Well, it’s past January, and you know what that means - its about time for New Year’s resolutions to be forgotten. According to recent polls, the #1 New Year’s resolution made is to lose weight. It is obvious by looking at statistics that many Americans can’t seem to comply with that promise they made to themselves. According to the AOA (American Obesity Association), 65% of people in the United States are overweight. 127 million people in America weigh more than a person their age and height should weigh. In fact, 60 million people have been classified as obese. A board of doctors came out with a statement last month concerning a solution to the weight problem in the US: “In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories a day than you consume.” (Well, how many years of medical school did it take for you to figure that one out?!). Along with the statistics, the AOA listed “individuals with obesity are at higher risk for impaired mobility” as one of the negative side effects of being overweight. You know what this reminds me of? Christians. Yea I said it; most Christians are getting “fat”!
However, this statement has nothing to do with covered dish luncheons and Wednesday night meals in the fellowship hall. This is all about one of the main reasons people come to church. The Lifeway organization did a survey asking Christians why they frequent the church that they attend. The number one answer was “because the preaching/teaching helps to feed my spiritual life.” The reason that many people go to church is to be fed. As a future pastor, I think that is a great compliment to the preachers in churches today. I love the fact that pastors are digging in and preaching from God’s word and sharing exegetical messages each week. But, so much feeding and eating on our parts has made us fat, even to the point of spiritual obesity. And just like the AOA says, “individuals with obesity are at a higher risk for impaired mobility.” Some Christians are getting so fat and happy that they don’t want to get up and do any exercise.
Despite the bad statistics though, a group of doctors has come up with an ingenious solution to get our biblical waistlines back in shape: “You have to burn more calories a day that you consume.” Brilliant!! Now, how many hours a week do you spend digesting and consuming God’s word in both your personal and corporate worship? Now compare that with how many hours a week you spend putting feet to the gospel and exercising your knowledge by sharing it with others in your neighborhood, community, and city? Christianity isn’t all about Bible study. It is important for us as Christians to grow in our faith and to stay rooted in the Word, but evangelism is also a huge aspect of our calling that many people unfortunately avoid.
So maybe your diagnosis isn’t that good. No problem. With a little exercise and a healthy diet, you’ll slim up in no time!
-Spending time in the Word-
1. Luke 10:1-9: People had been following Jesus and looking at his miracles and listening to his teachings, and maybe even being one of the 5,000 men that ate with him (2:10-17). But Jesus didn’t want them to stay with him and keep getting fed. He sent them out to burn off some of the calories.
2. Jonah 3:4-10: Despite the circumstances and presuppositions you may have about people, don’t be surprised if they listen and respond to God when you share your faith with them.
-Hiding the Word in your heart-
Memorize these verses as you continue to study the Word of God daily.
1. “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus . . . I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction.” -2 Timothy 4:1-2
2. “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” -Psalm 9:10