Everything

“What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me?  Psalm 116:12 (NLT)

Some people are really good at giving gifts.  Some people know just how to pick out something that uniquely and perfectly suits the recipient — in a way that reveals just how well they know them and what they appreciate.  I always admire people who give good gifts.

Then comes the question: What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me?

How do I say ‘thank you’ to the One who has given me life and breath … who sustains me daily … who has given all to save me from my own undoing … and who is preparing a future for me that I cannot imagine?  What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me?

In a word: everything.

I can offer the Lord everything that I am.

I can offer God my heart and my affection.  I can offer God my aspirations and hopes.  I can offer God the work of my hands, the sweat of my brow, the purpose of my lifesong.  I can offer God all of me — body, mind and spirit — the totality of who He made me to be.  (See blogpost entitled All of Me dated June 3, 2014.)

So I do.  I offer God everything that I am.  I offer God my mind/heart … my soul/spirit … and my body/temple.

And even on the days that I mess up and momentarily reclaim a part of me for myself, I resurrender and start over … remembering that all that He has done for me includes the truth that even when I lose a battle, I cannot lose the war.  Jesus has already won the war, and I cannot mess up what He has already done.

4:13 Fitness Club is an expression of offering everything to God.  It is a place where I can bring all of me to the Lord.  It is a place to bring all of who you are alongside others who are bringing all of who they are … and offering it to God.  It is an oasis.  It is a sweet aroma.  It is a sacrifice of praise.

4:13 Fitness Club is where we offer of our lifesong to the Lord.  Won’t you join us?

What can you offer the Lord for all He has done for you?

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Renewal

“Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy.”  Ephesians 4:23-24 (NLT)

I was in yoga the other day, and I noticed how much my self-talk has shifted since I first started doing yoga.  How much kinder and encouraging and understanding I was … instead of criticizing and judging myself so much.  The owner of the studio tells me she sees that all the time.  She says when people start yoga, they often can’t use the mirror to look themselves in the eye, but after a time they begin to reflect their own gaze.

There is a power to our thoughts and inner mental talk.

ABC News published an article earlier this month entitled 10 Rules Fit People Live By.  The essence of the article was that fit people focus on positive thinking — they have trained their minds and attitudes toward the positive — they have learned to control their thinking instead of letting their thinking control them.  (See http://abcnews.go.com/Health/10-rules-fit-people-live/story?id=31053726).  I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s interesting how the wisdom of the world sometimes echoes the wisdom of God, isn’t it?

God has told us all along that there is great power in our minds.  He tells us that in Ephesians, in Romans, and elsewhere.  He tells us that our minds and thoughts and attitudes need to be renewed … but instead of using worldly wisdom, God teaches that it’s His Spirit and Scripture that needs to renew us.  God’s Spirit and the “cleaning of God’s Word” are the optimal tools to renew our thoughts and attitudes.  (See Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:23-24, Ephesians 5:25-26).

So the next time you are working out, check your self-talk.  Arm yourself with a verse or two to allow God’s Spirit and Word to renew and refocus your mind. Consider praising Him because you ARE fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), or remember that you CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13), or claim the truth that you too are being made new (Revelation 21:5) and want to join in to the process.

And may God renew your mind … and your body and soul for His glory!