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Back To Basics

Apr 28, 2003 02:34 PM EDT

Romans 12:9-13 (NRSV)



Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.




Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.


- Romans 12:12 (TEV)




I have learned that my physical well-being is much improved by taking my doctor's recommendation and faithfully doing exercises to strengthen my back for 15 minutes each day. Devoting a small portion of each day to this routine has made a major difference in my quality of life.



This small discipline has also made me more aware of the value of Christian disciplines. I realize anew the importance of spending time each day in Bible reading and prayer. I am able to think deeply about the people on my prayer list, and I try to keep in touch with them regularly. Sometimes a word of encouragement can show someone that we care and may be what that person needs to hear right at that moment.



Another discipline of the Christian life is knowing that I need to seek help and advice when problems arise. This discipline holds true in my spiritual journey; talking with a friend and sharing problems and joys makes both of us grow spiritually. Just as beginning my day with my back exercises has improved my life physically, so the time I spend devotionally has strengthened me spiritually.



Prayer: We give you thanks, dear heavenly Father, for each day of our lives and the opportunities and joys each day brings for doing your will. Amen.



THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:


Taking time for God each day brings strength for living.



PRAYER FOCUS:


Those needing encouragement

By Catherine J. Doud, New York