Pastor O.M Ngwenya

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Sermon 1: Exercise your Body and Exercise your Faith

Exercise your body and exercise your faith

Regular exercise is not only a preventive measure, it also works to maintain health at its best. There are many benefits of physical exercise. In the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs); exercise is one of the key ways in the fight against NCDs. Remember to maintain a regular exercise program even during the COVID 19 Lockdown.

Other researchers postulate that “Exercise may help reduce risk of deadly COVID-19” (Exercise may help reduce risk of deadly COVID 19 complication And according to WHO, “Regular physical activity benefits both the body and mind. It can reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers - all conditions that can increase susceptibility to COVID-19.” (> #HealthAtHome)

The following are the Benefits of exercise; Energy; Endurance; Flexibility; Strength; Firm body; Glowing complexion; Mental health; Self-confidence, and Enhanced immunity. In addition to these it has been observed that exercise decreases risk of anxiety; cancer; depression; diabetes; heart disease; hypertension; obesity; osteoporosis; stress; and other diseases.

There are three general types of exercise namely i. Aerobic, or endurance exercise; Ii. Flexibility, or stretching exercise; Iii. and Strength-building exercise such as resistance training and weight lifting. Although all are important, aerobic exercise is highly recommended because of its positive effect on the total cardiovascular and pulmonary systems and the body as a whole. Experts actually recommend 30 minutes of continuous aerobic exercise each day. If you cannot do Aerobic; Flexibility, and Strength-building exercise; you can walk. “Walking, in all cases where it is possible, is the best exercise, because in walking, all the muscles are brought into action.” (“The Health Reformer,” July 1, 1872.)

Just as regular aerobic exercise helps us live better, so it is with the exercise of faith, trusting God to lead our lives according to His loving prescription for health. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isa. 40:29-31).

Faith is like a muscle, you have to exercise it every day to make it strong. Allow Jesus the master instructor/coach to take you through the spiritual workout. Read the Bible daily and apply it in your life; Pray daily; Share Jesus’ love with others, engage in acts of service and Allocate time for fellowship and worship. We need to exercise our faith for it to get stronger. If we don’t exercise our faith; we will become weak. Walking is the best physical activity and from the Bible we learn that Enoch Walked with God 

Enoch had a great exercise…He “WALKED with God”.  The word walking in this context is NOT speaking about the physical exercise of placing one foot in front of the other, it is referring to a lifestyle. Exercising faith is about a lifestyle, A lifestyle that is in harmony with the will of God.

What are the characteristics of walking with God or Living The Christian Life? Walking with God means Going in His direction, Proceeding /and becoming more consistent in one’s walk with God, Moving at God’s pace, Progressing and getting close to Christ, and the reward/outcome is a permanent destination (heavenly kingdom). The concept of Walking with God is about a lifestyle. The Hebrew phrase or idiom that is translated ‘walking with God’ is used to describe GOD’S lifestyle. So, for Enoch to be able to walk with God, he had to be going in God’s direction. Walking with God is going in His direction.

We need to go in God’s direction and not our own and this implies responding to God’s revelation in one’s life. Enoch, responded to God’s revelation in his life each day. Whatever God disclosed to him, he accepted it as the way that he should live. Walking with God entails Following the example of Jesus.

Following the teachings and example of Jesus Christ is walking with God. “…the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked…“…those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did… “(1 John 2;6). 

NB* God’s way is clearly the best way we can travel, regardless of what we feel or think. Enoch distinguished himself  in that he chose to follow the best way of following God’s way. There are however times when walking with God may not be the most comfortable or most convenient way. Even in such situations; we need to take note that walking with God is the best way. Walking with God is not always comfortable because walking with God has to do with traveling AGAINST so many other people going the WRONG way. Through it all we need to keep it in our minds that Walking with God is the best way to go.

We need to proceed at God’s pace. This means that we need to accept God’s timing; we must not try to set the pace. God’s pace is the perfect pace. His timing is perfect timing. There are times when we feel that God is moving too fast and times when we feel that God is not moving fast enough.  God changes the speed of His kingdom work according to what He sees fit. Enoch found that God varied his leadership, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, and sometimes God simply chooses to wait. Through all the various ways that God chooses to lead us; we need not to give up when His leading seem to a bit slow or even when we don’t seem to see the way.

Don’t quit even then: When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit. Rest if you must, but don’t quit. Life is queer with twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns, And many a fellow turns about, When he might have won had he stuck it out. Don’t give up though the pace seems slow, you may succeed with another blow. Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and faltering man; Often the struggler has given up, When he might have captured the victor’s cup; And he learned too late when the night came down, How close he was to the golden crown. Success is failure turned inside out, The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are It may be near when it seems afar; So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit. (Author Unknown). So; continue walking.

We need to share an intimacy with God. Enoch had an intimate relationship with God for God took him without Enoch having to die. Walking together implies sharing feelings and becoming closer to each other. It means sharing one’s life with God and God sharing His life with you. God reveals himself; His love and concern for us through His Word. Walking with him means beginning to understand more and more about the nature and character of God. We need to be Going in God’s direction,  keeping up with God’s pace and become more and more intimate with God. These are the great characteristics of living the Christian life.

The Good news is that When we walk with God we are going to arrive at a destination. Because Enoch chose to walk with God; he reached his destination/paradise. It is good to start a journey, but it is not enough, we need to complete the journey. Walking with God leads us to a pilgrimage that ends in ultimate fellowship with God in heaven. That’s our destination, complete restoration of the the relationship that was severed in Eden.

You need to Read the Bible daily and apply it in our life, Pray daily, keep Sharing Jesus’ love with others, Engage in acts of service and allocate time for fellowship and worship. Walking with God means going in His direction, Proceed/become consistent in your walk with God, Move at God’s pace, Progress and get close to Christ, Complete the workout/journey The Destination is heavenly kingdom). Exercise your Body and exercise your faith.

Christian Disciplines

  3. Help someone, a friend, colleague or a member of your family (Child; helpers; visiting relative) to make a firm commitment to become a follower of Jesus Christ. (CULTIVATE THE SOIL AND NOURISH THE CROP);
  4. Help someone a friend, colleague or a member of your family (Child; helpers; visiting relative) to make a commitment for baptism (Harvest);
  5. Help one backslider to make a firm re-commitment to become a follower of Jesus Christ. (PRESERVE)

Disciplines of a Good Steward

1.SET APART the first moments of each day to spend time with God. “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. (Ps 55:17). Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; cf. 1 Peter 5:7  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 5 (cf Ps 1:2 )

2.Improve RELATIONSHIPS through LOVE, FORGIVENESS, and RECONCILIATION. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14).

3.ESTABLISH one new HEALTHY HABIT in order to hear God's voice more clearly. Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. (3 John 2).

4.Ask the HOLY SPIRIT to GUIDE you to those in your daily life who are open to hearing what God has done for you, and God’s GIFT of GRACE for them. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s possession, so that you may PROCLAIM THE VIRTUES of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light,  (1 Pe 2:9)

5.PREPARE for and ENJOY the SABBATH. …be careful to obey my rules, 20 and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’ (Eze 20:19–20).

6.Faithfully RETURN God’s TITHE which is 10% of whatever income He FIRST gives to you. "Honour the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous labours] and with the first fruits of all your income" (Proverbs 3:9

7. PROMISE a percentage ( ____ %) of your income as a regular offering. “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you” (Deut 16:17

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