodies is glorifying to God. When you start to live a healthy life always set your eyes on Christ. Our bodies will eventually decay but our soul will live forever, so take care of your body but place your value and treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:19-20).
Do you live a healthy lifestyle for the right reasons?
Weekly Blog #3:
How Running Can Affect Your Spiritual Life
Most of the time we do not think about how exercise can and does affect our spiritual life. Exercise is something we should do and something that can really benefit our lives for Christ. There are many ways that running can affect spiritual life but some main ways are discipline, training, hard work, and endurance.
The bible says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11.
If you are a runner or do any type of exercise you know that discipline is something that is absolutely necessary. You will never get better if you do not have discipline during your training. Sometimes it can be difficult to get up, put on your running shoes, and go for that long run, but with discipline you do it anyway because in the end you have to train to get better. This mindset will transcend to your spiritual life! Just like exercise, with your spiritual life you must have discipline. You must discipline yourself to do things you might not what to do. You won’t always want to turn the Netflix off and read your bible but you might need to, and discipline is what will allow you to do that.
If you have ever trained for a race, you know just how much discipline it takes to keep up with the training. There are days when you feel amazing and so excited for the run but there are other days where you would literally do anything else. One both of those days you must train because you have a race to run. This is just like, as Christians, we have a spiritual race, and it’s called the Race of Faith. In an article by Jennifer Brodgen, she explained the race of faith well:
“In the Christian life, we run the race of faith. We don’t strive for the crown that only one can receive. We strive to finish strong in our faith. God makes us all winners when we cross the line. We get him! Forever! Thus, we all win God by persevering in faith and getting to the finish line. But we, like runners, must lay aside hindrances of our endurance. Hebrews 12:1–3 says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
Runners not only properly nourish their body and recover well, but they also work hard to build endurance. They endure long runs. They do speed workouts. They lift weights. They stretch. They push through pain. They have sore muscles and tired lungs. Likewise, as Christians, we work hard to strengthen our faith to endure the race of faith. We must seek him daily in his word and in prayer. We must seek fellowship among other believers and let our fellow church members encourage us in the faith. We must welcome rebuke and embrace trials. Personal discipline is essential if we are to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.”
When you run you are building up an endurance to help you continue training for longer runs or to help you run at a faster pace. Overall endurance is what helps a novice runner become an excellent runner. Someone who just decided to take up running would not be able to complete a marathon. That will take training and hard work over weeks or months to build up an endurance.
In the Christian faith our endurance must be built to run the race of life. Our lives are like training for a really long marathon. The way we can run this race of life is through endurance found only in Jesus. The main way to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” is, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:2-3).
Not only do we look to Jesus for endurance but God sets the course. If you’re running a marathon, you can’t make up your own course. If you stray from the course, you’ll be disqualified. The race is “set before us,” just as Jesus had “the joy set before Him.” God is the Sovereign One who sets the course for each of us, just as He set the course of the cross for Jesus. To finish the Christian marathon, it’s important to keep in mind at all times that the Sovereign God sets the course. You may not like parts of the course. You may be prone to grumble, “Why did the course have to go over this hill, or through this swamp?” The answer is, “Because the Sovereign God planned it this way.” You won’t be able to run by faith unless you submit your will to His will. In the Christian run we have to set our eyes on Jesus but we should also be doing that when we exercise or run. This goes back to exercising and living a healthy life for the right reasons.
How has running/exercise affected your relationship with Christ?
If it hasn’t think of ways that it can and implement them today!