Workout Warriors

You have to admire those who are workout warriors! They are a special breed of people who get up early in the morning, head off to the gym, and endure exhausting physical exercise to improve their physical well-being. They tend to watch what they eat to ensure a balanced, healthy intake of nutrients that will fuel their activities. They keep their bodies well hydrated, and they know how much rest they need to recover. In short, they embrace discipline, perseverance, and determination to see the kind of results that the rest of us only dream about.

The Christian life also requires discipline, perseverance, and determination to see the kind of results that bring spiritual well-being. As in the physical realm, all the good intentions and wishes in the world will not make any difference without discipline, perseverance, and determination. Sitting in front of a monitor screen watching TV all day and night will not improve anyone’s physique. In fact, it will probably ruin it! Likewise, those who discipline themselves to rise early or stay up late to spend time with the Lord in His Word and in prayer, who persevere in the spiritual disciplines, and who are determined to carry out Christ’s mission in the world are most likely to make the greatest impact for God’s kingdom.

In 1 Timothy 4:8, Paul acknowledged the limited value of physical exercise while stressing that spiritual exercise – or godliness – is of greater value. Why? Because physical exercise has some benefit in this life but will not carry over into eternity. No matter how fit a person is, age will begin to limit their activities. But spiritual exercise holds promise in this life and the next. Therefore, it would be vain to be physically fit but spiritually unfit. And the lessons learned from physical exercise are transferrable to spiritual exercise to help us grow into maturity.

For this reason, we have a City Centre Baptist Church People Path to equip believers for Christian living, service, and mission in the world. Everyone has a next step in their spiritual journey, and we want to come alongside each one of you to help you keep moving forward. Our goal, as the Apostle Paul noted in Colossians 1:28, is to present everyone mature in Christ. This will require of us discipline, perseverance, and determination on our part, and, as always, full faith in the Holy Spirit to shape us into the image of Christ.

I encourage you to get involved in one of our People Path classes, Small Groups, Women’s or Men’s Bible Studies, or Evergreen Seniors activities to connect with others who are also pursuing spiritual fitness. It is always better to exercise with others because camaraderie inspires us to join in, keep going, and never quit. Fellow workout warriors in spiritual activities help us maintain our discipline, perseverance, and determination. So, let’s get fit together!
Pastor Brad


The immense value the Bible places on the love of God is simply astounding, and yet how often we miss the mark in loving others.  Our goal as Christians must be to prioritize the love of God in the same manner that Jesus does.  We are called to live in love for one another.  Let me illustrate my point briefly from a few texts in the New Testament:

Text no.1:  1 Timothy 1:5 (ESV): “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a   good conscience and a sincere faith.”

Text no.2:  Galatians 5:6 (ESV): “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision  (i.e. ethno-religious distinctions) counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”

Text no. 3:  1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV): “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Text no. 4:  (and one of my personal favorites): John 17:20–23 (ESV): “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Our Heavenly Father loves you and me as He loves His Son! (Simply staggering!!)

Devoted followers of Jesus (disciples) can never reach maturity in Christ (a main goal of being a Christian) without growing into the reality of God’s love.  Here’s how John writes it in his ancient letter, 1 John 2:5: but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.”   The word “perfected” can be used in a biological sense, like a plant growing into full maturity.  Dare I say that the greatest spiritual fruit that should be evident in our lives is the love of God. 

There is a sign that you are maturing in God’s love!  You love your fellow Christians.  Listen again to John who wrote, “Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.”  (1 John 2:10)  At the heart of the Gospel is a claim for potentially meaningful and satisfying relationships (i.e. ‘fellowship’), which is one of the greatest needs in our lives.  I love what I heard John Townsend, Ph.D., say in a Dallas Seminary Chapel, “Relationship is the conduit or delivery system of the grace of God.”  We who celebrate the Gospel as a message of free grace, better be sure to take care of our relationships with one another.

God’s love is the greatest power in the universe.  It alone can change the hard and hateful human being into a gentle and loving person.  The aged apostle John wrote the most prolifically about love than all the New Testament writers.  In fact, he holds first place in the Bible for referencing the love of God.  The only other book that uses the word love more than he did is the Psalms with its 150 chapters.  He used the word love over 100 times in total, and over 50 times in his short epistles.  He has come a long way since the day he wanted to call down fire on Samaria because he felt the Samaritans had insulted the Lord (Luke 9:51-56).  Since then, he went to Samaria, and along with Peter, was instrumental in imparting the Holy Spirit to newly converted Samaritan believers, thereby welcoming old enemies into the Jewish church as first-class members of the mystical body of Christ (Acts 8:14-17).

What happened to Him, you wonder?  The love of God was “poured into His heart by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5)who is given to every Christian.  It’s not just a choice to love someone as Jesus does, it’s a gift that comes from the Father.  It’s not a fabricated love; it’s a replicated one.  It’s God’s love, being resident in us, through the Holy Spirit.

Ask the Holy Spirit to give it to you.  Receive it in faith.  And share it freely with others.

With love to my church family,

Pastor Deric


P.S.  See you Sunday morning @ 9AM or 11AM (remember to register).