A temple. 1 Cor. 6:19-20 says our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Our body was not made for immorality. It was made to glorify God.
It’s our job to glorify God in our body. Consistently.
And if we are going to glorify God with our bodies, then we must maintain this temple and keep it in good working order as much as we can.
We must use our body in service by carrying the Gospel message to our communities, that is the top priority.
A faith that is alive produces a desire to accomplish works of love.
Secondarily, we must keep this body temple in shape by loving our Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and with all our strength (Mark 12:30). Jesus, said that this is the foremost commandment of all.
Don’t be a SadClown (@F3NWArkansas @F3Nation). Do what you can to maintain your temple in all four areas of Lord loving that Jesus described.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20 NASB
Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:31 NASB
How are you maintaining your temple this week (mind, heart, soul or strength)? Please comment and share with others.
In the book Cold-Case Christianity author J. Warner Wallace, a homicide detective, writes about the evidence we have that the Gospels were written very near the time of Christ. This gives us reason to believe that the Gospels really were written from eyewitness testimony of the life of Jesus.
The New Testament fails to describe the destruction of the temple (this occured in 70 AD)
The New Testament fails to describe the siege of Jerusalem
Luke said nothing about the deaths of Paul (AD 64 in Rome) and Peter (AD 65 in Rome) in the book of Acts. Even though they are prominent figures. Yet he did mention the death of Stephen and others.
Luke said nothing about the death of James the brother of Jesus in the book of Acts (AD 62 in Jerusalem).
Luke’s Gospel predates the book of Acts (See Acts 1:1-2)
Paul quoted Luke’s Gospel in his letter to Timothy written about AD 63. (See 1 Timothy 5:17-18 and Luke 10:7) So Luke Gospel was already commonly accepted by AD 63.
Paul echoed the claims of the Gospel writers in books/letters of Romans, Corinthians and Galatians. These letters were written between AD 48 and AD 60. And Paul quoted Luke in his letter to the Corinthian church nearly ten years earlier than in his letter to Timothy. (See 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 and Luke 22:19-20)
Luke Quoted Mark and Matthew repeatedly. So they must have been written earlier than Luke.
Mark’s Gospel appears to be an early “crime broadcast”. It’s brief, less ordered and filled with action verbs and adjectives written with a sense of urgency.
Mark appears to be protecting key players by not naming them. Though the later Gospels name them. Mark is possibly trying to protect these key players from the same people who crucified Jesus, because they were still alive when he wrote his Gospel. Unlike the Gospel of John which was written later and named most of these key players.
Watch J. Warner Wallace explain the timeline with the evidence of an early writing of the Gospels.
Disciplining the body is one of the hardest things for people to do, especially for someone who is going through a life change like a new job, new baby, a financial decision, and any number of life situations.
Yet disciplining our bodies and taming our fleshly desires are a required step in our journey to spiritual maturity and a good physical state of health.
At one point in my life, at around age 36, I started losing my confidence. I felt like I was getting physically weak, I was overweight, and I didn’t feel like anyone would want to ever take me seriously because of the way I looked. This, of course, is partly a lie of the evil one to try and hold me back from the purpose God has for me. But, it was somewhat true. Because of my lack of confidence, I was being held back and I was not being impactful.
I wasn’t being as impactful at work, in my home, in my career or in the mission and purpose to share the Gospel.
We all want to be able to work on our mission to spread the Gospel of Christ with vigor and energy until the day we die. Right?
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:12-14 NASB https://bible.com/bible/100/rom.6.12-14.NASB
In our mission to share the Gospel we must often remove the pole from our own eye before helping our neighbor remove the speck from his eye.
If we are struggling to tame our own fleshly desires, how can we help anyone else see a better way?
Guess what, you don’t have to be a pastor, full time preacher or evangelist to preach/teach others. And I don’t want to disqualify myself by allowing my fleshly desires to rule over me.
Though I will stumble Lord, help me not to fall. And if a fall is ever necessary for learning, Lord never let it be so. Let my body be used for your service until the day I meet you face to face.
In full context this passage relates to sharing the Gospel with others where they are in life, but not partaking in the circumstance that they are in. We must exercise self-control.
I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:23-27 NASB https://bible.com/bible/100/1co.9.23-27.NASB
For me, exercising self-control first started with my food addictions and stress behavior. Setting goals in the app MyFitnessPal was the best thing for me.
Then I hit a weight loss plateau after losing 30 pounds. Why? Because I was getting about 15% of my calories from sugary foods? (sweet tea)
Then I lost another 10 pounds after cutting out excessive sugar. I try to stay around 50 grams of sugar a day, but most days I am under that around 20 grams.
I felt great about my weight loss at that point. And my self-esteem and confidence were allowing me to be bolder in my sharing of the Gospel. Though I know my boldness should come from my faith and the Holy Spirit working in me, and it does. But a little self-confidence does not hurt.
Then I hit another plateau. I knew at that point I would have to hit the gym. Which I didn’t want to do. Having to miss my lunch time to change clothes and make my body hurt was not appealing. But then Eric joined my team. Eric runs marathons and hits the weight room. So now I had a partner to teach me.
It was accountability and expert advice on how to train that moved me on to reaching my personal fitness goal.
I started seeing body changes after about a month that motivated me tremendously. Then comes a goal, run a 5K. I hated running. Why would anyone want to run? I’ve hated it since high school.
Next goal run a half marathon. Check. Run in under 2 hours. Check
But then I set myself another goal. Goals must be achievable but not easy. My new goal was to prove I had abs. I’d never seen them, but I was sure they must exist.
I’m still working at this goal because I’m not satisfied. But I press on. (March 2019 Update: They do exist at about 11% body fat and under, I’m currently at ~10%)
But the ultimate goal is to extend and invigorate the mission I have to share the Gospel for as long as God has me in this flesh tent.
Now what? Well, now I want to help others reach their goals.
In the winter of 2019, I began studying for my NASM Certified Personal Trainer test. And in the spring of 2020, finally after the Covid lockdowns end and allowed the testing centers to open, I am now a Certified NASM Personal Trainer.
And my mission is to help other men, like me, to achieve their fitness goals, to regain their confidence, and begin Taming the Flesh!
“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Colossians 1:13-14 NASB https://bible.com/bible/100/col.1.13-14.NASB
As I was in Denver last week I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with complete strangers on two separate occasions. It seemed much more comfortable sharing there, and I know why. I was just an anonymous guy.
Just another dude on the street in the big city. Nobody knew who I was. Except my family.
Sharing the Gospel message in anonymity is easy if you love people.
What’s hard is sharing in places where you are known. At work, at school, with family and friends, it becomes exponentially harder to share your faith with people who know you. But most especially if you are not living what you are speaking.
WE SHOULD BE SHARING GOD’S MERCY, GRACE AND TRUTH.
Jesus came full of grace and truth. See John 1.
We are sinners saved by grace standing on the truth of God’s word. We are not perfect and we will mess up again and again. Yet because of Jesus we are reconciled with God the Father.
In Acts, Peter and the apostles were not sharing for a couple of days and going home. They stayed around for a while, and people knew who they were.
They were flogged, stoned, imprisoned and many other things, but they continued confessing Jesus Christ as Lord.
Understandably there are mission fields where the Gospel must be shared in a secretive and even clandestine manner.
But in most situations we are not called to hide in the shadows of anonymity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, we are told to confess Jesus before men.
“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33 NASB
“They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
Acts 5:40-42 NASB https://bible.com/bible/100/act.5.40-42.NASB