I - Christianity includes the "bodily" component - IN FACT -you cannot have a full Christian experience without recognizing the reality of the body any more than you could have a "full Christ" without recognizing his real, concrete bodily nature;
****There is "concreteness" to the Christian life that is often over looked.
EXAMPLE - "Incarnation" - "Cross" - "Resurrection"
SCRIPTURAL EXAMPLES: Gen 2.17,Proverbs 3.1-2, 3.7-8, 14.30, 16.24, 17.22 I Cor 15.44 Romans 8.13 I Thess 5.23 I John 4.2-3
A) When we fail to integrate our bodies by scriptural means (i.e. spiritual disciplines) into our Christian practise we lose the full power and vitality of the Christian life. WHY? Because the Christian life is meant to be lived - IN THE BODY ( II Corinthians 5, I Corinthians 15 - Philippians 1.20 "...so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body.")
B) When we fail to recognize the involvement of our bodies we fail to see sin’s concreteness or true nature and reality.
**** Sin and Spiritual Growth has a "concreteness" in our body that can be observed:
• Angry with your wife - roll your eyes
• Lust- hold your stomach in, change the inflection of your voice, instinctively brush your hair
• Covet/Materialism - nervous, frustration until purchase something
• Lying - feel it in our stomach…..
• Depression - sleep, facial expressions
• Over-Extended - easily mad, physical expression
II - Spiritual Disciplines are "tools" of grace that help us address the concrete reality of sin and need for spiritual growth in our life –
(Fasting, Solitude, Silence, Celebration, Meditation, Memorization, Service, Schedules) - are all concrete tools to help us address concrete problems.
*** It is vital to understand that it is "grace" and the direction of the Holy Spirit that infuses these tools with real spiritual power.
III - Spiritual Disciplines practised over an extended period of time guided by Biblical truth and the Grace of the Holy Spirit are great tools for concrete growth in our spiritual life
A) Exposes our true weakness and areas of need.
B) Allows us to bring Christianity out of the theoretical.
C) We learn to "grow" in grace
PLAN: The Power of Scheduled Spiritual Activities
Genesis 2.2-3, Exodus 12.1-2, Lev 23.6, Deut 16.10, 16.13, Acts 3.1, I Cor 16.1
A. Schedule theme to pray about throughout the week.
B. Schedule 3 quiet times: not talking at God but listening reviewing a portion of scripture or even reviewing something that was preached.
C. Schedule 1 Day of Thanksgiving: sharing your thanks, having a thanksgiving meal, journaling, praying.