Fearfully and wonderfully made—that’s how God created you. He crafted you, and you were designed to glorify Him. So, it’s important for you to be as fit as possible if you are to enjoy life to the fullest!
For this, your body needs the benefits of proper exercise and nutrition. Exercising:
• releases endorphins, helping you feel better;
• enables you to function longer;
• works in tandem with good nutrition;
• enables you to rest well after you have exerted yourself.
Features and Benefits
- A topic that is rarely addressed
- Fitness, Exercise and Diet are under-emphasized topics in many Christian circles
- Author an experienced fitness enthusiast who has lived out these principles in day-to-day life
- A sane and realistic approach that helps readers work on a long-term strategy to achieve and maintain consistent weight and fitness
- Includes comprehensive printed and downloadable exercise and diet charts as well as high-quality graphics
In Fit for the Master, John Lehman shares valuable insights to help you in developing and maintaining your body—the temple of the Holy Spirit.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
From Chapter 2: Health, and a Healthy Self-Image
Enjoying being the “you” that God intends you to be
O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
God has created man with the ability to exercise. There are many references to physical activity in the Bible and to sports in the New Testament. Through the apostle Paul, God addresses the matter as a question “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?” (1 Corinthians 9:24a). However, He also says, “So run that you may obtain it.” (1 Corinthians 9:24b). Elsewhere, He says, using a physical analogy, that no man having put his hand the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of heaven (Luke 9:62). That context has to do with farming and the physical exertion that is undertaken when one is plowing a field. In another passage, Paul says, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
Sports such as the Olympic Games were used as an excellent resource for illustrations. People would exert themselves and compete for a wreath that faded quickly away (1 Corinthians 9:25). In no way is exercise or fitness to be something that is lauded merely for its own sake. The fact someone exercises and exerts is for a purpose. In the Olympic Games, candidates would run to win.
Since believers are described as being temples of the Holy Spiritplaces where He personally residesit is important that these temples be made as fit as possible for His use. Moreover, God also says in the Bible that faithfulness is rewarded. Everyone who pursues faithfulness can attain that.
RUINED BY THE FALL
Most people grow and mature to full strength by about the time they are twenty-five years old. It is documented that peak physical condition is achieved at this stage. If life consists, as Scripture calls it, of three score and ten yearsthat is, seventy yearsthat means that the body from age twenty-five on does not continue to improve but actually begins to deteriorate. As in anything, when something is left to itself, it will begin the process of atrophy. That is not to say that a person who is committed to keeping fit is guaranteed a long and healthy life, but it does mean that not exercising is beginning a process where the body is no longer as fit for God’s use as it would be if exercise were routinely undertaken.
What does fitness produce? One major ingredient that only comes about through exerciseand is pro-duced directly within our bodiesis that of endorphins. Endorphins are energy-released chemicals that enhance our physical makeup as well as contribute greatly to our general approach to life.
God consistently says that we are to rejoice always and be thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:16, 18). It is possible to mentally will that to occur, and many times that is necessary. However, if one can enhance that will with a body that is fitone in which endorphins are being releasedit makes it so much easier to actually have that positive outlook.
Through medical research, people have developed drugs that can stimulate muscle growth or strength. Many times these are considered illegal because such may be enhancing drugs that make people go beyond their regular physical limitations to become stronger or faster. However, without that manmade drug, the body will then begin to become debilitated and will be worse off than before the drug was first taken. Such a substance may then become addictive, and the user therefore finds that he has to continue using it on a consistent basis, otherwise he is not going to feel well. Many people take drugs to make them go to sleep; others take drugs to help them wake up in the morning. By implementing exercise into their daily routines, such people can manage without those types of drugs.
God has said that man will toil and by the sweat of his brow he will work (see Genesis 3:17–19). That physical toil brings him to exhaustion. Exhaustion causes a person to enjoy a good night’s sleep. And a good, proper night’s sleep will bring one to a state of refreshment. Drug-induced sleep does not produce the same rest as physically exhausted daily living will. And the same goes for taking medications to improve alertness during the dayit is far better to have rested well during the night than to have to depend on a substance in order to be efficient during daylight hours!
Not only does sleep come so much more easily to a person who has exerted his body, but it is interesting to know that a person in a fit state not quite as much sleep is needed. Just like a well maintained engine in a vehicle operates so much more smoothly and uses less gas for the work it does, a body that is generally in a fit state will not need as much refreshment to be charged and ready to function the next day. You can read more about this in Chapter 7.
Table of Contents
1 Glorious Creator; Wonderful Creation
(Thinking about your place in God’s universe)
2 Health, and a Healthy Self-Image (Enjoying being the “you” that God intends you to be)
3 You Don’t Have to Over-Strain!
(Understanding the place of exercise)
4 Exercise Guidelines (Developing a practical strategy that suits you)
5 Food for Thought (Getting your nutrition the way it should be)
6 Digest This! (Considering what happens to your food after you have swallowed it
7 Rest, Relaxation and Sleep (Improving your efficiencies through wise sleep strategies)
8 Blessed Are the Balanced (Maintaining body-soul equilibrium)
9 Go On . . . Just Do it! (Putting the principles into practice)
Appendix A Exercise Program
Appendix B Checklist and Other Practical Stuff
What People are Saying About This
Our Christianity should affect every area of our lives. . . including our health and fitness. In Fit for the Master John not only shows you how to be fithe also tells you why, as a Christian, you should be fit. Read this book and then go live this book.
(Jeremy McMorris, Lead Pastor, Liberty Baptist Church, Dalhart, TX)
Fit for the Master is a wonderful resource full of practical advice and insights into living a well-balanced life. John Lehman not only writes about these ideashe practically lives them out every day! If you desire to live a more effective and efficient life, then I would strongly recommend this book.
(James Whitaker, Men’s Soccer Coach and Assistant Athletic Director, Columbia International University)
In Fit for the Master, Lehman offers a compelling and scripturally-based discussion of two topicsChristian faith and physical fitnessthat, at first glance may seem unrelated, but which are actually closely connected. This book provides readers with clear, understandable, and practical guidance on how and why to begin or improve a fitness and nutrition regimen. It is a valuable resource to Christians who seek to apply their faith in every facet of their lives, and I commend it to you.
(Miles Coleman, Corporate Attorney, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP; Ironman triathlete, ultra-marathoner, and CrossFit coach)