Monday, May 11, 2015

SEVEN WAYS TO STRETCH SPIRITUALLY


By Ada Brownell
When they think about stretching, health conscious adults head for the gym. But what about spiritual fitness?
With disuse, faith gets flabby. Here are a few spiritual stretches I did the last couple of years and plan to continue.
1.      DESIRE TO ENLARGE YOUR TERRORITY. Pray the prayer of Jabez every day and mean it: “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10NKJ). After I began praying the prayer, new opportunities opened that surprised me. I realized I had more potential than I thought, and God was with me!
2.      STRETCH YOUR ABILITIES
·         Dust off old talents and develop others. You never know what the Lord might use, even if it’s only to increase your contentment.
·         Witness to others when opportunities open, and resist fear.
·         Tell your family how and why you are a Christian and share a witness.
3.      STRETCH YOUR KNOWLEDGE
·         Get a good study Bible or join a Bible study group. Last year I asked my husband to buy me a new Bible because I wanted the included commentary. I often study a book of the Bible at a time or one subject. Recently I did an intense study on faith using my study Bible. I also looked up scriptures in different versions and on biblegateway.com
·         If you don’t have a ministry, pray and see where God leads. I grew spiritually when I taught Christian education classes because it stretched me.
·         Learn new things that will enhance your career. Ask God for direction and take a class, do research, or take advice so you can be your best.
4.      STRETCH YOUR LOVE
·         Put into practice everything you know about being a better wife, mom, grandma, husband, father or grandpa.
·         Contact relatives and friends you haven’t communicated with recently, and visit neighbors.
·         Pray for supernatural love to help you show love to people who are difficult.
5.      STRETCH YOUR COMPASSION
·         Give to a credible organization that helps those in need.
·         Encourage the grieving, the ill, the elderly and lonely with a card, email, phone call or something from your kitchen.
·         Ask your pastor if there is someone who especially needs encouragement or help.
6. STRETCH YOUR FAITH
·    Believe God for something you need or desire that looks impossible.
·    Venture out and do what you know God wants you to do, but you’ve hesitated.
·    When you pray, give your faith a jump start with the Word.
7.      STRETCH YOUR THOUGHTS, PATIENCE AND SPEECH TO PLEASE GOD
·         With David I pray, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:15).
·         I pray, “Fill me with the fruits of the Spirit. ‘For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control’” (Galatians 5:22-23).