(Devotional shared at Upward basketball on January 21st.)
Not too long ago, I reached a certain age and I decided that it was time to start paying better attention to my physical health. Which means that I decided to start exercising and so I started running everyday. I figured this would be an easy, cheap way to stay in shape. Throw on a t-shirt, shorts, a pair of sneakers and hit the road.
I was wrong - about the cheap part. I joined a running group and quickly realized that runners need lots of stuff. I had to buy a new watch so I could keep up with my pace. I needed new clothes to wick away sweat. I needed running shoes specially fitted to me. Then I needed a extra pair of shoes, and headbands, water bottles, an ipod, and other stuff. Add on to that the gym membership so I would not have to run in the rain or the cold. That cheap running habit got expensive very quickly, but I justified the expense because it was after all something good to do for my physical health. And physical health, exercise, staying in shape - these things are important.
But the secret to true health is not found in being merely physically fit. While being physically fit is very good, to be truly fit we also need to pay attention to our spiritual health. And remember all the money I have spent on accessories to improve my physical health? Well, the one thing we need for spiritual fitness is free! Totally free - It's already been paid for. Romans 6:23 tells us that the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of God’s grace we are redeemed. We are forgiven. This gift is freely bestowed – freely given to all who believe. That's it! Just believe and it is yours for free.
There is also no long list of accessories that you need to maintain spiritual fitness. But there are a few things that will be useful. These things can also be found for free. God’s word, the Bible, if you have an internet connection you can find a free Bible online. A good church home where you can learn more about God and fellowship with other believers who will support and encourage you – these are also freely available to those who reach out.
So how is your health? Do you have what you need to be physically fit and, more importantly, to be spiritual fit?