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As you are no doubt aware, I spent a fair portion of the summer wearing a sling. This was following surgery on the shoulder and biceps area of my left arm. The relief at having my arm liberated from the sling after six weeks was enormous. However six weeks of being artificially supported consigned the arm to weakness and unable to operate normally. Plenty of somewhat painful exercise is necessary to get it to function properly. If the surgery had not been undertaken, the underlying problem would only have got worse. This reminded me that life, and the Christian life in particular, can be very much like this. The surgery left me with four small holes which were healed in a matter of days. But on the inside, out of view to everybody else, was where the real surgery took place. All humans have a problem on the inside, not physical but spiritual. This is because all our rebellion against God has its source in the inner man. And God has said that he will deal with that, he said (in Ezekiel 36:26): A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Although this is a spiritual allegory, the picture is clear that major "surgery" is needed. A patch on the outside will not do! And as with any surgery, exercise is needed afterwards to bring us to strength. As we are taught in the New Testament (1Timothy 4:7 - 8): exercise thyself unto godliness. 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. To live a life of godliness we need to know what God requires of us which has been revealed very clearly in his Word, the Bible. If we do not exercise ourselves through regular reading and meditating on the Bible we will remain forever weak in the Christian life unable to do some of the simplest things expected of us. Let us then grow strong together that we may cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.