Meridian Avenue Baptist Church

Welcome to Summer!

First and foremost this morning, “walk as the wise, not as the unwise” for the next couple of days.  We are in extreme heat warnings for the next two days with heat indices in the 108 degree range.  Thankfully a cold front comes through Wednesday with temps in the low 90’s!

 We just finished up our series on spiritual disciplines.  They are the tools we use to be “built up in Him, strengthened in the faith” Colossians 2:6-7 says.  Spiritual disciplines are like the exercise equipment at the gym or at home.  How many of you have an exercise bike or treadmill at home that really only functions as a clothes hanger?  You know, you have to chase the “dust bunnies” away when you get ready to use it once every six months?  You are hoping that just having it in the bedroom will improve your health!  I saw the sign at our local senior center in Augusta that said “I wish I could drop my body off at the health club and they would call me when it is ready.”  Wouldn’t that be nice!

 A treadmill or an exercise bike are great for building aerobic capacity.  You can also walk outside or ride your bike.  The key to improving your fitness though is pushing your body to the uncomfortable zone.  The body adapts to a little stress and improves.  Your heart thinks “Wow, he or she is going a little faster than normal, I have to get a little stronger.” And it does.   Then the next time, you go a little faster – or farther – than the time before.  Your heart says “Uh oh, here we go again, need to get a little stronger.”  The same way with strength training.  You do a set of pushups and your chest, shoulders and arms go “What in the world are they doing?  We aren’t used to that, we have to grow a little stronger in case they do this again.”  And the little muscle fibers that you broke down doing your three pushups grow a little thicker and stronger in response so they are prepared for the next time you do some pushups…hopefully a couple of days later! That is how you get “built up and strengthened.”  It is an ongoing process because once you stop your aerobic system and muscular system will just return to their pre-exercise state if you don’t keep it up.  All that exercise is good but if you don’t pay attention to your diet than all that exercise may not add up.  You have to put it all together if you want to be healthy.

 Spiritual disciplines are the same.  They need to be used and so interconnected.  Corporate worship includes prayer, stewardship and fellowship.  Bible study can be part of your worship and your fellowship as well as part of evangelism.  Evangelism can be a means of service and worship.  And just like exercise, you might have to get a little uncomfortable to grow in your faith.  Let’s get spiritually fit because we have a mission to accomplish for the kingdom.  Next week we begin our look at the Book of Acts.  Some call it the Acts of the Apostles.  We are going to call it the Book of ACTSion.  Jesus was returning to Heaven and told the disciples to wait a little while and then…bam, when the Holy Spirit comes – get busy!  The Book of ACTSion is just that…a call to action.  Get ready.  Practice your disciplines as if you were in basic training.  We are ready to go out and start “turning our world upside down.”  See Acts 13:49 for more clarity!

 Pastor Rick