May 11th 2012 No comments yet
I like to run. It wasn’t always the case. Growing up I loved playing basketball, soccer, or baseball, but loathed the idea of jogging. I would have chosen to eats bugs rather than run laps, sprints, or hills. But times have changed for me. In fact, in the past two years, I’ve completed three half marathons.
One of the key training tools I’ve used is a little iPhone exercise app. It helps track time, distance, pace, and calories burned. But there is one feature that was critical as I started my training. It is called the “assessment workout.” It is a guided, 12-minute workout that assessed my current fitness level. Based on my results, the app put me on a training program so that over time, I’d be ready to run a half marathon. I’ve always considered myself relatively in shape and athletic. But it was this “assessment workout” that was key to get me where I wanted to be””the finish line of a half marathon (in one piece).
Isn’t the same true for all of our relationships? In order to get where we want to be in our marriages, we need to know our current condition. In order to build solid relationships with our kids, we need to be aware how things REALLY are with them. And, the same is true in our relationship with the Lord.
That’s the reason why the pastoral staff at Stonebriar has designed an “assessment workout” for our spiritual lives. We call it Want To Be A Stronger Christian? Just like that exercise app helped me see my current physical health, this “Want To Be A Stronger Christian” tool is designed to help a Christian see his or her current spiritual health. And, just like the exercise app set up a training program to get me where I wanted to be, this spiritual assessment will help the Christian set up a “training plan” for his or her spiritual life to get him or her to he or she wants to be.
You can read more about it online, but even more importantly, you can complete it now. If you prefer a hard-copy book, we have that for you too. Our hope is that this powerful, life-changing tool will help you evaluate yourself in eight qualities of a Christ-centered person. By guiding you through simple questions, this inventory will help you discover your areas of spiritual strength, as well as areas in your life that need to be strengthened.
This interactive tool will provide you with suggested Bible passages to study, spiritual disciplines to experience, and different ministries to try out at Stonebriar, all in an effort to help you train and transform your walk with Christ. We know our spiritual growth is not about obeying a set of abstract and arbitrary rules. It’s about training our hearts to follow God as enabled by His Spirit, so He can transform us from the inside out (1 Thess. 5:23-24).
By the way, there is one more thing I’ve learned about training for half marathons. No one can do it for you. I can read about running technique, purchase great running shoes, and subscribe to running magazines. But those things by themselves will never get me to the finish line. If I want to finish the race, I have to train. No one can run for me. I have to put the miles in myself. In the same way, it’s my decision whether I want to train and trust God. No one can train and trust God for me. It was up to me whether I would use the “assessment workout.” And I’m thankful I did, because now I have three half marathon t-shirts to prove it. So I hope you’ll take time soon to take the “assessment workout” for your spiritual life called, Want To Be A Stronger Christian?
I think I’ll go for a jog now.
Click here to take it, download it, or request a copy.
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