by Rick Warren
“Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit” (1 Timothy 4:7b TLB).
If you want God to use you, you have to fortify your faith.
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:7, “Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit” (TLB).
How many of you wake up in the morning thinking, “I get to exercise today!” I certainly don’t. But I do know that we all need both physical and spiritual exercise. And I know this about exercise: I want the most benefit I can get out of every minute I exercise, whether it’s physical or spiritual. Let me help you do that by giving you four spiritual habits that will fortify your faith.
Study the Bible. We need to study the Bible personally, because we can’t depend on somebody else’s study to fortify our faith. We have to do it on our own. The Bible says, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT, second edition). God’s Word is the “Get Ready” manual for life. If you want to get ready to be used by God, you’ve got to study God’s Word.
Read Christian books. Proverbs 19:8 says, “Do yourself a favor and learn all you can” (TEV). You learn a lot more when you read books that help you grow spiritually.
Write out your testimony. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have” (NCV). Just like nobody else can study for you, nobody else can tell your story. There are four parts to a testimony: what your life was like before you came to Christ, how you realized you needed Christ in your life, how you committed your life to Christ, and what your life is like now.
Join a small group. The Bible says, “Encourage each other and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11a NLT, second edition). I don’t know of much that will fortify your faith like regular contact with your small group. If you are not in a small group, you need to find the people that you can share your life with and who will support you as you grow in faith.
These four habits will help you stay spiritually fit so that you are ready for God to use you. Which one do you need to work on today?
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Talk It Over
Why do you think it helps to actually write your testimony down?
What are some ways your small group can help you grow in faith and you can help them?
Reading Christian books may not seem like a fun task. Think of some ways you can make it more engaging and interesting, like reading the same book with a group of friends and meeting together for coffee and to discuss the book.