Love the Lord…With All Your Strength

Through the month of December, my pastor preached on John 1, connecting it to the birth of Christ. One week he focused on John 1:14-18:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth….For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God,who is at the Father’s side,he has made him known.

What is so tremendous about this passage and others like it, is that our God came to earth in human flesh! Many other religions hate the body (as seen through deprivation or punishment) or seek to better their fleshly position in the next life. Other belief systems raise the soul above the body, indulging in any earthly pleasure with the assumption that their soul is all that must remain pure. However, in Christianity, Jesus became flesh with all its hurt, joy, and sorrow. In fact, “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Christ].” Colossians 1:19.

Here is a religion where what we do with our bodies matters because it’s what Christ did with his physical body on the cross that brings us into a relationship with God. In fact, we are commanded to worship God with our bodies. “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30 (Also in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Luke 10:27.)

Of course, we must focus on our soul’s development as we become sanctified. But what I find exciting, compelling, inspiring is that our bodies matter! We can use them to worship and our strength is a means of worship. Running, walking, cycling, swimming, any athletic pursuit can be a means of worship. Yes, by working for the Lord and not for man, but also perhaps even through a group like Team OneVerse?

If, as Paul writes in Galatians 5:6, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love,” then if I use my ability to run as a way to spread God’s love, I’m demonstrating my faith. Christianity is exciting because it infuses every area of my life with the ability to share God’s love — my heart, mind, and strength. Whatever your ability or interest, certainly use your mind and words to show God’s love, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to use your body as well. It doesn’t have to be by winning a race; it could simply be walking weekly with a group of friends, praying and raising awareness through your physical actions of the great need for Bible translation.

How can you use your body to worship this year?

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