Today’s Scripture: For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:8

Doctors say that it is good to have a regular program of exercise. And millions of us follow that advice with hours every week spent at the gym, pumping weights, running miles, and working out our body in a variety of ways. But, I wonder if we are as concerned about our spiritual fitness?

The Apostle Paul spoke to a sporting culture when he wrote in Hebrews that bodily exercise profited little. He didn’t say it is completely useless, but that it profits very little. What is more important is building spiritual muscle. Today’s world will tell you just the opposite. “Who’s got time for church? It’s better to spend Sunday at the gym or in your sports league.”

But God, who made our bodies, said that caring for our soul should be our number one priority. What if we took as much care about what went into our hearts and minds as we did into our bodies? Instead of just counting carbs and calories, what if we carefully measured our entertainment choices, the friends we associate with, and the places we frequent?

No matter how carefully we maintain it, this body will one day grow old and die. Even the greatest athletes get achy knees, sore backs, and the effects of old age. But, the spiritual life will live forever. Everything we do for the Kingdom will last forever.

That’s why church, prayer, and Bible reading are not just options for the believer-they are a necessity. Because to exercise the body is nice, but to work out the soul is essential.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.