Saturday, August 20, 2011

Putting Some Muscle and Sinew in Your Life

After proclaiming the Message in Derbe and establishing a strong core of disciples, they retraced their steps to Lystra, then Iconium, and then Antioch, putting muscle and sinew in the lives of the disciples, urging them to stick with what they had begun to believe and not quit, making it clear to them that it wouldn’t be easy: “Anyone signing up for the kingdom of God has to go through plenty of hard times.” (Acts 14:21-22, the Message)

Like the disciples learned, life isn’t always easy. Sometimes we mistakenly believe that if we are following the Lord, we will never face troubles. But as it says, anyone who decides to join the kingdom of God will go through plenty of hard times.

So what is the key to making it through? This passage talks about sticking with what is believed and not quitting. How do we do this? In the middle of this passage is something interesting…”putting muscle and sinew in the lives of the disciples.”

Sinew means tendon. And tendons are tough bands of fibrous connective tissues that connect our muscles to our bones. Tendons (or sinews) and muscles work together.

Well here is the thing I learned about tendons; they are able to withstand tension. So when we have muscle and sinew in our lives, we can withstand the tension that life brings.

But here is the thing about tendons, they can also break. It takes force for this to happen. And when the tendon does break (or tear), the process of healing is very long and very painful.

Sometimes tendons, like the Achilles tendon, can even become prone to rupture or injury because of a lack of use. So if we are going to have muscle and sinew in our lives, then we need to use it.

To put muscle and sinew in our lives, we need to do some pretty basic things. We need to be in the Word on a daily basis. Because of technology there is really no excuse to not be immersed in the Word every single day. If you can’t sit down and read your Bible, then you can listen to it. You can pull it up on your smart phone. You can download it on your computer.

We also need to be seeking God for direction every day of our lives. This means spending time in prayer. This can be done in the comfort of your home, while walking, driving…there is no right time or place. He wants to hear from you.

But even this isn’t enough. We also need to be united with other believers. We need to be in church each week, taking advantage of every opportunity to gather with other believers. In my church we have life groups, Bible studies, Sunday school, and the list goes on. Spending time with other believers builds you up. It is a way to encourage and inspire one another. It is a way to hold one another accountable.

Need some muscle and sinew in your life? Read the Word. Pray. Fellowship with other believers. Then you will be ready to withstand the tensions of life.

Photo by perpetualplum in Flickr

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