From Him, Through Him, To Him
Did you know Jesus can help you lose weight? That may sound a bit silly but it's true. We tend to think sanctification is for our heart, soul, and mind but forget that it is for our bodies as well - as if Christ redeemed our spirit but has no power over our "fleshy" parts. The truth is, Jesus wants to transform everything and a healthier body can be one of the many surprising benefits of discipleship. You see, Jesus is not only the Savior of our soul (which is already the best news imaginable) He has come to be the Savior of all areas of our lives! He is the Savior of our marriages. He is the Savior of our careers. He is the Savior of our bodies, and our parenting and our finances and our thought processes. And when we adopt this mindset that He is Lord of ALL - that every area of our lives is from Him and through Him and to Him - then it is only natural that the smallest details of our lives (getting physically fit, for example) are simply one more place that we can offer a sacrifice of praise and marvel at the transforming power of His love.
"I realize that the gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life, including my severest trials."
- Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer
I'm not sure what your personal goals or resolutions are for the months ahead but I want to encourage you to invite the Lord into each of those areas because every bad habit or weakness we are trying to overcome can be made to kneel to Christ. We might think we are struggling with a bad marriage or an eating disorder or crippling anxiety but what we truly suffer from is gospel-deficiency. We live within a vast variety of circumstances but the common denominator is this: Jesus is reconciling ALL THINGS to Himself. The struggle you are facing right now may be different from mine but it most certainly falls under the category of "all things". Right now, today, God wants to use His Word to change and heal us in every nook and cranny of our lives.
Does that sound too simplistic? Is it unreasonable to declare that all of our problems and all of our longings find their resolution in Christ? Let's consider the following teachings from Scripture...
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
1 Peter 4:11
whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
For in him we live and move and have our being.
2 Tim. 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
1 Cor. 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
1 Tim. 4:8
for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
As we set our goals and make our plans for this year, would you join me in asking God the following questions in prayer?
1. God, what is your design/desire for (fill in the blank)?
2. Is my current goal/desire in line with Yours?
3. If so, what fears, lies or idols are currently opposing this goal?
4. Lord, what is the truth? Please show me Who You are in this situation.
5. Father, how can I glorify You in (fill in the blank)? How can I reflect your glory and goodness by loving and obeying You in this today?
If you are trying to lose weight this year - lose weight with God's help and for God's glory!
If you are trying to be more present with your family - show up with God's help and for God's glory!
If you are going back to school - study with God's help and for God's glory!
If you are trying to grow in contentment - give thanks with God's help and for God's glory!
If we are "in Christ" we are no longer the owner of our lives. Let us ask the Lord how He would have us live and move this year and then rely on His power to carry out His good work.
“If Christ is not all to you He is nothing to you. He will never go into partnership as a part Saviour of men. If He be something He must be everything, and if He be not everything He is nothing to you.” - Charles Spurgeon
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