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    Apr 25, 2010

    Temple Care

    Passage: Ephesians 2:10

    Preacher: Eric Stapleton

    Series: Taking It On the Road

    Category: Stewardship

    Keywords: health, body, spirit, mind, education, intellect, emotions, triinty, exercise, diet, worship, prayer

    Summary:

    According to Scripture, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. If so, how are we to maintain it? Well, first of all we need to not only think of our physical needs but our mental and spiritual ones as well. Those three aspects of our lives reflect the Trinity, God the the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Just as the members of the Godhead work together and are yet separate so are we to care for our whole self, the body, the mind and the spirit. We do this because God created us to do good works, we are His craftsmanship.

    Detail:

    Temple Care

    Basis-The Temple of the Holy Spirit

    Today, we’re going to talk about Stewardship of Health. This is by no means a comprehensive sermon or teaching. I’m hoping it’s sufficient. Let’s Pray.

    1 Corinthians 6:19–20 (NASB95)

    19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

    20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

     

    Today we’re going to talk about caring for the temple of the Holy Spirit. Which is not this building. It’s you, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Now the scripture above is really about fleeing sexual immorality but the apostle Paul does put it out there that our body a temple for the Holy Spirit. He repeats the sentiment later on as well drawing attention to the fact that God said it first:

    2 Corinthians 6: 16 (NASB95)

    16 For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,

    “I will dwell in them and walk among them;

    And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

    I’m sure you’ve heard people, athletes and health gurus say, “your body is a temple.” Or they say that about themselves. That may or may not be true. What makes the body the temple is not how you decorate it.

     Or by saying, “my body temple” or even if you treat it as such. It is what is dwelling inside that makes it a temple. And it could be a god other than the one serve which would be a false god.

    Like I said, to have a temple of the Holy Spirit, it’s not about how you treat, prepare, or declare it to be. For your body to be a temple of the Holy Spirit, you must be clean from sin. Again I say, for the essence of a Holy God to inhabit a human body, that body must be clean of sin. The only way to be clean from sin is repentance from that sin and belief that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead. His blood washes your sins away. That and that alone is what allows the Holy Spirit to come in and take up residence in our lives—body (physical being), mind (our will and intellect) and spirit (life energy).

    Because of sin we all die. That is, from the moment we are born, although we are growing, we are also dying. From birth we are in a sense the living dead. Our body, mind and spirit are dead and dying until the Holy Spirit comes into our lives at which point our spirit only is made alive, the mind starts a renewal process and the body is still subject to the decay resulting from sin.

    Romans 7:21–25 (NASB95)

    21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.

    22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,

    23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.

    24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

    25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

     The conflict Paul is talking about here is the tension between his quickened, made alive, spirit and his decaying mind and flesh.

     A useful way of understanding this is looking at the Trinity=God in three persons-Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Man in three parts, mind, body, spirit.

     When I say useful that’s what I mean. There is no doctrine in the Bible that espouses the triunity of man.  There are verses here and there as well as arguments about man being a dichotomy verses trichotomy.  What’s important is that when we talk about taking care of “the temple” meaning ourselves…we’re not just talking about the physical aspect, but spiritual and intellectual aspects as well.

     Just as the three are one in the Godhead so are we one. Our will/intellect is directly connected with our body through the organ of the brain. Our spirit also directly affects our will and subsequently our body. There was a doctor at the turn of the last century who did an experiment on people who were about to die and found that in humans, and not animals, there was a loss of weight at the time of death of about twenty one grams. Some question the validity of experiment.

     For me, the experiment doesn’t verify or negate anything…I just think it’s interesting and it illustrates the point. I’m not a scientist, I’m a preacher. I think it’s really neat though that someone would think it important to try it.

    More tension. 

    1 Corinthians 15:50–57 (NASB95)

    50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  

    51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,

    52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

    53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

    54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.

    55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

    56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;

    57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

     As for our soul,

    1 John 3:2–3 (NIV)

    2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

    Since it is our spirit that is made alive first, some have falsely assumed the flesh or the body is bad somehow that it is only the spirit that counts. This isn’t right and actually led to a heresy the early church called Gnosticism. This teaching taught that the material world and immaterial (spiritual) world were totally separate, also, that only the spiritual was good. Therefore, it reasoned that Jesus couldn’t have really had a physical body before or after the resurrection.

     This is heresy. There are cults and sects that still teach that Jesus didn’t resurrect bodily. That’s not true, he did.

     Point is that we are created in God’s image to glorify God with all that he has given us to glorify him with including our corruptible flesh and will.

    Ephesians 2:10 (NASB95)

    10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

     We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, being holy instruments, we care for ourselves, we care for the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Not just the body but the spirit and mind as well. That’s what we are going to talk about today.

     I Corinthians 15:58

    58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

     Why do we take care of the temple instead of looking forward to the day when it becomes worm food and we get our new bodies? Because, beloved, we were created to do good works, specifically, the work of the Lord. Your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

     

    Now, as I break this ‘trichotomy of man’ down into sections and talk about how we care for each part, keep in mind the analogy of the triunity of God. Just as God is three and one, so we are three and one. Each part interconnected and working with each other. Bear with me because I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it.

     

    Spirit

    When we're talking about the spiritual part of man, we're talking about that part of man that connects to God. When we are born again, we are reborn of the Spirit, our spirit is made alive in Christ. Our body will be resurrected on the day of Christ’s return and our mind/intellect is being renewed up until the day of Christ’s return. So when you talk about the spirit as a part of who we are talking about the part of our lives where we connect with God.

    Ephesians 2:1–6 (NIV)

    Made Alive in Christ

    2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient… 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  

     

    Union with God

    We are good stewards of our spirit when we keep our union with God. That happens primarily through prayer, worship, and fellowship. There are other spiritual disciplines that help our spirit maintain union with God but they involve more directly the intellect and body.  

    Prayer

    Have you ever felt that you just didn’t know how to pray, what to pray for, etc.? Good, you’re on the same page with God. Just pray even if the words don’t come to you.

    1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NASB95)

    17 pray without ceasing;

     

    Romans 8:26–27 (NASB95)

    Our Victory in Christ

    26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;  

    27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

     

    There is an interaction between God’s Spirit and your spirit on a level too deep for words and physical posture. So, I hear some of you screaming in your minds, “what does that mean? How do I make my spirit commune with God’s spirit?” I’m glad you asked that. Remember when I said earlier that all our parts are interconnected. A plant needs sunlight right? I have this grape tomato plant in an upside down hanging planter. It’s really cool. These tomatoes need about six hours of direct sunlight. I can know the plant needs sunlight to grow. I can even yell at the plant and tell it that needs sunlight. “You won’t grow unless you get sunlight!” I can even cry about it to show how sincere I am. What do I have to do? I have to physically move the plant to where it will get 6 or more hours of sunlight.

    Sometimes physically, to commune with God in prayer we have to get alone as in away from everybody else and the noise that comes in our ears, disturbing our spirit and our minds.

    Matthew 6:6 (NASB95)

    6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

    Luke 5:16 (NASB95)

    16 But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

     

    So, there is a physical component to prayer as well. I need to take the time to get in a place where I can focus on God, mind and body so that my spirit can have union with God.

    What benefits does prayer have? It changes you. It’s like this. I might not have a problem using sarcasm in front one of my peers, but when I go to God, maybe I think twice before taking such dramatic license. My point is that in recognition of a holy God I have to change a bit when I go to him because in my flesh, I am not holy. My body is decaying, I’m subject to mood swings and crabbiness and my mind is still corrupted by the sinful things that have sullied it  over my lifetime and just in day to day life. Prayer is one opportunity to reset. Also I may come to God with a request but as I take the time to think about whom it is I’m addressing, my request might just change. I might realize that I’m asking for something that isn’t in line with the character of God or in line with the plans he has for my life.

    The more contact and union my spirit has with a Holy God, the more my spirit becomes like his Holy Spirit, hence the more influence it has over my flesh and my mind.

    Worship

    Exodus 3:12 (NASB95)

    12 And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”

    Worship. The word comes from the Old English Worthship. That is we pay honor, reverence, respect, sacrifice to that which we deem worth it. In the Christian faith this worship is directed to the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in RESPONSE to his revelation of himself and his goodness, love, holiness, mercy, and perfection. God’s intention for His people, Israel was to do something great, deliver them out of Egypt and then they could worship Him. Worship is in response to the revelation of God’s worth ship of it. That is one of the reasons why here at Mosaic we usually put the larger chunk of worship music after the message. It is a chance to respond in worship through music after the revelation of God’s Word.

    Our worship is totally dependent on a revelation of God. We have nothing to offer God in terms of worship unless He first gives us something to respond to. It’s a two part deal, it’s union with God, it’s necessary for our spiritual health.

    There are physical and intellectual aspects of worship at serve the spirit’s union with God. Notably, Romans 12, check it out.

    Romans 12:1–2 (NASB95)

    Dedicated Service

    1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  

    2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

     

    I love this verse, body, mind, and spirit all in there. Worship and prayer should be acts of surrender, “not my will but thy will be done.”

     

    That is why both worship and prayer should not be dependent on your mood nor your emotional state.

     

    Hebrews 13:12–15 (NASB95)

    12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

    13 So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

    14 For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

    God-pleasing Sacrifices

    15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.  

     

    I don’t want to lose you on this one here so I’ll explain. “What’s the difference between ‘being in the mood’ and ‘responding to God?’ They actually can be the same. I’ll use exercise as an analogy. Sometimes we don’t feel like exercising or even going work. However, in some cases it is revealed to us that we need to anyway and so we do. Do feel like praising God when you are bearing reproach? No. That’s what this verse is saying. Even when it’s bad, recognize Christ. The verse doesn’t say “pull yourself up by your bootstraps, suck it up, take it on chin, etc.” It says, “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice (it’s hard sometimes) of praise to God.”

    What does that mean? “Through Him.” That means dwelling and focusing on every good thing we have in Christ. For the one who believes in Christ, this life, is the closest he or she gets to hell. For the non-believer, this life is the closest they get to heaven. Can you imagine this life being as good as it get? Can you imagine this life being worse than the worst living circumstances you’ve ever heard of? That’s hell. And we who are in Christ, get eternity with no more pain or suffering. None, ever again. That’s huge. No more  bondage to sin, no more tears, difficulties. As for the reality of this life, it will pass. That’s what “through him” means.

    Philippians 4:8 (NASB95)

    8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

    If you want to understand true worship, read the book of Job. People usually go to the book of Psalms when considering worship. I say go to the book of Job. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it’s placed right before the book of Psalms in the Bible. Can you say, “I know my redeemer lives and I will see goodness in the land of the living” when you’ve had everything that you love taken away from you. Job did.

    That is worship, when you perceive around you is going to pot, that your body is only good for physical sensations of pleasure and suffering and in spite of that, your spirit recognizes that God is the only thing that is good and has worth. That is worship.

    We’ll talk more about worship next month. We’ll do a whole sermon on it at the end of May.

    Fellowship with Believers

    Another activity that helps us renew our spiritual health is fellowship with other believers. Making contact with the other people on the path with you, revitalizes your spirit and reaffirms your faith. I’m not talking about talking about the weather. I’m talking about real fellowship and connection with other believers.

    Hebrews 10:24–25 (NASB95)

    24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

    25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

    Key verse here;

    1 Corinthians 12:13 (NASB95)

    13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

    Union with God’s Holy Spirit is not just a vertical affair, it’s horizontal. As we recognize God’s Holy Spirit in each other, we are not only communing with each but also with God. “When two or more are gathered in my name, I am there with them.”

    Christianity is not a flying solo religion…It’s not just me and Jesus, it’s we and Jesus. To that end, we have our Fill, Mix, Pour Groups. And in leadership we’ve actually taken flak for our approach to small groups. Some believe a small group should be only about Bible Study. No. Whatever non-sinful activity it takes to get God’s people together during the week, we’re for that. One of you has even suggested having a potluck after church on regular basis. I think this is a good idea, maybe we’ll just take you up that Mr. Porter.

    Mind

    Deuteronomy 6:5 (NASB95)

    5 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

    Deuteronomy 6:4–9 (NET)

    The Essence of the Covenant Principles

    6:4 Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 6:5 You must love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength. 

    Exhortation to Teach the Covenant Principles

    6:6 These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, 6:7 and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up. 6:8 You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead. 6:9 Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and gates. 

    Early on, God set a standard for God’s people to follow…he tells them to love God with all their mind, being, and strength. These are parallel with mind, spirit and body. Then describes one of the ways to use our minds rightly….know God’s Word, teach it, and keep it as a reminder to be seen at all times.

    There is precedent here for the constant intake and outpour of knowledge. This series we’re in, Taking it On the Road is a Life Stewardship series. Your energy, resources, relationships and capacities are not meant to be horded in a stagnant pond, they are meant to be life giving, constantly fed and constantly feeding.

    So it is with the mind. The mind needs be active to be healthy.

    Studying God’s Word

    Romans 12:1–2 (NASB95)

    2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

    You want a healthy mind, know God’s Word. That’s first. I say that because the above verse. Any knowledge you receive outside of God’s word needs to be evaluated in the light of God’s Word.

    The first head knowledge God gives His people to work with are The Ten Commandments: Don’t have other gods besides me or in addition to God, no idols, don’t misuse God’s name, keep the Sabbath, honor mom and pop, don’t murder, tell lies about anybody, commit adultery, steal, or want what somebody else gots.

    The beginning of wisdom is The fear of the Lord. If it really flips your boat to think of fearing God, think of it as respect or reverence on steroids. I’m sorry I can’t say that with a straight face. No fear is fear. If you don’t do what God says, apart from Christ, you die and go to hell. If you don’t have a healthy fear of that, what do you need Jesus’ death and sacrifice for? Some may not understand hell but they do understand fear of death, that is not merely expiration of life but all the pain, suffering and torment that goes along with it. The wages of sin is death. The fear of God is the BEGINNING of wisdom not the end of it. The revelation of Christ opens us up to the loving fatherhood of God, joy, and freedom. Jesus dying on the cross pays for our shortcomings and makes it as if we have done everything necessary to please God. Only when we recognize the magnitude of difference between what we deserve and what we receive in Christ, then are we ready to move on from ‘fear.’ Perfect love casts out all fear. That statement implies that there will be fear to cast out.

    Education

    Like I said earlier, God sets the precedent for healthy mental life. Continuous intake and outpour of knowledge.

    Get educated, always. If you can’t afford college, read a lot of good material and put it use. Teach it, write it, tell it, and make art with it, create art with it, with this knowledge that you obtain. This is integration with the body.

    Mind and body are wonderfully integrated through the organ we call the brain. I think the first intellectual exercise was not the ten commandments but it was him telling Adam to name the animals.

    Genesis 2:18–20 (NASB95)

    18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

    19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

    20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.

    So, God has this idea in mind that Adam needs a helper and I don’t think He asked Adam to name the animals to see if there was a possible match between Adam and let’s say a goat. He gave Adam this intellectual exercise to help him see a need of his mind, body and spirit. I can just picture Adam after this exercise…I need something, I have this want, I can’t explain it…it’s like these animals they each have a, oh, I don’t know what you call it…but it’s something I want like another animal it’s like there are two cows, not just one and I want a... something like. God says, “ you want a cow for yourself?” And Adam says, “no, no, I want a…” God: Tell you what, you take a little nap and I’ll get you something…you’re gonna love it.

    God tells Adam what he needs and how he should get it…what foods he could eat by directly communicating with him (union with God) and Adam’s physical and emotional need of companionship through an intellectual assignment of the naming of animals.

    The emotional aspect of our lives is great example of how our spiritual, physical and intellectual parts work together. The need for companionship is that one area that so greatly reflects our design to glorify God. Just about any song you here on the radio is centered around the joy or despair of companionship or lack thereof.

    Companionship whether friendship or marriage is greatly encouraged in the Bible. Isolation, except for limited times of communion with God, not so much. Isolation from God and others in the Bible is depicted as punishment. Cain killed his brother, isolated and marked. Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself above God and God gave him a seven year time out to live as an animal debased and then was restored.

    Isolation is a punishment or choice. Avoid it if you can, it’s not healthy.

    When a baby is born, what’s the first need that is met besides oxygen…not food touch.

    Body

    Which brings to the part of ourselves which is probably the most present to us…our body, our flesh. When doing a teaching about stewardship of health, one would automatically expect the topic of diet and exercise to dominate the discussion. Actually, that’s the least of my emphases. That’s because I believe if you are taking care of the first two really well—your spirit and your mind, paying attention to your body and taking care of it will be a natural consequence.

    For example, if you are healthy in your spiritual union with God you’re not going to need ‘comfort food and drink’ as a functional savior when you get stressed or anxiety ridden. A functional savior is that which you choose to be your solace or ‘savior’ instead of Jesus. When I was a younger, I could never seriously confess that a whole package of Oreos and quart of milk was my savior, but that’s what I turned to when I was stressed…alcohol and maybe some other sinful activities that will fail to mention because my family is the audience.

    Diet

    We need food to live. God knows this, he made us. Because he made us he also knows what particular foods we need to function properly.

    In Leviticus, God lays down some pretty strict dietary regulations when it came to meat. Don’t eat pork, shellfish, animals of prey, scavengers of any kind, and nothing with blood still in it or that’s been setting around dead for any length of time. God makes a distinction between the clean animals and the unclean

    Leviticus 11:1–3 (NASB95)

    Laws about Animals for Food

    1 The Lord spoke again to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them,  

    2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth.

    3 ‘Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat.

     

    animals and the unclean. God had a dual purpose for this. First of all, the idea of what was clean meat and what was unclean, wasn’t a mystery. This wasn’t a revelation to God’s people. This was God codifying it. Back in the times of Noah, man had already figured out which animals were the garbage collectors of the planet. God wasn’t just looking out for their health. God was verifying natural revelation of good eating practices as well as using the symbolism to teach them more about Himself as a Holy God. The offerings made to God needed to be ‘clean’ and not garbage. The idea being that only a perfect sacrifice would be sufficient to please God. It was meant, part, so they would see the effort and care needed to please a Holy God and ultimately, as we have also discovered, that we will not get it right because only Jesus is perfect enough to get it right.

    There were also health considerations. Eating meat, wasn’t God’s first best choice for man. He told Adam to eat whatever fruits and veggies he wanted except for that one tree. After the flood of Noah and all the significant environmental changes that went along with it, including a major change in the variety of nutrient producing vegetation, God gave Noah permission to eat clean meats.

    God also had a strict regulations on contagious diseases and hygiene with his people. God could gone into great detail about blood pathology, contagious diseases, the actual differences between a benign skin lesion and malignant one, the nature of the ebb and flow of menstruation…etc. God knew all the particulars about these, he just had other priorities. He wanted these people to know Himself. Union with God was much more important than all these other details.

    God’s people had enough on their hands figuring out God’s laws to need be studying for their MCATs.

    Of course since then, we have the accumulation of knowledge and know how to eat a piece of shrimp or a bacon western cheeseburger without worrying about getting sick. And indeed Jesus had this down too, he says,

    Mark 7:18–19 (NASB95)

    18 And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him,

    19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.)

    Jesus wasn’t calling his father a liar…he was just giving them more information.

    My daughter Kayla is very literal…I went to the dentist and my mouth was all numb and we were debating whether to eat early or not because I had an obligation that evening…I didn’t know if the numbing medicine would wear off…so Brenda says, “We’ll give it a shot” Kayla says, seriously, who’s going to get a shot.” Now, I could explain the expression comprehensively to her or I could give her sufficient information. I chose the latter. “Oh, daddy got a shot at the dentist and it made his mouth all numb but we’re hoping it won’t be by the time we have dinner.” “Oh.” Sufficient, not comprehensive.

    And even what I just explained to you about what Jesus said was sufficient and not comprehensive.

    To summarize what I’ve learned about healthy eating in the Bible:

    Biblical Principles for Eating--Health Wise

    1. Stay away from the garbage.
    1.  
      1. Garbage Defined: Excrement, Rotting Corpses, and Refuse
    1.  
      1. Don't eat the animals that eat the garbage.
    1.  
      1. Don't eat animals that eat other animals
    1.  
      1. Don't eat animals with blood still in them.
    1. Eat animals that eat plants.
    1. Eat Plants.
    1. Don't eat too much.
    1. Don't eat too little.
    1. Don't eat while praying…you'll choke.
    1. Don't eat while fasting…you'll forget while you're fasting.
    1. Don't get drunk…you'll throw up the food you ate.
    1. Eat with friends whenever possible, especially if you're about to die.
    1. Don't take food or candy from devils, strangers, or stingy men.

     

    Now seriously what is actually healthy for your body so that, as we said earlier, you can fulfill your calling has His crafstmenship?

    As we look through the next few slides, which of the following is your refrigerator and which do you think is the healthiest?

    A lot of people would say the one with the most green is the healthiest. I’d say that…first thing about food God said was eat the veggies and fruits. They provide a lot the nutrients that the body needs. A diet high in fiber (from plants and grains) lowers the risk of heart attack. All God’s restrictions regarding food were based around meat. There’s something too that. I’m not a health expert. I’m a preacher. I think we could use some more greens though. Just a hunch.

    But this stuff, you know, I’m thinking you got to plan for it. A few weeks ago I was going through our receipts and I was shocked by how much we, as a family spent at McDonalds one weekend. It was bad stewardship. When I say stewardship I mean managing, bad managing on a few different levels—bad managing of our physical health, bad management of finances, bad management of time. Some would say nay to the last because it’s obvious we were trying to save time by going to Mickey D’s. But if we’d used our time to think ahead over the weekend at all the things that had to get done, maybe we wouldn’t have been so rushed. Measure twice, cut once. McDonald’s, I think God created the Big Mac as a treat not as a staple.

    So, we, the Stapletons were guilty of poorly handling the resources that God gave us—time, money, and health. So, what does repentance look like for the Stapletons?

    We actually did better in the following weeks, much to the chagrin of my double quarter loving 13-year-old daughter. Time wise, Brenda got together at the beginning of the week and thought things through a little bit, we made plans for the following weekends that maybe cooking up a healthy meal ahead of time would serve us better. Also, being diligent about planning the meals for the weekend, figuring out what you are going to need to buy for those meals, where, when, and who is going to buy it. Stewardship of your health, your life, anything requires intentionality and forethought. You could walk away from this thinking that yes, maybe you need to take better care of yourself, but how are you going to do that? Plan for it or else the gravity of what you normally do will pull you right back down.

    Exercise

    And behold, Jesus got up in the morning, he dranketh the green tea and ran around Jerusalem five times. No, he didn’t do that. He did bench press the sins of the world. In all seriousness, Jesus had to have been in pretty good physical condition to have withstood the horrors of Roman flogging and crucifixion for as long as he did. He didn’t go running every morning. The guy did a lot of walking though. Why did he do all the walking? It was his ministry. His business was to be about His Father’s business. That’s our business too.  God’s called every believer to share his love. He’s prepared us in advance to do so.

    You know the bible doesn’t seem to have a lot to say about calories, body mass indexes, and the pros and cons of alkaline/acidic diets. It does talk about gluttony, laziness, abstaining from food, redeeming the time because the days are evil and such like that.

    You might feel the need to get in shape. Why? What shape? Where did you get that shape in your mind from? What standard are you measuring yourself against? A model? An Athlete? A Desperate Housewife?

    Some of you might be in a situation because of poor choices over extended periods of time, sickness, disease, or substance abuse, you need to be in a more regimented program where you do count calories, weigh yourself regularly. That’s reality.

    I go to the gym a few times a week. I have lower back problems and strengthening my mid section seems to be the prescription. I injured it opening a painted in window of my neighbors. Some extra weight and prolonged sitting exacerbated the problem.

    My daughters take Karate class for the mental discipline, focus and physical coordination aspects. I take classes with them. It’s a family thing and part of my calling as a father.

    Brenda, she goes to the gym also with our neighbor who doesn’t know the Lord.

    Whatsoever you do, do it as unto the Lord

    Rest

    And take a break. God encourages that too. Rest. The Sabbath is a gift, receive that gift and enjoy it. Recreation is good. Recreation with friends, family and people you love is also.

    Come to church often…666 Nice Guys Finish Last

    Everyone knows about the old codger who lives to be 100 and cavalierly attributes his longevity to booze, black cigars, beautiful women—and never going to church.

    According to Dr. George W. Comstock of Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, that kind of impious longevity may be the exception, not the rule. In studies of the relation of socioeconomic factors to disease in the population of Washington County, Md., Comstock and his colleagues made an incidental but fascinating discovery. Regular churchgoing, and the clean living that often goes with it, appear to help people avoid a whole bagful of dire ailments and disasters. Among them: heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, tuberculosis, cancer of the cervix, chronic bronchitis, fatal one-car accidents and suicides.

    The most significant finding was that people who go to church regularly have less arteriosclerotic heart disease. The annual death rate from such disease was about 500 for every 100,000 persons among weekly churchgoers, nearly 900 per 100,000 among “less than weekly” attendees.

    As for bronchitis, Comstock is at a loss to explain the relationship. (Maybe all that hymn singing helps clear the tubes. ) In any case, he has a name—or at least a nickname—for the whole phenomenon, which he humorously calls the “Leo Durocher” syndrome. “Nice guys,” concludes the good doctor, “do seem to finish last.”

    —Time

     

    Going to the movies, dancing and even McDonald’s, its all good in moderation. If you have spiritual union with God, you’ll know what you should and shouldn’t partake of. And that is why the spiritual aspect is the most important one. You get that one down first and other parts will fall in place. God will help you see the need to do what you got to do, just like he helped Adam see a need.

    And there’s only so much you can do. Some of us have limitations. We all do actually. What if you’re born with diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or a genetic disposition towards heart failure? There are a number of factors we can’t control. We do the best with what we’re given.

    My daughter Kayla has a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis. When the tumor formed behind her left eye as a baby, she didn’t have the words to say, “my left eye doesn’t work anymore.” So by the time the doctors did find out, it was too late. But it wasn’t too late to save her right eye and so we put her through a year and half of chemo therapy to shrink the tumor behind her right eye. It worked. You do the best with what your given.

    And if you get nothing else from all this, get this, it’s not ‘the what’, it’s the why. We are good stewards (managers) of our health because

    Ephesians 2:10 (NASB95)

    10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.