Are You Exercising Your Faith?
Putting faith to work in our life
A barbell or other piece of exercise equipment
Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Do you know what I am holding? What is a barbell used for? Have you ever worked out? How did you feel afterwards? (allow the children time to respond to each of these questions) I try to work out at least 5 days a week, and I use weights or barbells to help my muscles get stronger. Did you realize that it’s like that with our spiritual muscles. We need to exercise our faith for it to get stronger too. Just like our regular body’s muscles, if we don’t exercise them often, they will become weak. If you ever had a cast on, when the doctor took off the cast, what did you see? The limb was weak and pale, due to lack of use. That can happen to our faith, too, if we don’t exercise it regularly.
Our faith can do anything. We need to remind ourselves that faith in God is powerful and that faith is what overcomes the world. A strong, prize-winning faith requires us to believe in our faith with all of our heart and to trust completely in God.
Faith puts God in charge of our lives. As we say in the Creed, "I believe in one God, I believe in Jesus, I believe ..." But do I truly believe in what I'm saying, or am I just reciting it "like a parrot"?
I can compare the strength of my enthusiasm in loving God to working out; are you regularly exercising your spiritual muscles to the point of exertion and fatigue? Putting ourselves completely in God's hands brings us real hope and builds our faith.
Ms. Kim is planning to go across the ocean to a very poor country, called Haiti. She is going to work in a medical clinic (she is a nurse), and care for orphans and even go to the streets to tell people about Jesus. She is exercising her spiritual muscles. Maybe we think, well I can’t go to Haiti. But you know, you can still help, by praying for Kim or we adults can help her get the needed donations so she can go. (Select some appropriate example from your own congregation to illustrate the example of exercising faith)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me grow strong in my faith by having the courage to trust you completely. Amen
If time allows, add this hymn too:
HAVE THINE OWN WAY, LORD (final verse) Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Hold o’er my being absolute sway! Fill with Thy Spirit ’till all shall see Christ only, always, living in me.
(See this link on Wikipedia for more information.)