Lesson 28: Fit For What?

You're reading JESUS: LESSONS IN LOVE, by Eric Elder, featuring thirty inspiring devotionals based on the greatest "lover" of all time, Jesus Christ. Also available in paperback and eBook formats in our bookstore for a donation of any size!

You’re reading JESUS: LESSONS IN LOVE, by Eric Elder, featuring thirty inspiring devotionals based on the greatest “lover” of all time, Jesus Christ. Also available in paperback and eBook formats in our bookstore for a donation of any size!

Scripture Reading: Matthew 28

Why do we go to church?  Read the Bible?  Pray?  Listen to sermons?  Read devotionals?

Why?  To grow.  To be stronger in our faith.  To help us through difficult times.  To find God’s answers for specific questions on our heart.  Certainly it’s for each of those things.

But there’s more!  God has more in mind for us from all of our reading, studying and praying than simply our own spiritual growth.  He wants us to be spiritually fit.  The question is, fit for what?

Jesus tells us the answer in Matthew chapter 28, verses 18 through 20.  In this passage, often referred to as “The Great Commission,” Jesus gives His final instructions to His disciples―instructions that apply to us today as well, as followers of Jesus Christ.  Jesus said:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). 

If all of our reading and studying and praying was solely to help us grow for our own sakes, we’d be like a body builder who works out for years to compete in a contest, but never actually uses his muscles to lift anything “in the real world.”  They would certainly be fit, but fit for what?

I’m not against bodybuilding, and I wish I had some of those muscles myself!  But in reading Jesus’ words, I’m convicted that sometimes we as Christians can focus so much on the workout that we forget why we’re working out.

Our spiritual workouts may include Bible studies, quiet times, and memorizing scripture, all of which are great and helpful in their own right.  But in the end, Jesus wants us to put what we’ve learned into practice, serving others as He served them.  Baptizing others as He baptized them.  Teaching others as He taught them.

How can we do that today?  How can we use our gifts to make disciples of all nations?  How can we encourage people to get baptized?  How can we teach others to obey all that Christ has commanded us?

The list is endless of how God creatively uses people to join Him in His work.

I know a woman who wondered how God could use her to fulfill this command.  She liked to swim…but what could she do with that?  Then a neighbor boy asked her if she would teach him how to swim in her backyard pool.  She agreed to do it, on the condition that he memorize a Bible verse every time he came for a lesson.  He did it, loved it, and soon brought his friends.  They, too, began taking swimming lessons and memorizing Scripture.  Within a few years, this woman was holding her swimming classes at a public pool, because over a hundred kids were coming each day to learn how to swim and memorize Scripture.

I have an aunt who loves to cook, but how could that help fulfill The Great Commission?  Over the years, she has hosted hundreds of pastors, Bible teachers, missionaries, students, neighbors, friends and relatives in her home, giving them a physical, as well as a spiritual lift as they’ve come through her home.

How might He want to use you this week, this month, this year?  What do you love doing?  What do you have a passion for?  What are you skilled at that could be tweaked, even just a little, to help bring others into the kingdom of God?

God has gifted you, certainly because He loves you, but also because He wants to love others through you.

Keep asking God how you can get into the best spiritual shape possible.  He wants each of us to be as fit as we can be…fit for all that He wants to do through us in the days ahead.

Prayer: Father, help me to find creative ways to put my spiritual fitness to use for You and Your kingdom.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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