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Feel the Burn

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Feel the Burn - September 16, 2005

I'm realizing that I need the accountability of an exercise class if I'm going to try to prevent this over-forty body from completely shriveling up. So I went to exercise class again. But I accidentally went to the weights class instead of the aerobics class. Big mistake for a shriveling woman. I knew for sure just how big a mistake it was when I was leaving and I couldn't lift my car keys.

The instructor said that we needed to stretch ourselves and that if we could feel muscles burning, that meant something was happening. Feel burning? I was ready to stop, drop and roll within the first five minutes.

I'm not so good at stretching myself in the muscle department. These muscles (and I'm using the word "muscles" in its loosest terms) are at least a little lazy. When I hear my muscle-like parts whine, I'm usually willing to listen- and to give in to them. I've discovered they find great comfort in a good cream-filled chocolate eclair.

I wonder if I get a little lazy about stretching myself spiritually, too. Serving Christ isn't a job for spiritual couch spuds. No, it requires exercising spiritual muscle. It's not always easy. Sometimes we're stretched in new directions.

Are you stretching? If you can feel the burn, something is likely happening. 2 Timothy 1:6 says, "This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you" (NLT) I hope I'm not reading more into this than I should, but since Paul instructs us to "fan into flames" our spiritual gifts, doesn't that mean that sometimes God gives a gift to us as a spark? If so, how exactly would we encourage that spark to catch on? By fanning it, encouraging it, and using it!

There very well may be spiritual gifts that some of us may not yet know about because we've never tried them out. We've never fanned the flames. We've never stretched ourselves until we feel the burn.

"A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church." (1 Corinthians 12:7, NLT) We each have a spiritual gift. According to this verse, that gift has a purpose. Its purpose is to help the church; to serve in the body of Christ. 1 Peter 4:10 says, "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." It's clear. The gifts we have are given by God's grace. And we're not being good stewards of His gracious gifts if we're not using them to serve one another.

Let's stretch. Let's try new ways to serve. We just might find new and fabulous ways to bring glory to Christ through our service. Fan the flames!

I think I'll try something new myself- as soon as I can lift my keys.

Contributed by: Rhonda Rhea

 
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