The weather is finally turning towards spring here in Michigan. It’s been cold for so long and all a person has wanted to do is dress warm, eat fattening foods, and curl up with toasty socks and a big blanket. As warmer weather teases, there are inclinations for pant hems to shorten to Capri length and then to shorts. Ditch the socks and boots and grab your sandals. And … uh oh … is that my bathing suit peeking out from underneath my work-out clothes in the bottom dresser drawer? Yeah. The other inclination the warm weather brings is to shape up, lose weight, and get ready for bathing suit weather.
I actually have been exercising some over the past weeks … here and there … off and on. I’ve been walking (and mixing it up with some running) and some exercise DVD’s that are work-outs with weights. I love working out with weights – especially my arms. After ‘pumping some iron’ this morning my arms were actually shaking from the last set of reps I had done. And then the house phone rang. The house phone is cordless and about the size of a small dumbbell. I grabbed the ringing phone and it felt weightless to me. At first I thought that perhaps Ted had taken the weighty battery pack out of it, but then I realized that it was a result of my weight work-out. It made me think about people who are totally serious about their weight work-outs. With muscles that have been trained and strengthened, any heavy lifting job becomes featherweight. The body has been primed and prepared to handle heavy loads easily and effortlessly.
The bible tells us to exercise. Hebrews 12:12 states, “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” Ha! Yes it does! So get off the couch you lazy sinner and get down on that floor and do fifty push-ups! Yeah, I can’t do fifty push-ups either and, of course, the bible is speaking to believers to be strengthened in their faith. Embrace your faith and stand with conviction!
In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, the first book, chapter 3, verse 2, Paul writes “We sent Timothy … to strengthen and encourage you in your faith.” Interesting footnote on that verse says that in regards to the word strengthen – in Greek Classical literature the word was generally used in the literal sense of putting a buttress on a building. In the New Testament it is mainly used figuratively, as it is here. For those of you wondering – a buttress is: an architectural structure built against or projecting from a wall which serves to support or reinforce the wall. Buttresses are fairly common on more ancient buildings, as a means of providing support to act against the lateral (sideways) forces arising out of the roof structures that lack adequate bracing.
So – How are YOU buttressing your faith? I mean if you want to say you are strong in your faith, what exercises are you doing to encourage strength and support? Just like our physical muscles need strengthening so we can carry the heavy load, will your faith be able to stand when it is challenged? Will you be hovering on weak knees? Oh, I need to exercise this area of my life, too! It’s as simple as letting the church be your school and the bible your textbook. Hanging with fellow believers/students helps too. Colossians 1:9-14 is a good read for those who want to look it up, but it basically says this: We pray for fellow believers so that they might … “be strengthened with all power … so that you may have great endurance and patience…”
It’s time to exercise fellow readers! Bathing suit weather is calling so get your butt moving. And buttress your faith while you’re at it too!