Sermon: Spiritual Exercises to Make You Strong 1 Thessalonians 5:16–22 -- By: Daniel L. Akin

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 03:3 (Fall 1999)
Article: Sermon: Spiritual Exercises to Make You Strong 1 Thessalonians 5:16–22
Author: Daniel L. Akin

Sermon: Spiritual Exercises to Make You Strong
1 Thessalonians 5:16–22

Daniel L. Akin

Daniel L. Akin is Vice President and Dean and Professor of Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Akin has served as dean since 1996 and has also served on the faculty of Southeastern Seminary and Criswell College. He has an extensive speaking ministry, especially on the topic of marriage and family, and is the author of the forthcoming commentary on 1-3 John in the New American Commentary series.


The human body is a remarkable creation of God (Ps 139:13–15). It consists of more than fifty trillion cells and its weight is about sixty percent water. It manufactures three hundred million new blood cells every day and it has a heart that beats seventy to eighty times per minute or one hundred thousand times every day. Over seventy years it pumps four hundred million liters of blood. The average adult breathes six to seven liters of air per minute (picture in your mind the liter diet Coke bottle), which is about ten thousand liters per day and 3,650,000 liters per year. Other interesting facts include:

There are about one hundred billion neurons (nerve cells) in the brain. We are born with twelve billion neurons that do not regenerate when they die. There are one hundred thousand miles of blood vessels in an adult—enough to circle the earth four times. The average human eye blinks about twenty thousand times every day. The human kidney filters seventeen hundred liters of blood every twenty-four hours. There is enough carbon in your body to fill nine hundred pencils. There are about seventy-five thousand hairs on your head. The strongest muscle in your body is the tongue!

Essential to the health and well being of this gift from God are three important factors: 1) rest, 2) diet, and 3) exercise. I am especially interested in exercise. A quick survey of any basic text on anatomy or even a visit to your local encyclopedia yields some amazing discoveries about exercise and fitness. Did you know that for your body to be healthy and fine-tuned it needs 1) strength fitness, 2) endurance fitness, 3) anaerobic fitness, 4) speed fitness, 5) orthostatic fitness, and even 6) relaxation fitness? All of these are crucial to a healthy, fit and productive body. “The human body, like any living organism, must be used or it will lose its structure and function.”1 As the saying goes, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”

What is true about physical life is also true about spiritual life. Our inner person, our spiritual being requires attention and exercise if it is going to be healthy and product...

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