Nutrition, exercise and rest all matter, but separately they’re each insufficient ...
In getting a basic physical evaluation, no medical professional asks you one question. They ask you dozens of questions. They don’t examine us for a single quality. They inquire about – and urge us to pursue – several various characteristics. For instance, I imagine you have been guided to assess how you eat, how active you are, and how well you sleep.
Nutrition, exercise, and rest all matter, but separately they’re each insufficient.
What am I driving at? Last week I summarized the problem of the death of Christendom. With evaporating credibility for the church in our culture, it is forcing many to either admit that their ties to the church are thin, as are the benefits they gain. But this loss of credibility for external religion also highlights how different it is simply to follow Jesus – and belong to His people – no matter the costs.
So what are some of the ways that life is different if you commit to Jesus? Think of those three things that make for health …
1) Jesus leads each of us to pursue Him personally in an on-going living relationship (“Give us this day our daily bread”). 2) He calls us to community, and He modeled living with a close circle of friends, on mission, all the time. And 3) “as was His custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day.” Jesus habitually attended weekly corporate worship.
So also, 1) we believe that it is good to engage with Jesus daily in Scripture reading and prayer (we provide guidance for Community Bible Reading and prayer in light of His Grace). But 2) you also need to be befriending and mutually encouraging a handful of friends just like Jesus (and we provide Community Groups). Then 3) along with the habit of participating in corporate worship, these three combine to make for your spiritual health. Yet separately, they’re each insufficient.
I imagine you can understand that a doctor would not congratulate you if you eat nutritiously yet never exercise. Or what if you exercise and sleep ok, but you eat like an unsupervised 7-year-old? And I bet you can discern the significance of good rest as last year Americans spent an estimated $41 billion on sleep aids!
All three matter in combination. And please remember, this is a hopeful invitation. We actually believe God is calling us to join Him in what He is doing. We want to provide for anyone willing to join us, but in the end, I know we cannot make anyone do anything. It’s up to you. You are responsible for your own spiritual health. But we believe in the combined goodness of what we offer, and we want to be the kind of church that adds value to your life eternally.
Things to pray for:
- A heart of praise. God is good to lead you in His ways, and His design for us is good in every respect. Praise Him for being so good to you.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom to live in light of His character and His leading
- Pray for the ability to follow Jesus genuinely and patiently to trust His guidance.
- Ask Jesus to fill you with hope because of His ability to transform your heart to His.