Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Judges 5:1-18 and John 6:52-71.

John 6:63-64 (Jesus said) “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” (NIV)

It was a turning point in Christ’s ministry. For a while, many people followed Him because they expected Jesus to fulfill their own longings for their nation, people, and personal lives. Christ’s mission, however, was about fulfilling what God wanted, which ultimately meant some people would turn their backs on Jesus because He would not do what they expected. But Christ was adamant about what He was sent to do: His ministry had grown beyond their parochial expectations; Jesus had come to bring salvation to the entire world and not the restoration of an exalted Jewish State.

Even today, some Christian people balk at Christ’s words: “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.”  In a society that is obsessed with our physical well-being to the exclusion of our spiritual growth, what Jesus said is still difficult to accept. We spend so much of our earthly time and resources trying to keep our bodies healthy and pure that we tend to forget two things: a) we are not physically immortal and b) our spirits are eternal.

Now I don’t think that Jesus would condemn us for looking after our earthly bodies – healthy eating and regular exercise are good for all of us – but I do think He would expect us to focus just as much on the health and well-being of our spirits as we do on our bodies. In the end, it’s not how we physically appear that is going to be important when we come face to face with God; it’s how well our spirits are connected to Him through Jesus that is going to be eternally important.

So, perhaps the next time that we look at starting a new diet plan or an exercise regime, we should also set aside the same amount of time, energy, and effort to going to church, reading the Bible, and praying daily to God. After all, as Jesus said, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.”

Point to ponder: Am I as focused on holiness as I am on healthiness?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, encourage us to look after our spirits and grow in faith. Enable us to accept each day as an opportunity to grow closer to You. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s stained-glass drawings called “As a Dove.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.  You can also send John an email to Traqair@aol.com with your feedback, questions, and comments.

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