by Ami Hendrickson
For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come.
1 Timothy 4:8
The Apostle Paul, who penned the letter that originally contained today’s verse, often talks about the connection exercise has to health – both physically and spiritually.
The body is the temple of God, he says in 1 Corinthians 3:16. Later, in the same book, he says the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. “You were bought with a price,” he reminds his readers. “Therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Not only does Paul advise keeping one’s body pure because it belongs to God, but he also uses athletic terms when discussing his own faith, explaining the key factors to running a successful spiritual race.
First, we must get rid of the things that weigh us down (Hebrews 12:1). We need to lay aside our doubts. Our fears. Our sins that threaten to trip us up.
In the same verse he reminds us to remain patient – one doesn’t become race-ready overnight.
Then, we need a training partner. Not just anyone will do; Jesus is always our example (Hebrews 12:2).
Finally, we must actually run the race and, more importantly, run to win (1 Corinthians 9:24). For though physical exercise might help extend our lives here on Earth, spiritual exercise can help us live forever!
Thank you for my physical and spiritual health.
Help me to never run away from You.
May I always be willing and ready to run the races You want me to.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.