Our Physical Health (1)
See full series: lights-in-a-dark-world-2019
Our Physical Health (1)
Sermon by Thomas Thornhill Jr
LIGHTS IN A DARK WORLD (24)
Examples in Every Area – Your Physical Health (1)
As we continue examining our example in every area of our lives, today I want to present something that I just want us to think about. I want to address an area of our lives that is very personal, and quite honestly, we each have to make judgments for ourselves as to what we can and cannot do. I want to talk about physical health and its impact on one’s example in this society.
This is one of those areas where I have much to do, both to take better care of myself and in being an example to others. So this morning, I am going to preach to myself. With the things I am about to say, I have no one specifically in mind. So, if what I say is not needed by you, then please bear with me. However, if what I have to say can be of some benefit to you, than may it be to the glory of God and our Lord.
The Bible is also clear that there are matters of greater profit than our physical health – 1 Timothy 4:7-8 specifically addresses this. We will deal more with verse in a while. THUS, I present these things simply for us to think about as we strive to let God be Lord of EVERY aspect of our lives.
This is the first of two lessons addressing this subject. Today, I want to just talk about physical health in general, and see how it can affect our influence on others. Then in our next lesson I want to address some principles to consider as we think about our physical health and taking care of ourselves.
- Some preliminary considerations:
- We are talking about things we need – and God knows we need them – food, clothing, shelter, water, exercise (being active) – things needed to survive and thrive (be our best). etc. Jesus even acknowledged this in Matthew 6:31-32 – God knows you need these things.
- It is also an area that is a challenge to consider because we are dealing with things that may not be wrong within themselves.
In fact, Ecclesiastes 2:24 tells us that there is nothing better than to eat and drink, so that we enjoy the good of our labor. “This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.” Eccl. 3:12-13 – it is a gift from God.
- But we are also talking about choices that we make in these areas. We need to eat, but what do eat and how much? Do we take care of ourselves physically and mentally?
- Do we realize how blessed we are? Not just spiritually, but physically. We live in one of the most prosperous countries on earth and in history.
There are things at our disposal, that can enhance our health, that we just take for granted. The abundance of food – including variety and preferences. The access we have to comfortable clothing that we can use in any environment. Homes that are a safe haven, and often well stocked to accommodate more comfortable lifestyles – think of our beds and pillows, air conditioning, indoor plumbing, electricity, etc. The ability we have to get from one place to another because of our transportation.
TRULTY, we need to count our blessings and be thankful for all that we have.
- Psalm 139 – fearfully and wonderfully made. This is A psalm of David that praised God as he considered his standing before Him.
1-6 – David begins by noting, “You know me…” (God knows everything about him AND us – 1-6).
Vs. 7-12 – This is followed by an acknowledgement that God sees all things and is everywhere – we cannot hide from Him
Vs. 13-16 – Here we find David admitting, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God formed us even in the womb. God knows EVERYTHING about us. This is incredible to think about the human body – a complex organism that is comprised of numerous, equally complex systems that together function.
It is incredible to consider how wonderful the body is – our ability to see, hear, smell, taste and touch.
It is estimated that the blood vessels of the human body were put end to end, that they would total about 25,000 miles. Blood caries nutrients to every cell of the body via these blood vessels.
Your lungs contain about 300,000 blood vessels
Th human bone is 4 times as strong as concrete
Our kidneys contain about one million individual filters, capable of filtering about 2.2 pints of blood per minute.
Your eyes blink about 100,000 times a day
A healthy heart, beating about 70 beats per minute will beat about 2 BILLION times in a 70 year lifespan.
These are just a few facts explaining how we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
And when you consider that our bodies are designed to take abuse and compensate and heal using these systems, is equally incredible. Also, whatever we do has a toll on the body.
For example: For every pound of fat we gain, about 7 miles of blood vessels established, meaning our hearts have to compensate for that. AND, equally, when we LOSE a pound of fat, the body will reabsorb the unneeded vessels. That is, at least one reason, why losing weight makes us healthier.
THE POINT here, is God has given us bodies that are incredible in abilities. He made each of us (in His image – Genesis 1:26-27, Psalm8:4 – What is man that you are mindful of him…) and as such we are special to Him. We are of such great value, that He made us this way and we have a purpose. HOW are we using our bodies for His glory?
- We don’t always have control over every aspect of our physical bodies. Our physical bodies wear out and naturally are flawed (though I am fearfully and wonderfully made).
Moses – Psalm 90:10-11 speaks of the days of our years….
Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 describes one that is getting older and his body is wearing out.
There are ailments about which we have no control. People get sick, and even diseased. Sometimes it is through no personal fault.
BUT are there other areas where we likely COULD manage such better? Do we at times bring on our ailments?
- How can health decisions affect our example to others?
It can affect our abilities to do certain things for others and ourselves. Poor health can diminish our energy and efforts.
It can diminish our resources that we can use to reach others – money spent on repairing the damage.
Quite often our physical health affects our spiritual well-being because we are robbed of energy to do what we know we ought to be doing spiritually.
It can affect our disposition with others – often accompanying poor health is poor attitudes.
Does our influence lead others to make bad decisions?
Other reasons could be added to these, but I present this small list to help us think about how our physical health can have an impact as we strive to shine our lights in this dark world.
- Spiritually, throughout the Bible there are references to health. Health was typically associated with faithfulness, and sickness with unfaithfulness or God’s wrath.
Even in the New Testament when we read about “sound doctrine”, it is a term that has reference to something that is healthy.
Luke 5:31, Jesus as the great physician noted that it is those who are sick that need the physician, and those who are well do not need one. Sinners are “sick”. In fact, Laodicea was described as wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, and in need of healing (Revelation 3:17-18).
2 Timothy 1:13 speaks of holding fast the pattern of sound words;
Titus 1:9 – the elder, by “sound doctrine” is able to exhort and convict…
Titus 2:1 speaks of “things which are proper for sound doctrine…”The word “sound” is a word that means to be in good physical health, healthy. Cf. 3 John 2.
Thus far in our lesson, we have noted some things to consider when we think about our health as Christians. We ought to ask the question, Does God rule in this area of my life as well? This can be quite uncomfortable to think about, but I believe we should.
In our next lesson, we will dig a little deeper and notice some principles that factor into our health as we strive to shine as lights in this dark world. Are you taking care of yourself as you should? Think about it.