"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come" (1 Tim. 4:8, NLT).
At Saddleback Church, we've been teaching about how loving others the way God wants requires developing habits that keep you physically, emotionally and spiritually renewed.
The Bible says real love "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1 Cor. 13:7-8a, NIV). You can't love people that way without God's help. And you don't have that kind of power when you're running on empty spiritually.
Watch for signs that you may be headed for spiritual burnout. For instance, it may seem nothing (such as loving someone else) is worth the effort, or maybe you start blaming God for your problems. This isn't unique to you; many of the Bible's great heroes, such as David, Moses and Abraham, did the same things when they were in burnout stages.
You maintain spiritual fitness in the same way you stay physically fit: by being intentional and disciplined. "Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come" (1 Tim. 4:8, NLT).
No discipline is more important in developing spiritual fitness than spending regular, daily time with God.
Nothing will help your life more than time spent alone with God, where you let him talk to you through the Bible and you talk to him through prayer. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:16 that even if outwardly your body suffers wear and tear, inwardly you can be spiritually renewed by spending time alone with God. This can take just 10 minutes in your living room chair before your day starts.
You need that time alone with God because the quality of your relationship with God determines the quality of every other relationship you have.
Human love will wear out. But to love more like Jesus, make your quiet time the No. 1 priority in your day. When you do, your relationships will be transformed by the power of God's love through you.
Talk It Over
—How does your calendar or daily routine reflect whether or not your quiet time is the priority in your life?
—In what ways have you seen your relationships affected by the amount of time you've spent praying and studying God's Word?
—Do you feel like you'll ever be able to love others with the kind of love the Bible describes in 1 Corinthians 13? Why or why not?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church, one of America's largest and most influential churches. He is the author of the New York Times' bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. Pastor Rick started The PEACE Plan to show the local church how God works through ordinary people to address the five global giants of spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, disease and illiteracy. You can listen to Daily Hope, Pastor Rick's daily 25-minute audio teaching, or sign up for his free daily devotionals at PastorRick.com. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global online community created to encourage pastors.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.com.
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