Learn About The Exercises For Spiritual Fitness with Rick Warren & Tom Holladay

– Hello Saddleback. Have I told you lately that I love you? I want to say hi to
everybody at all of our campuses and those of you watching online. If you’re ever in the area, come join us at one of our campuses. Last night I was baptizing and
somebody was watching online, they go “I want to do that.” They got in their car, drove down to Lake Forest
and I baptized ’em after watching the service online
and we’re glad you’re here. I want to give you a couple
of things about where we’re headed in the future
before we look at God’s word. One of the goals of Daring
Faith, one of our five goals is to train you in leadership. To be a leader at work, in the community, in your home, in your relationships. The world is desperate for good leadership and so we started a program called SALT, Saddleback Advanced Leadership
Training and we do it every month but this month
we’re not gonna do SALT because this next week
I’m gonna invite you if you can come to any part of it to a four-day Leadership Boot Camp. It’s gonna be right here in the Worship Center at Lake Forest. I’m gonna be teaching 20 hours of my best leadership material. This is the the stuff I’ve trained over a half a million leaders in in the past 25 years in 164 countries. Government leaders, business leaders, church leaders, community leaders and I haven’t taught it
in America for 10 years. I’ve been teaching it
overseas in the Peace Plan and I’m bringing it back
here and we’re gonna do Leadership Boot Camp Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I’ll be teaching 20 hours of
material on how to be a leader. Now if you’d like to come, it’s free to anybody who’s
a part of Saddleback. I’m letting a few people
in from the outside, about 500 we’ve kind of allowed to come in who are gonna be sitting
at tables and they’re gonna pay to come to it
but you can come for free and it starts Tuesday
morning actually about noon. Registration’s about 10 o’clock and if you can come for any of it this week, you want to come and just sit in, I’ll be teaching right
here all day Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday on leadership. We’re callin’ it Leadership Boot Camp. All 500 of our Saddleback
staff will be here receiving that training and I’d love to
have you be a part of it too. Now another thing that’s
comin’ up and I’ll tell you a whole lot more
about this later on but in 2017 we’re going to do
something we’ve never done before. An entire one year
Spiritual Growth Campaign to help you grow in
every area of your life and we’re calling it
the Year of Hope because everybody needs hope
and people feel hopeless in different areas of their lives. About their career, about their finances, about their love life, about whatever and there’s so many implications. The Bible says the three big values in life are faith, hope and love. We know a lot about
love, we know a lot about faith but we don’t know
about hope that much and that we are to be people
of hope in a desperate world and we’re gonna
cover all the details of your life in-depth this
next year and thousands of other churches will be
joining us in this program. I actually started writing it three years ago the week that Matthew died. I started writing on hope and so we’ve been preparing for this
for a long, long time. It’s such a big deal
that’s gonna be coming up in 2017 that I want us
to be ready for it in prayer and so in November
and December we’re gonna do a thing called 40 Days of Prayer to help you get stronger
in your prayer life. Now we’ve been in this series on the life of Daniel for many, many weeks. We’re looking at the 10 great tests of life that we’ve seen in Daniel’s life and we have three messages left. All three of those actually
have to do with prayer. How do you pray when you’re in a crisis? How do you pray when you’re
in tension and under stress? Why is it that sometimes your
prayer answers are delayed and sometimes it doesn’t seem
like they’re answered at all? And we’re gonna deal with all that, the last three messages of
Daniel happen to be about that. So I’m actually gonna push
’em back a couple weeks into November and I’ll
finish those messages when we get ready to start that month of, our 40 Days of Prayer and that allows me now in
the next few weeks to cover some stuff that I really
wanted you to get and what I want us to look at today
is how to be spiritually fit. Now we all know about physical fitness but your soul, your spirit
has to be spiritually fit. A few weeks ago the cover of
Time Magazine was about all of the new benefits of exercise
that people have discovered, scientists have just discovered. Stuff we know about exercise that we didn’t even know five years ago. Now we all know exercise
makes you feel better. It gives you more energy. You look far more sexier
when you’re healthy and we know those kind of benefits. But science has discovered
a lot of other benefits that you didn’t even know
and they were talkin’ about things like that you’ll
have fewer aches and pains. You say “Well I don’t exercise “because I have aches and pains.” Well if you start exercising, you’ll actually have
fewer aches and pains. You’ll live longer, you will live far, far
longer if you exercise. Now nobody used to have to
exercise a generation or two ago. Everybody lived on a farm
and they were working hard all day but this next week
you’re gonna spend most of the week sitting on
your blessed assurance and that’s not gettin’
you in shape at all. But you’ll live longer. In fact studies now show
that when you exercise, your brain grows. Nobody knew that but your physical brain actually grows when you
exercise ’cause it gets more blood there and that
means you’re gonna make better decisions which means
you’ll make fewer mistakes. Probably have less conflict,
better relationships. It’s just gonna help you out
in a lot of different ways. But I want us, by the way how
many of you like to exercise? Can I see your hands? Okay a lot of you do, okay. How many of you say “I
could take it or leave it?” Okay, all right, okay let me ask you this. How many of you would like to live? All right, then you need to exercise okay because your body, you’ve
got to move it, move it okay and make it do that way. Now the Bible talks about spiritual exercise and look
at what the Bible says. The top of your outline, Chapter Four, First Timothy says this. “Spend your time and your energy “in the exercise of
keeping spiritually fit. “Now bodily exercise is good “but spiritual exercise
is even more important “and it is a tonic for all you do.” Now circle the phrase “all you do.” Notice physical exercise
is good for you in a number of different ways
but spiritual exercise the Bible says is good for
you in everything you do. When you’re spiritually fit,
you handle stress better. When you’re spiritually
fit, you don’t worry. When you’re spiritually fit, you have joy, you have peace, you
have love in your life. When you’re spiritually fit,
you can handle problems and difficulties and stress and
suffering a whole lot better. He says when you get spiritually fit, it’s good for all you do. It’s good for your
boyfriend and girlfriend relationships or your
marriage or whatever. It helps every single area of your life. So he says “Exercise
keeping spiritually fit. “Bodily exercise is good
but spiritual exercise is “even more important and
is a tonic for all you do.” So, exercise yourself spiritually and practice being a better Christian. Now what is practice, how
do you practice something? You do it over and over and over. What he’s talking here is about habits and routines or rituals. If you only exercise one time, that’s not gonna do
you any good but if you make it a habit to exercise,
you make it a ritual, you make it a routine in
your spiritual habits, then he says you’re gonna be healthy. Practice being a better Christian because that will help you not only in this life but in the next life too. Anything you do to work
on your physical body, that’s gonna benefit you right now but it’s not gonna benefit you in Heaven. Anything you do to work on your soul, to have a strong soul,
to have a strong spirit, to have a strong heart, then
that’s gonna last for eternity and the benefits of
spiritual exercises are gonna be paid off not just here
in this life but he says forever and ever and
ever and ever and ever. Now any of you who’ve ever
been in a workout program and it’s obvious some of you never have… (audience laughs) I’m teasing you, okay. If you’ve ever been in a workout program, you know that you gotta
do different kinds of exercises to strengthen
different parts of your body. There’s no single exercise gonna strengthen you in every area. I mean people say “Well I walk.” That’s good, you oughta
walk every day, that’s fine. Or “I run.” Great, that’s good but
running and walking will leave a lot of parts of your body
undeveloped, unstrengthened and so you have to use
different kinds of exercises to strengthen different parts
of your body and the same thing is true about physical
fitness or spiritual fitness. That you have to have
different kinds of exercise to strengthen different parts
of your spirit and your soul and so today we’re gonna look at 10 and we’re gonna cover ’em pretty quickly. 10 different exercises or habits. Now for some of you, you’ve heard these. It’s okay, it’s gonna be review. Just ’cause you’ve heard it
doesn’t mean you’re doing it. You say “When are you gonna
stop talking about this?” When you start doing it, okay? When you start doing it, then
we’ll stop talking about it. So this may be a review for some of you but it doesn’t mean you don’t need it. Now, we’re gonna look at 10
different exercises and to lead us on this our, Saddleback’s
favorite Bible teacher. Would you give a warm
welcome to Pastor Tom? All right. – Thank you Rick. (applause) So as we go through these 10, with a lot of years of helping people and coaching people with these exercises, I want to give, we want
to give you some tips that will help you because sometimes you don’t feel like doing these things. Sometimes you don’t
know how to get started. Many times you feel like you’re too busy to put ’em into place. So we just want to give
you some tips as we go along for how to
put these into practice in your life that we’ve
seen work in people’s lives again and again and again. So number one, first
spiritual fitness exercise is you anchor your assurance
in God’s promises and the greatest tip I can
give you I think with this first one and that is that you
always keep this one first. You always keep your assurance
of God’s love for your first. The other exercises that
we’re gonna talk about, they’re not to get God to love you. God already loves you so you don’t do the exercises to get God to love you. You do ’em to recognize how great God’s love is for you and you
anchor your assurance by looking at God’s
promise and God’s promise is that your relationship
with God was settled, eternally settled the moment
you said to Jesus Christ, “I need you, I need your forgiveness, “I need you your life,
I need your leadership.” The Bible is filled with
promises about that. We’re gonna look at a couple of ’em. Jesus said this is John Chapter Five. “I assure you, those who listen to me “and believe in my message and in God “who sent me have eternal life.” Not might have it, you do have it. “They will never be
condemned for their sins, “but they have already
passed from death into life.” Now he’s talking about
spiritual death and life there, our relationship with God and
he says it’s already settled. You’re not waiting for it to be settled. A lot of us, we have this
picture of when we get to Heaven, there’s gonna be this long
line and we’re standing in this line and we’re
thinking when we get to the front that we’re
gonna get in ’cause we said Jesus Christ, I trust you. But the line you know, it’s moving slowly and the closer we get to the front, the more we start to sweat ’cause we think did I really pray the prayer right? Did I pray the prayer, maybe I should’ve prayed it more often
and this thing over here that I did once, I’m not sure
I confessed it just right. The closer you get to the front, the more you worry am I gonna get in? You know what this verse is saying that we just looked at, this promise? You’re not even in that
line, it’s already settled. There is no line, you’re just immediately into God’s presence. It is already settled,
it is already guaranteed. You can have assurance
because of God’s promise. Now you may not be sure that
you’ve said to Jesus Christ, “I need your forgiveness,
I need your life.” You can be sure of that right now by just in your heart praying. Jesus Christ, I need your forgiveness. I need the gift of the
life that you can give me. I want to live your kind of life. You can pray that right now
because all that’s needed to be done was done by
Jesus, it’s not done by us. He died on the cross, he was resurrected. He’s already paved the way. You and I just need to
trust to accept the gift. In fact I encourage
you to do it right now. In your mind you can pray that prayer. Jesus I accept the gift of
your forgiveness, of your life. He hears you and then
this assurance that we’re talking about, it is
immediately yours because this assurance is not
based on your love for God. It is based on God’s love for you. Look at this next promise. Jesus said in John Chapter 10, “My sheep recognize my voice “and I know them and they follow me “and I give them real and eternal life.” And “They are protected
from the Destroyer for good. “No one can steal them out of my hand. “The Father who has put them under my care “is so much greater
than the Destroyer that “no one could ever steal
them away from me.” What an incredible assurance. It’s this assurance that you are not holding on to God’s hand,
God is holding on to you. We have this picture
sometimes that you know, I’m trying to hold on to
God and sometimes I feel weak and sometimes I’m
not sure I want to hold on and that that’s my relationship with God. This promise says not at all. Your relationship with
God is all about the fact that God is holding on
to you and his strong and powerful hand will
never let go of you. That’s the assurance,
that’s what you and I are counting on every day of our lives. Now how do you build this into
a spiritual fitness exercise? Because your assurance can’t
be based on your feelings, your feelings go up and down every day. You assurance can’t be
based on your circumstances, your circumstances aren’t
always what you want them to be. So your assurance has to be
based on something different. It’s based on God’s promises
and the way to exercise this one is to take these
two promises we’ve just looked at and then maybe
find a couple more. You can find ones, Romans Chapter Eight has a couple of great ones. John 3:16 is a great one. Find four or five of these
and write them on cards and then look at those cards
a couple times every day. That’s anchoring your assurance not in your feelings but in God’s promises. When you do that, you’ll find your assurance
level increasing. You’ll find your spiritual fitness growing stronger and stronger. That’s the first spiritual
fitness exercise. Now the second exercise is that you declare your faith by being baptized and Pastor Rick’s gonna teach on this one and since it’s about baptism, he is actually out in the
baptism pool right now. He just went out there
and he’s gonna teach about baptism from out
in the Baptism pool. Let’s join him out there. – All right, thank you Pastor Tom. Good to see you, hi everybody. In just a minute I’m gonna
invite those of you who are seated to come out here and be
baptized just spontaneously. In the Bible, everybody
was baptized spontaneously. Nobody planned it months in advance. It was just like now’s
the time, let’s do it. So let me talk to you a little bit about the most common questions
people have about baptism and of course the first
is what does it mean? What is the meaning of baptizing, putting somebody under the water
and bringing them back out? Well let me read you what the Bible says. This is Romans Chapter Six and
what it says about baptism. This is what happens in Baptism. When we went under the water, we left our old life of sin behind us and it was buried and then when we came up out of the water, we entered into a new life of grace and that’s what baptism into
the life of Jesus means. When we’re lowered into
the water it’s like the burial of Jesus and
when we’re raised up out of the water, it’s like
the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a new, forgiven life. Now what that verse
says and several others in the Bible say that baptism
has three main meanings. First, baptism publicly declares that you believe in the death and the burial and the
resurrection of Jesus. The Bible says we are buried
with Christ in baptism. In the Bible, baptism is always a symbol of a burial and a resurrection. That Jesus Christ died, was buried in the ground
and then he rose again. But number two, it’s also a
picture of what happens to you. It publicly declares that
you have been forgiven and that your old life
has been buried and you don’t have to feel guilty
about it anymore and that you’ve been given a brand
new life starting over. That Jesus Christ and
God forgives everything and forgets everything prior
to your commitment to Him. Here in Lake Forest on the
wall by our baptism pool is Second Corinthians
5:17 which says this. “Anyone who belongs to Christ
has become a new person. “The old life is gone and
a new life has begun.” So when we baptize someone, they’re saying I’m
dying to all my old way. My old sins, the things
that made me, tied me down and I’m beginning a brand
new, fresh new life in Christ. Now baptism does not make you a believer. It shows that you are a believer. Baptism doesn’t save you
and get you into Heaven. Baptism shows that you’re saved and you’re getting into Heaven. The only thing that gets
you saved and into Heaven is your faith in Christ,
the commitment you made and so baptism is just an outward symbol of a decision you made in your heart. I call it the wedding ring
of the Christian life. This ring doesn’t make me married. I could lose it and I’d still be married but this ring shows
that I’m married and it shows that I’m not ashamed
to say that I’m married. One day 41 years ago I stood up in front of a bunch of people and publicly, like baptism is a public proclamation, publicly declared two words to my wife. It was on my wedding day,
I said two words, “I do.” I had no idea what I was doing when I said those two words and in fact I didn’t understand all the implications of it. The rest of my life I’ve been figuring out the implications of two words, “I do” and today 40-plus years later
Kay will often remind me, that’s in the fine print of
“I do,” that’s part of it. I did, yeah okay I do and so that made me married. Now how would it be if I said to my wife, “Honey I love you, I want
to be married to you and I’m “really committed to you but
I want to keep it a secret. “I don’t want to tell
anybody about it and I “don’t want to wear a
wedding ring ’cause I don’t “want anybody to know publicly
that I’m married to you. She’d go “What kind of
love is that, buster? “That’s no love at all,
are you ashamed of me? “Are you ashamed to publicly
declare your commitment to me?” A Christian who is ashamed
of Jesus and will not get all wet for Jesus, will
not get baptized for Jesus is saying I’m ashamed, I don’t
want to wear the wedding ring. I want to be married to you but I don’t want to wear the wedding ring. So baptism actually proves that you’re a part of God’s family. The Bible says that baptism
is the door to the church. It’s the door to being a
part of the family of God. It’s the way you publicly
identify I’m all in, I’m in the body of Christ,
I’m in the family of God. How are people gonna know,
what’s your wedding ring? And so baptism shows that you are really in the body of Christ. In fact the Bible says in
First Corinthians Chapter 12, we’re baptized by one
spirit into the body, into one body and so that’s
the importance of it. Now the question then is
why should I be baptized? Why should I be baptized? And there are actually
four reasons the Bible says everybody’s who’s a
Christian should be baptized. I’m not talkin’ about
baptism as a little kid. I’m talking about the kind of baptism Jesus did when he was 30
years old as an adult. It was his decision. Now there are four reasons
you should be baptized. First, Jesus set the example
okay, he set the example. He was baptized and anything
Jesus did, you should do too. If Jesus did it, you should do it and everything he did,
he did to model for us. So Jesus at 30 years of age went down to the Jordan River and was baptized by John, put under the water and
then brought back out, symbolizing his death, his
burial and resurrection which hadn’t yet happened
but was gonna happen. So Jesus set the example,
number two, God commands it. Over and over again in
Scripture we are commanded by God that if you really
are a true believer, you’ll be baptized. Now one of the last
things Jesus said before he went back to Heaven is
called the Great Commission and this church, Saddleback Church was built on that
statement which says this. Go to all the world and make
Disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father and
the Son and the Holy Spirit. So we do that. The third reason you oughta be baptized is it shows that you are a believer. It is your coming out party,
it’s your debutante ball. It’s your public statement saying I am not ashamed to say
I love Jesus Christ. Now baptism doesn’t say well I’m gonna be perfect or I’m never gonna sin again. Of course you’re gonna sin. Baptism just says this
is where my heart is. My heart is I want to honor
God and if Jesus said do it, he said “If you love me,
keep my Commandments,” then I’m gonna follow his Commandments. I once had a little boy come up to me and he said “Pastor Rick,
when get I get advertised?” And I like that because
that’s what really baptism is. Baptism is an advertisement for Jesus. It’s saying to the whole
world, I’m not ashamed. I love God, I love Jesus and
I’m not embarrassed by it, I’m willing to get my hair wet for it. It’s a humble expression of saying I’m advertising my faith
to the whole world. And then there’s a fourth reason why you should be baptized and it’s this. I don’t want Jesus to be ashamed of me in Heaven. Now I put this verse on
your outline so those of you who are in the
Worship Center can read this. Matthew 10, these are the words of Jesus. Very important verse, listen to this. “Those who publicly declare
that they belong to me–” That’s baptism, a public
declaration of your faith. “Those who publicly declare
that they belong to me, “I will do the same for them
before my Father in Heaven.” That’s what Jesus said. “But,” and here’s the scary part. “Those who reject me publicly–” I don’t want anybody to know, I don’t want to publicly declare my faith. “Those who reject me publicly, “I will reject before
my Father in Heaven.” So if you really have
the Lord in your heart, you need to be baptized. Now some people will
say “Well wait a minute, “I was baptized as a baby. “Why should I be baptized
underwater as an adult?” And again the Bible gives us four reasons, four reasons for this. Number one is because Jesus
was baptized that way. I told you Jesus was 30 years
old, it was his decision. Now as a baby, Jesus was dedicated. There’s nothing wrong with that. Many of us in our church were
baptized as babies and that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong
with that, it’s great. In fact I honor your parents
for having them do that ’cause it was saying we want this
child to be raised in the Lord. But the truth is if you
were baptized as a baby, you don’t even remember it. It wasn’t your decision, it
was your parent’s decision and so Jesus as a baby was
dedicated in the Temple but as an adult 30 years later he said
“Okay, this is my faith now.” And he as an adult went and was baptized in the Jordan River. So Jesus was baptized by immersion. Second reason is it’s the only way to symbolize a death and a
burial and a resurrection and the Bible says that’s
what baptism’s all about. To show the death and
resurrection of Jesus. There are some churches and these are good churches, we have
nothing against ’em, they sprinkle water or
they pour water or they do a little dip or they put a
little here on your forehead. Why do they do that? Just a matter of convenience. It’s not in the Bible, it’s
just a matter of convenience. In fact for 1200 years all Christians were baptized underwater and then they just started doing some
more convenient ways. We like to do it the old fashioned way. We like to do it the
way Jesus said to do it because it is the only way to illustrate a death and a burial and a resurrection and that’s the meaning of baptism. Now there’s a third reason, it’s because that’s what the word means. The word baptism means to dip underwater. You know the word baptism
is not an English word. It wasn’t translated. If they had translated it they
would say “dip underwater.” They just put the Greek
word in there, baptiso and baptiso simply
means to dip underwater. You can go to any Greek dictionary on the planet earth and every dictionary will tell you baptiso
means to dip underwater. So when I wash dishes, I baptiso those dishes under the water. I baptize those dishes
and when I wash my clothes I don’t just sprinkle
a little water on ’em and go “Well, they’re clean.” No, no I dip ’em, I dunk ’em underwater and the word literally means to dip or to dunk underwater. And then the fourth reason is because every single baptism in the Bible was by immersion, by putting
people under the water. Now even the churches that
practice more convenient methods, they wouldn’t disagree
with what I just said. In fact all of the founders of
these different denominations actually believed the same
thing that I just taught you. Let me read you some direct quotes. Martin Luther, Martin Luther was a great Christian man who founded
the Lutheran church. We love Lutheran churches,
they’re great churches. Here’s what Martin Luther said. “I would have those who are to be baptized “to be entirely immersed
as the word imports “and the mystery signifies.” That’s Martin Luther, okay? How about this guy, John Calvin? John Calvin’s another great Christian. Calvin founded all of
the Presbyterian churches or the Reform churches
or the Calvinist churches and here’s what John Calvin
says in Calvin’s Institutes. Quote, “The word baptize “signifies to immerse, to put underwater. “It is certain that immersion “was the practice of the ancient church.” Okay so all Presbyterian churches, their leader said this, agreed. Okay how about this, John Wesley? John Wesley, great Christian
leader, we love John Wesley. He founded the Methodist churches and all the different kinds of
Methodists and Wesley said this. Quote, “We are buried with
Him, Christ, in baptism, “alluding to the ancient manner
of baptizing by immersion. “Just as Christ was raised
from the dead, so we also “will be raised by the same
power, will rise again. “This is what our very
baptism represents.” Now many people at Saddleback Church, many of us were raised Catholic. Let me read you what the
Catholic Encyclopedia says. In fact if you go ask a priest today to baptize you by immersion,
he’ll do it, he’ll do it. The Catholic Encyclopedia says this. “The Biblical form of baptism “was unquestionably immersion.” In the Bible. “In the Catholic Church,” quote “immersion seems to have “prevailed until the 12th century.” So really all of the
different denominations still agree that the
Biblical way to do it, it’s just more convenient
to do other ways, we like to do it the way
they did it in the Bible. Now when or who should be baptized? And the answer to who should be baptized is anybody who believes. If you believe, you should be baptized. Now you shouldn’t be
baptized until you believe which by the way is why we don’t baptize children until they’re
old enough to believe. We want them to make that
decision on their own. But there is no requirement for being baptized except to be a believer. You don’t have to promise to never sin. You don’t have to be perfect,
you don’t have to be mature. There’s nothing that
says you have to take all these classes or go through
this course or learn this catechism or you
have to be a certain age. No, as soon as you’re
old enough to believe, you’re old enough to be baptized and this is all through Scripture. Acts Chapter 2:41, “Those
who believed, were baptized.” Acts 8:13, “Simon believed
and was baptized.” Acts 8:12, “Those who believed Philip “were then baptized, both men and women.” And on and on, every baptism in the Bible is what’s called believer’s baptism. Believers, everybody who was baptized in the Bible was already a believer. Now some churches
practice as I said earlier what we call a baptism of confirmation. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact I honor if you
were baptized that way, if you were confirmed,
God bless you and God bless your parents because it was saying I’m committing my children
to Christ and here at Saddleback we do baby
dedications all the time. We just don’t baptize
’em until they’re old enough to understand but we do dedications and that baptism of
confirmation is between the parents and the
Lord, saying we want to raise this kid in a Godly way and we want to raise this kid in the Christian faith. And as I said, Jesus was
dedicated when he was eight days old but when he became
an adult at 30 years of age, he went down and was immersed by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. So I’d encourage you to do that. Now here’s some common questions. Can my family be baptized together? The answer is yeah, of course they can. If everybody believes, then they can all be baptized together. Right here in this pool I once
baptized a family of seven. Mom, dad and five kids
and all the kids had given their life to the Lord and it
was a wonderful expression. So some people ask, well
you know I was baptized eight years ago or 10
years ago and my spouse has just come to Christ,
my wife, my husband. Is it okay to be baptized with them again? Of course it is, can you
be baptized more than once? Of course you can, do you
take Communion more than once? Of course you do and
Jesus gave us two symbols, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. You take Communion more
than once, it’s okay to be baptized as a re-commitment
of your life to Christ and I’ve said this before. If you ever go on a trip to Israel, to the Holy Land and
somebody offers you an an opportunity to get baptized
in the Jordan River, do it. Do it, it’d be a good spiritual, it’s just an opportunity to say I’m recommitting my life to Christ. And so if you want to be baptized again with your spouse, that’s fine and no problem with that. I will say this. Baptism is a personal
issue so don’t wait on other people necessarily
to be baptized because you might wait a long, long time
and it’s between you and God. So you should go ahead,
if you’ve come to Christ, you need to go ahead and be baptized now even before your spouse or somebody else and when they do it, if you want to be baptized with them, that’s okay. But families can be baptized together. Next question, will I
have to say anything? No, (chuckles) no because
you’re actually saying, making a statement by the act. Your going into the
water and being lowered and raised is saying
I believe in the death and resurrection of Christ
and I believe my sins have been forgiven, washed
away and I’m a new person. That’s all you need to say ’cause your statement is actually your actions. What should I wear when I’m baptized? Well you don’t have to
worry about that here at Saddleback because we provide shirts and shorts and hot
towels all ready for you. So I say it’s just kind of
a Nike baptism, Just Do It and it just a minute I’m
gonna invite you to turn to the person next to
you, your spouse or friend and say “Hey man, let’s go do this.” And just get up from wherever you are. I’m gonna give you permission
to not listen to the sermon. In a minute we’re gonna stand
up, we’re gonna sing a song in just a second and Tom’s
already given permission on this. You can come on out here and
get ready and get baptized. This is a spontaneous baptism. In the first three services, I’ve already baptized 320 people. (cheers and applause) This is your day. So you just turn to the person and say “Let’s go do this, come
on let’s go do this.” So what do you wear? We’ll have it here, special needs. You may have a special health need and any of our pastors can talk to you. We can baptize at
different times, locations. If you have a particular
need, a privacy issue we would be more than glad to do
it but I will tell you this. We have baptized every kind of
need in this pool right here. We’ve baptized paraplegics and quadriplegics many times. We actually have, we have, what do you call those things? Wheelchairs, yeah wheelchairs. We’ve brought wheelchairs into this pool many, many times and baptized people. We’ve brought people who
want to be baptized who were on a stretcher and people who
said “I want to be baptized.” And some were terminally
ill and we’ve brought ’em down here in a
stretcher and baptized them. So if you have a problem with blindness or any other problem, we
can take care of that. We’re here to help you out on
that, we’re glad to help you. Now the last question is when,
when should I be baptized? And the answer is now. Now, don’t put it off. There’s no reason to wait three months or six months or nine months. As I said, every baptism in
the Bible was spontaneous. In Acts Chapter Two, Verse 41 it says “Those who were believed
were baptized that day.” That day, you don’t have
to know a lot of the stuff. All you have to know is this, I love the Lord and I need Him in my life. So there’s no reason today to delay. As I said, we’ve already
baptized 320 people. There’s a line out here gonna be baptized. You’re gonna be hearing a lot of shouting and cheering because it’s a celebration and every time we baptize
somebody, we always clap and applaud and welcome
then into our family. By the way this weekend
is a historical weekend for our church because
somebody in this group, and we’re baptizing at all
of Saddleback’s 16 campuses, somebody is going to be the 45,000th baptism of Saddleback Church. The 45,000th person to be baptized. Now we don’t really
actually know who that’s gonna be ’til after we
get all the reports in from the different campuses
and look at the times. But I’ve decided that if,
and this could be you, if you get baptized today and
you’re the 45,000th person, I’m gonna take you out
to lunch okay and we’re gonna have a party and I’ll
send you an invitation. In fact just to make
sure we don’t mess it up, I’m gonna take the five
people on either side and so about 10 people
and we’ll go to lunch and we’ll have a good time together. So I would encourage you to do that. What we’re gonna do
right now is we’re going to stand in a minute and
sing and you can just leave and come on out
here and get changed. There’s a table to sign up but before that some of you’ve never seen a baptism so I’m going to baptize somebody
right now, so who’s first? What’s your name?
– Jeremy. – Everybody say hi Jeremy.
– Hi Jeremy. – All right thanks, all
right this is Jeremy. All right Jeremy, let’s
get a picture right here. Right here? All right, oh right here, okay here we go. – [Photographer] Here
we go, one, two, three. – We take your picture,
we sign a certificate and by the way, let me
show you that certificate. We’re doing a special
certificate this week that has gold embossed on it. Anybody getting baptized today because it says “Celebrating the 45,000 baptisms.” So everybody who’s baptized
today is gettin’ this. It’s a special kind of certificate. We’ll put it in that little leatherette case with your picture
and send this to you. By the way, I had a
lady who came to me one time and she said “You know Rick, “I was gettin’ ready to
get a visa and a passport “and I couldn’t find my birth certificate. “So I took my baptism
certificate from Saddleback. “They said ‘That’s good enough.'” (laughs) “We trust Saddleback so you must be a–” And so that will be done today. All right so, would you
cross your arms here. It’s an honor to baptize
you just like Jesus said, I baptize you my brother in the name of the Father and the
Son and the Holy Spirit. Buried with Christ in baptism
and raised to walk a new life. (cheers and applause) Hey man, God bless you. God bless you.
– Thank you. – It is really not fair (laughs) to ask me to speak after watching
those people being baptized to words like “You made a
way, you set a place for me.” I could watch it 1,000
times, it gets me every time. Every one of those 45,000 people, a changed life because of God’s love. That’s what we’re celebrating
together this weekend and obviously we’re
emphasizing baptism because it is a spiritual
exercise you can take that will make an incredible
difference in your life. But we’re also on this
weekend looking at some other exercises that we
can do for those of you that are starting a life
of faith this weekend, for those of you that
are continuing that life. Now I know we’ve got a lot of spiritual fitness exercises still
to look at, I see that and I want you to know
that I feel confident in my ability to move
through these fairly quickly. More quickly than maybe some other Pastors here at Saddleback. I believe I can do that.
(laughs) We’re all gifted in different ways, that’s how God has designed us. So we’re gonna move through
these fairly quickly with some tips along the
way just as a reminder, just touching base on each
of these, just a checklist. The third thing, third exercise is you renew your strength in weekly worship. Because as you go through
the week, you get tired. You get tired physically,
emotionally, spiritually. You need to get recharged,
you need to get reinvigorated and just like your car when it’s getting empty and needs
to be filled up with gas, you and I, when we’re
getting empty we need to get filled up with God’s
spirit, with God’s strength, with God’s power in our lives. Some of us are running too
often on spiritual empty and this is one of the
habits that will help you, the exercises that will help
you to get reinvigorated. Isaiah 40:31 says “Those
who wait on the Lord.” That’s what we do, we come and wait on God to speak to us here. “Those who wait on the Lord
will renew their strength. “They will soar on wings like eagles.” And I love that picture because an eagle, when it’s soaring it doesn’t
look like it’s trying. It’s not exhausting itself. Some of you, you’re exhausted
and you need worship together just to give you the strength
you need to make it through. That’s one of the spiritual
fitness exercises. You’re doing that one right now, we don’t have to say much about that one. The next one is you deepen your peace. Number four, you deepen your
peace through daily prayer. In response to the
stress of life and we all have stress in life, every
week you’ve got stress. In response to the stress of life, you can either panic or you can pray. You sorta got a choice and God says I want you to be able to have my peace. I want you to pray and have my peace instead of having to panic. Look at this promise in
Philippians 4:6 and 7. “Don’t worry about anything,
instead pray about everything. “Tell God what you need
and thank Him for what “He’s done and then you
will experience God’s peace “which exceeds anything
that we can understand. “His peace will guard your hearts “and your minds as you
live in Christ Jesus.” So the promise here is when you pray, you experience God’s peace. Because there is this moment
of recognizing God is bigger. He’s bigger than the
circumstance, God can handle this. There’s this moment when you stop looking for peace in your circumstances because you can’t find peace
in your circumstances. They go up and down,
they change all the time. They’re not peaceful a lot of the time. Instead of looking for
peace in your circumstances, you look to God for peace
because he never changes, He’s always faithful and
that’s how you find His peace that guards your
heart and your minds. Now I know when we talk
about prayer and making it a spiritual fitness exercise,
something we do all the time, a lot of us struggle to pray. Some of you, you pray an hour
a day and that is a wonderful thing but many of us struggle
to pray at all during the day. So what’s the secret to this one? What’s the tip I can give you? Here’s the tip, pray shorter prayers through the day, pray shorter prayers. Don’t try to pray an hour or half an hour or 15 minutes or even five minutes, pray very short prayers
all through the day. I’m talking about four-word
prayers and three-word prayers and two-word prayers
and one-word prayers, very short prayers all through the day. Let me give you some, a four-word prayer. I’m depending on you. As you go into a
situation, a circumstance, something you’re gonna
have to struggle with, you just say it, real quick prayer. God, I’m depending on you. A three-word prayer, give me wisdom. You’re having a conversation
with one of your kids, a difficult conversation at work. Just send up that prayer
real quick, give me wisdom. God’ll hear it, two-word prayer. Thank you. How often do you need to
pray that one during the day? You see this, you see that,
you see this, thank you. If we just started
doing that all day long, think of how it would strengthen us. It’s a spiritual fitness exercise and here’s my favorite one-word prayer. Help, that is a great one-word prayer. You don’t even need to say “In Jesus’ name, amen” at the end. Just help, God will hear
it, He will understand. Instead of just looking
at the circumstance, you lift your eyes and you say
“Help, God I need your help.” Read the Book of Psalms,
there’s a lot of help psalms. That’s all he’s saying. So that’s how you pray, that’s how you learn to
pray on a regular basis. All right, exercise number five. Support your growth through
small group fellowship. Support your growth through
small group fellowship. You cannot be a spiritually fit Christian without Christian friends,
without relationships in your life because you need the support and the encouragement that
other people can give. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:24 and 25, “Do not give up the
habit of meeting together “but let us encourage one another.” And I’d have to say that as
I look at my life personally, whatever growth has happened
in my life, it’s happened because I’ve been around
other people that are growing. It’s a relationship issue. I’d like to say it’s my own personal self-discipline but it’s not. We become like the people
we spend the most time with. So growth happens when you spend time around other people that are growing. Now I know there are people who say “Well you know I don’t need to
go to church to worship God. “I can worship God out in nature.” And there may be some
truth to that although I know you need other people as well. But I’ll tell you this, you cannot fellowship all by yourself. That’s one thing you certainly
can’t do by yourself. You need other people in
relationship to strengthen you and I know many of you are
already in a small group but some of you aren’t and you’ve
struggled to be in a small group. How do I get involved,
when do I get involved? And you think you really
can’t because you can’t meet at seven o’clock on
Wednesday or Thursday night. You’ve gotta work at three in the morning, you gotta go to bed early. You’re working on Wednesday
or Thursday night. Let me just give you a tip on this one. There’s more than one
time to have a small group and there’s more than one type
of small group and you may need to just choose a different
type and a different time. We have a lot of groups
that meet in businesses. They meet at lunchtime for half an hour. They talk about and pray for each other, they look at some verses
in the Bible together. They encourage each other,
maybe you need to do that. We have a whole team here at Saddleback that can help you in a
workplace small group. They can show you how to do that, give you materials to do that. Or maybe you build it around something that you enjoy doing, that you love to do. You like to ride bikes
with this group of guys, Christian guys on the weekend. Well at the end while you’re cooling down, take a few minutes to
talk about what God’s doing in your life, to look
at some verses together. Build it into something
you already love doing. There’s a way to get this done because you and I have to have
this in our lives if we’re gonna keep growing
in spiritual fitness. All right, number six. Number six is you feed your
soul by studying the Bible because the Bible is food for your spirit. It is literally soul food
and if you go a day without the Bible in your life, you
become weaker spiritually. If you go a week without it, you start to shrivel up in your soul. If you go a month without the Bible, you start to starve actually spiritually. You need it on a daily basis. Jesus talked about this,
he gave us this picture. Look at this next verse, Matthew 4:4. Jesus said “People need more
than bread for their life. “They must feed on every word of God.” So it’s like food, it’s a perfect picture because I need it every day of my life. Let’s say I came out with
this new diet book and the diet was this, in order to lose
weight, here’s what you do. You don’t eat anything
for six days in the week, you fast for six days
and then you pig out on the seventh day, eat all that
you need on the seventh day. That wouldn’t work, you’d be unhealthy. You’d have indigestion. But we try to do that
sometimes spiritually. We don’t have any of the
Bible in our lives during the week but then we get
to the weekend and we say I’m gonna eat as much as I
can on one day and we wonder why we have spiritual gas,
which is what happens to us. Now I’m not saying Rick’s
sermons give you spiritual gas. I’m saying that not
taking it in every day, it seems unfamiliar to us, it feels like I don’t
know how I can do that. It makes us feel a little actually distant from God rather than close to God. You need this in your life
every day of your life. Jesus talked about this, there’s this continual
taking in of God’s word. Jesus said “If you continue in My Word,” In John 8, “then you
are truly my Disciples “and then you will know the truth “and the truth will set you free.” I know a lot of us would like to spend a few minutes every day
taking God’s word in. You can do it by reading
God’s word, you can do it by listening to it,
you can listen to a podcast. There’s a lot of
different ways to do this, a lot of different times to do this. So what’s the secret to
beginning to build this into your life as a
spiritual fitness habit? Let me give you, having talked to many people over the years a secret that I’ve seen that works many, many, many times and that is give it six weeks. You might write that
even in on your outline, give it six weeks. If you’ll at the same time
and the same place read a few verses of the Bible
or listen in your car on the way to work or however
you want to take it in, if you’ll do it at the same time
and same place for six weeks, you will build a habit that’s
very difficult to break. It’s just taking advantage
of how God’s wired us. If you want a habit of
reading the Bible as a part of your life,
just give it six weeks. Same time, same place, concentrated energy and all of a sudden you’ve built a habit that’s gonna be there
the rest of your life, gonna bless you the rest of your life. All right, number seven. Seventh spiritual fitness exercise is you develop your SHAPE by serving others. If you don’t know what
that word SHAPE means, what we mean by that, I’ll
explain it in a minute. You develop your SHAPE by serving others. What I’m saying here is
that God has uniquely designed you for making a
difference with your life. I have no doubt that God wants to use you to make a difference in this world in ways that you never thought possible and part of the spiritual
fitness of our lives is not just what we take
in but what we give out, how we serve other people. First Peter 4:10 says
“God has given each of you “a gift from his great
variety of spiritual gifts. “Use them well to serve each other.” Now God has uniquely designed
you to do this and that’s what we mean when we talk
about shape here at Saddleback. We actually have a whole class, Class 301, Discovering Your SHAPE
that talks about these five areas of life that you
and I have been uniquely designed by God in order
to serve other people. Let me just put ’em up on the
screen real quick, S-H-A-P-E. S stands for Spiritual Gifts. God has gifted you to serve other people so that they can know
about him in a greater way. Different gifts like encouragement, like just helping other
people, those are great gifts. H stands for Heart and
that means what you’re passionate about, what’s important to you. You are uniquely designed
in what’s important to you and God wants to make
a difference through that. A stands for Abilities, we
have different abilities. Some of you have mechanical abilities, some artistic abilities,
some musical abilities. There are hundreds of
abilities out there and God wants to use those to make
a difference in this world. He didn’t give them to you by accident. P stands for Personality. God has given every one of
us a unique personality. Some more unique than others, I understand that but we all
have a unique personality and God wants to use your personality. He doesn’t want you to
be like somebody else. He wants you to be like you, He wants to use that in the world and then E stands for Experiences. The experiences you’ve
had in life, in education, he wants to use those
experiences to bless other people and even and maybe most of all, the difficult, the painful
experiences you’ve had. The Bible says very clearly
that when we go through difficulties God comforts us
but not just for our comfort, so that we can take that
comfort he’s given to us and give it to somebody
else who’s gonna need it who’s going through the same
thing that we went through. So God wants to use even that to help you in serving other people. So at Saddleback we say three things. We say that every Christian is a minister. In the Bible the word
minister doesn’t mean like paid pastor, the word
minister just means servant. So we’re all servants, God
means for all of us to serve. We say that every one of us
is uniquely shaped to serve. God made you to serve in ways that nobody else can serve and then number three, every Christian needs a place to serve. God has a place for you
and when you start to serve in that place, you
are spiritually exercising. Now this isn’t always easy ’cause you’re serving people and people
aren’t always perfect. They will disappoint you sometimes, they won’t do what you want sometimes. The results won’t come that
you hope for sometimes. So how do you make this a habit
that lasts for a lifetime? Well Colossians 3:23 gives
us a couple of secrets. Listen to this verse, “Whatever you do, “work at it with all your heart “as working for the Lord, not for men.” The two secrets to making
this a spiritual fitness exercise, a habit that
lasts is number one, you give it your all and
number two, you do it for Him. First you give it your all,
no half-hearted service. If it’s gonna be half-hearted,
don’t do it at all ’cause it’ll leave you and
everybody else disappointed. You won’t get anything out it. Half-hearted serving is
like a half-cooked meal. You ever gone through one of
those buffet lines and they’ve got those scrambled eggs
that are like half-cooked? You’re not, whether
you should eat ’em with a spoon or a fork, you’re not quite sure. That’s what half-hearted serving is like. If you’re gonna do it,
just give it your all because then you get the joy out of it. So you give it your all
and then you do it for Him. If you’re doing it to get
praise from other people, they’re not gonna praise you many times. In fact sometimes they’ll even
criticize you for doing the right thing because they’re
struggling in their own lives. Maybe because they have jealously like you and I have jealousy, I don’t know why. They’re human beings like
I am but you do it for Him, He’s always gonna notice
every single time and not only notice what you do in this
world and bless you but He’s gonna bless you and notice
it all the way into eternity. He’s gonna celebrate it forever, well done good and faithful servant. So you give it your all, you do it for Him and then this is a habit,
an exercise that’ll last. All right, number eight. You strengthen your
heart by regular giving. You strengthen your heart, there are some exercises that
are just good for the heart. Physically that’s true,
there’s aerobics that we do that are good for
our heart physically and that’s true spiritually also. What we’re talking about here is like a spiritual aerobics exercise. It is good for your heart to give. Jesus talked about what
it does to our heart when we give in Matthew 6:21, this
verse that’s up on the screen. He said “Where your treasure is, “there will your heart be also.” And he’s talking about
material things here actually. He’s saying wherever I invest the material things in my life, my
heart is drawn there. That’s the power of that in my life. So you strengthen your
heart by regular giving. You make it a spiritual
exercise, a habit in your life. I used to think that the most spiritual kind of giving was like
just impulse giving. You know, you heard
somebody talk about giving. You saw something on TV, you
saw something on the internet and you said “I’m gonna do
something right now about it.” And you did something
but then you didn’t think about it until you saw something else that stirred your emotions and
it’s okay to do that but it’s actually not the most
mature kind of giving. The most mature kind is when you say “I’m gonna plan to do this in advance.” That’s what the Bible says,
look at this next verse. First Corinthians 16 says “On
the first day of every week, “each of you should put aside
something from what you’ve “earned during the week and
use it as an offering for God. “The amount depends on how much “the Lord has helped you to earn.” So there are exercises for your soul, that’s what we’re talking about here and with these exercises, you can’t do exercises just impulsively,
you’ve gotta plan ’em. You can’t just say “I’m gonna
exercise when I feel like it.” You’ll never do it. You can’t do exercises just once a year. “I’ll lift weights once a year “and then I’ll have all
the strength that I need.” No, they need to be a part of your life all the time and the same
thing is true with giving. That’s what this verse recognizes. On the first day of the week, you plan it. You put something aside, you plan it. It depends on how much you’ve earned, you figure out how much you’re gonna give. The basic principle that
we’re talking about is this. You give whenever you get as quickly as you can. Whenever you get, you give
for a couple of reasons. One, to remind yourself
it was God’s strength that enabled me to get
it in the first place. You don’t become prideful and
think it was all due to you. God gave you life, God gave you strength, God gave you your mind,
it’s a way of thanking Him. But also it’s a reminder of the fact that whatever He gives you,
it’s not just for you. We’re blessed to be a
blessing and whatever He gives into my life or your life,
it’s to bless other people as well and if you wait to
do that you start to forget. You start to get prideful, you start to think it’s just for you. So you give whenever you get, it’s a spiritual fitness
exercise that reminds you of why God’s given
it in the first place and if you’re not giving
you are robbing yourself of one of the most
life-giving, joy-producing, eternity-impacting things
that you can possibly do. Because God has through the gift of giving given us the opportunity to
impact the world around us. But you do it out of a
heart of love for God. Look at this next verse,
Second Corinthians 9:7 says “Each one of you should
give what you’ve decided in “your heart to give, not
reluctantly or under compulsion, “for God loves a cheerful giver.” So you don’t give because you should or because somebody makes you
feel pressured about it. If you feel like I’m pressuring
you right now, don’t give. You’re not gonna get blessed for it, nobody else is gonna get blessed for it. No, you do it out of a
heart of love for God and when you do that, the
world gets blessed for it. That’s a spiritual fitness exercise that blesses you and a lot of other people too. All right number nine, and
this one might surprise you. You might not think of this as an exercise that you need to
do regularly but you do. Number nine is you stretch
your faith by risking. Stretch your faith by risking. Risking is to be a regular
part of the Christian life. That’s what faith is all about is risking, it’s absolutely essential. Faith doesn’t mean you
always do the safest thing. Faith means sometimes you take a risk. It’s the kind of faith that believes that God can do anything. Look at these next verse, Mark Nine says “Everything is possible
for him who believes.” So you take a risk. “According to your faith
it will be done to you.” Mathew Chapter 9, Hebrews Chapter 11, “Without faith it’s
impossible to please God.” Now that last one, that
means I didn’t please God sometimes this week
and probably you too. I did some things without faith. I did ’em just ’cause I’d done ’em before. I did ’em not expecting God to do anything, not thinking about it. But when I take the time to
have faith, then it pleases God. Now there’s all kinds of risk. There’s foolish risk,
there’s calculated risk like you might take in your business. I’m not talking about those. I’m not talking about a faith risk. I’m talking about the kind of risk that you take because you trust in God and having watched in my own life and many other people’s lives this risk of faith being taken again and
again, I can tell you that almost always it’s gonna involve moving against a fear in your life. Something that you are afraid to do, God’s gonna challenge you to do. He’s gonna challenge you
to talk to that person, to talk in front of that
group, to start that Ministry, to forgive that person. That’s the risk of faith that
He’s asking in your life. Faith is like a muscle
and it has to be stretched and it’s stretched
through these risks doing these things that we
don’t think we can do. But God says I want you to take a risk and trust me and not just yourself. If you want to be a healthy,
spiritually fit person, you’ve gotta take risks of
faith on a regular basis. So you attempt something that can’t be done just on your power. You trust God to work a miracle. You don’t sit on the sidelines anymore, you decided I’m gonna get involved. You get involved in a
Ministry, you ask God to help. You take a step of faith,
you move against a fear. That’s taking a risk. All right, now we’re to number 10. The 10th exercise, the
last one is you increase your joy by telling other
people, by telling others. Telling others is the spiritual
exercise that I believe without a shadow of a doubt
results in the greatest joy and anytime I’m talkin’ with
somebody who’s a follower of Jesus and they say
“I’ve just lost my joy. “I’m just not excited
about the faith anymore. “I used to be, when I
was first a Christian “I was enthused about it but right now “it just seems boring, routine, dull.” There could be a lot of reasons for that but the first one I’ll always go to is are you telling other people
what God’s done in your life? Because if you’re just
taking in all the time and not sharing it with
other people, it stagnates. It does get dull and routine and boring. The first place to look is
who do I need to be telling? How can I be sharing
my faith, how can I be doing what these next
couple of verses talk about? Psalm 34:3 says “Join me
in spreading the news. “Together let’s get the word out.” Colossians 4:5 says “Make the most of “your chances to tell
others the good news.” Now you might circle in
that verse the word “tell.” That’s what you’re doing is you’re telling others what
God’s done in your life and to encourage you in
this let me just say this. You’re not selling, you’re just telling. You’re not selling God to other people. It’s not like you have to
be an infomercial for God. God doesn’t need you to be an infomercial. He can as good as anybody
else show the world who He is. He just needs you to tell the story of what He’s done in your life. So in a simple way you just
might start to think about, Maybe even write down in your Bible or somewhere else some
people you’re praying for, that they would know the good news that God has for their lives and you just write down their names
and you start to pray. God give me a natural, normal, just good conversation
where I can tell ’em. Maybe they ask me a question or maybe it just sorta comes up somehow. Let me just tell the story of
what you’ve done in my life. Give me that opportunity and God will give you that opportunity. Every person that is being
baptized this weekend, every one of the 45,000 people
baptized here at Saddleback, it’s because somebody told
a story, a story of what God had done in their life
and that changed their life. That’s the power of this spiritual fitness exercise in your life, my life. For many of us this might
be the hardest one to do but I’m telling you, as
soon as you open yourself up to just doing it in a natural way, you’re gonna find God doing this again and again and again
and again in your life. Now there’s 10 exercise here
so as we come to a close, let me just give a couple of things for working through all 10 of these. How to put these into place in your life. Number one, you can schedule it. That’s the first thing you can do. Just write it on a calendar. So you write down when
you’re gonna spend time, a few minutes every day on God’s word. Write it down, it helps. Number two, you get a notebook. Either you can do this digitally or you can do this with paper. Something that has tabs on it
with all 10 of these habits and the weekend worship
one, you put your notes, what you heard from God
on the weekend in there. The one on telling, you
put your list of people that you’re praying for that would know the good news like you’ve
known the good news. Just make it a place where you keep up on what God’s doing in your life. But maybe the most important thing you can do, the third thing is this. Start with one. In fact get those notes out again, take a look at ’em and what I’d do is look through ’em and I’d just
circle one of these 10. Start there, don’t try to do 10 at once. You and I can only do one at once. So whichever one as we
were going through it, you thought yeah, I need
to work on that one. Well circle that one, start on that one. I know you want to do the easier
one first but start on that one ’cause that’s the one
that’s gonna build the muscle, spiritual muscle that needs
to be built in your life. Now as we pray in just a
minute I just want to say that as great as these exercises
are to build us up spiritually, none of them can save you,
not baptism or any other one. We’re saved by God’s grace
and we do these exercises to get closer to that grace,
to get connected to that grace. So don’t try to do these
things to get saved. Recognize God’s grace is
what saves me and then out of that we do these just
to grow in the grace that He’s given to us, just to be
strengthened in that grace. As we close in prayer,
if you’ve never trusted Christ and said I need your forgiveness, I want to give you an opportunity
to do that again right now and if you have trusted,
if you are trusting, I want to give us all an
opportunity to say God, we’re trusting you for strength in each of these exercises
we’ve talked about. Let’s pray together and if you’ve never said to Jesus, you’re not sure you’ve said to Jesus, I trust you for forgiveness, I’d encourage you to do that right now. Just say Jesus Christ,
I trust you for the life that you can give me, the
forgiveness that you can give me. Thank you for dying on the cross, thank you for your resurrection. It gives the power for a new life. And for all of us I’d
just encourage you to say God thank you that you’ve given ways for me to grow closer to you and instead of me trusting
me to do these things, I’m trusting you right now. I’m trusting you to help
me to spend time talking to you and spend time
reading the great things that you’ve said to me that will help me. I’m trusting you that you’ll help me to be a more giving person,
a more serving person. With all these 10 I’m
trusting you God because Lord, I really do want to grow closer to you. I really do want to hear
from you more often. I really do want to
become a better person. I really do want to have a heart that is more full and more energized and so God as I do these things, I pray that I give you
praise for the blessings that come out of them and I ask this, we ask this together in Jesus’ name, amen.


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