Strengthened in Christ, 1

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We are reminded each and every day how weak and finite our physical bodies are. It does not take much to wear us down to the point of exhaustion and fatigue. We often come to the end of our work-week worn out, ready to crash and relax. The stress that comes from daily responsibilities, relationships and expectations to perform can be overwhelming, both mentally and physically. We know that without proper amounts of nutrition and rest, our bodies simply will fail to function the way in which they are designed. We are told by doctors and nutritional experts how important diet, rest and exercise is in order to maintain a thriving lifestyle. But we are also reminded from Scripture how important it is for the care and upkeep of our physical bodies. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and to therefore honor God with our bodies. Later on in chapter 10, Paul instructs his readers that our eating and drinking should bring glory to God (v. 31). Paul tells Timothy that physical exercise is of some value (1 Tim 4:8). God desires health and healing for His people (Jer. 33:6; 2 Chron. 7:14 ). Proverbs 3:7-8 connects wisdom with physical health. We can see from a variety of passages how the physical stewardship of our bodies can and should be a God honoring pursuit. But we are also reminded that our outer bodies are wasting away while our inner selves are being renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16). This renewal is the work of the Spirit who is sanctifying and conforming us more into the image of Christ. Paul’s chief concern for the fellow believers in Ephesus was not that they would thrive physically, but that they would be strengthened with power through the Spirit in the inner person. Why? “So that Christ may dwell in their hearts,” ultimately filling them with the fullness of God (Eph 3:16-19). As your physical bodies feel the effects of the curse each day, may you not become discouraged. But instead, rejoice in the hope of the resurrection and may you be reminded of the spiritual strength God graciously provides for those who are in Christ.  –Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

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