Mike Gerhardt, Be Active, 02-03-19. Jack Lalanne called the godfather of fitness died January 23, 2011, at 96. Years before Jane Fonda, Richard Simons or Tim Ferris, Jack was the only fitness expert; he invented the Jumping Jack. Jack preached good health by eating right, exercising and staying active. He practiced what he preached exercising every day into his 90’s. He’d say: I can’t die, it would ruin my image. Age 42: 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes. Age 43: swam the mile-long Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser, against waves & current, like swimming 6.5 miles. Age 44: paddleboard from Farallon Islands to San Francisco 30-miles in 9.5 hours. Age 45: 1,000 Star jumps & 1,000 chin-ups 82min. Age 60: swam from Alcatraz to Fisherman's Wharf handcuffed, shackled and towed a 1,000-pound boat. Age 61: swam the Golden Gate Bridge 1.7 miles underwater, handcuffed, shackled & towed a 1,000-pound boat. Age 65: swam a mile hand-cuffed and shackled to 65 boats, loaded 6500lbs of wood. Age 66: he towed 10 boats, 77 people, 1 mile, in less than an hour. Age 70: he swam handcuffed and shackled with 70 rowboats, loaded with people, 1 mile. I’m sure you’ll look it up. Physical health is important but spiritual health is more important. Colossians 1:15-19 Paul showed us the preeminence of Jesus Christ! In 1:19-22 he showed us the work of Christ in reconciliation. Verse 22-23 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation - since you will continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. This is an encouragement for the need to finish well. It’s a caution to keep our eyes fixed on the preeminent Christ. Hebrews 12:2: Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of faith. Paul was attacked by the false Gnostic teachers. They were dualists. They saw all things in two: one side was good, which was spiritual. The other side was evil, which was the material universe. It was an accident of the last of supernatural beings, intermediaries, ranked between God and matter. It was unthinkable that God might wish to enter believers’ lives. Instead, the Gnostics saw the human being as trapped; a spark of the divine held captive in a fleshly prison. Salvation meant release from bondage to all that was material, including our own bodies! God was remote and inaccessible. The people were striving to gain the attention of beings who form a chain leading to God. The spirits had to be placated for human destiny was in their hands, not in God’s. They found life by practicing asceticism, abstinence, and self-punishment. For liberation, the evil body must be beaten. The angelic intermediaries were honored by self-discipline. Jesus was just one of the many intermediaries.
But with the exalted reconciler Jesus Christ in view, how are we to stay active for Christ in this material world? Colossians 1:24-29 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations but is now disclosed to the saints. To them, God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Stay Active by Serving. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me. Jesus told us in order to be great in the kingdom, we must be the servant of all. Commission or stewardship from the Greek word οἰκονομία economy can mean administration (particularly within an estate). Servant from the Greek word διάκονος or deacon and translated minister in other versions; used for a table waiter, who delivers the chef’s food to the customer unaltered. Jesus Christ has entrusted us with the ministry of delivering His Gospel unchanged to the world! Acts 1:8 And you shall be my witnesses. Ministry is not for pastors but for all the servants in the body of Christ! Stay Active by Suffering. 24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you (my sufferings for your sake). This is suffering for the cause of Christ. Whenever I get sick, which may be twice a year, I suffer greatly. I whine, moan and stay in bed. Most men are big babies when they get sick. This is not usually suffering for Christ. Nor does financial difficulties or cancer count as suffering for Christ in themselves. This is suffering severe persecution for our beliefs. There are some in our church that know this kind of suffering. But rejoice in suffering? Suffering in our lives helps us to change. Jesus suffered for redemption to be accomplished. Servants of Christ suffer for the redemption message to be spread! 2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. What is this lacking in Christ’s afflictions? Is Christ’s death on the cross not enough? NO! Warren Wiersbe Be Complete: The sacrificial sufferings of Christ are over, but His body, the church, experiences suffering because of its stand for the faith. Jesus Christ knows the sufferings of the church! Acts 9:4 Jesus asked: Saul, Saul why do you persecute me? When we are persecuted for Jesus sake, he feels our pain. Stay Active by Speaking. We share with and without words. 25 By the commission, God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations but is now disclosed to the saints. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. Speaking the Word of God to others is His plan for the salvation of the world. The church is built on the preaching and teaching of God’s word! In its fullness (fully carry out) means to make replete (abundantly supplied, abounding) in past generations, but has now been manifested to His saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Our hope is Christ dwelling in us, the hope of glory. What’s the focus? Speak the Word of God, not opinion. Stay Active by Reaching. We allow others to define us. The crowd we hang with, the people we enjoy. Our sphere of influence reveals who we are and why we are on this planet. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. Admonish comes from the Greek word noutheteō to caution or reprove gently. It is warning people who are caught in sin to repent and come back to Christ. Teaching is to present the truths found in God’s Word to reprove them gently! The final purpose is to present every person complete in Christ! While we will never reach perfection here on earth, we all need consistent growth! Growth is the increased capacity (in me) to experience the life of Christ imparted by the Holy Spirit. As I aim to be like Jesus, I grow in maturity! By reaching out I can bring others home to heaven with me. Stay Active by Laboring. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. Labor carries with it the idea of working to a point of exhaustion! Striving carries with it the idea of agony; to wrestle against an enemy. Acts 20:35, In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ As fruitful believers, we labor in the power of Christ that lives in us! 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be rewarded for his ministry in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Be a fruitful minister of the gifts God has entrusted to you. Pray that this church would have this kind of fruitful ministry. Be active. Stay active. This is how we know Christ is in us the hope of Glory.