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DANIEL PLAN #1: "God's Prescription for Health: What God Says About My Body"

1Cor.6:12-20 THANKSGIVING Oct.11/15

(Adapted with permission from Pastor Rick Warren, Saddleback Church)

We're going to look at God's prescription for physical health.The truth is,we already know what to do: it's not rocket science! To get healthy, we've got to eat healthy (for most of us, that includes eating less). We've got to get moving. We've got to get proper sleep, lower the stress and get more rest. That's not rocket science, it's common sense.

But what we need to do today is focus on the motivation: the why. Why don't we stick with get-in-shape programs, get-healthy programs, diets, exercise and whatever. Have you ever set a resolution to get in shape and a month later it's out the window? The reason why is, if you don't have the right motivation, you won't stick with it. You've got to have the reason. When you figure out the why in your life, God will always show you how.

Let's look at what God says about the importance of your body. Then we'll look at a couple of areas for health that you may have never thought of and you won't find in a nutrition book.


1Corinthians 6:12ff "Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me - [in other words I've got the freedom to do anything] but I will not be mastered by anything." What's God saying here? Some things in life are not necessarily wrong, they're just not necessary. Even though, as the Corinthians knew, much more was permissible than under the law of Moses, not everything is beneficial. And I'm not going to be mastered by anything - I'm not going to let it dominate me, become an addiction that controls me. "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food - but God will destroy both." They're not going to last forever; that's not the real reason you're here. "The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also." He's going to physically raise up your body - in glory or in judgment. "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Flee [the Bible says] from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" Yes, YOUR BODY, a temple! "You are not your own; you were bought at a price." Jesus paid for you at the cost of His own sinless perfect life. "Therefore honor God with your body."

This passage teaches us six radical counter cultural things about your body. This is the exact opposite of what the media teaches you today about your body.

1) The first thing is God expects me to manage my body.

I'm not the owner; I'm the manager. God is the owner of my body. But I am the manager, v12 "not mastered by anything". The Biblical term is the word "steward." "Stewardship" is the old English word for "management." We're talking about the stewardship of health today. In other words, I can't blame other people for how I use or misuse or abuse my body. I'm the manager. My body is a gift from God, on loan. God owns it and then he loans it to me; and one day I'm going to give an account. One day I'm going to stand before God and he's going to say, What did you do with what I gave you? Life is a test God uses to see what he can trust you with. What did you do with the health I gave you, the mind, the opportunities, the abilities, the freedom, the wealth...what did you do with what I gave you? One of the aspects is, what did you do with the body I gave you? And God's watching to see what you do. I'm the caretaker of my body, God expects me to manage it.

2) The second thing the Bible teaches is my body is God's property.

Them's fighting words on this continent! Because the consistent media message is: my body is my own body. It's my body and I'll do what I want to with it. And God says, "No, you won't.It's not your body, it's My body.I just loaned it to you.It's not yours because you didn't create it."

Everything you see was created by God, and the Creator owns it all. You don't own anything. It's loaned to you. He owns it and He loans it. My body is God's property. V13 "The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, [Why? Because it's his.] and the Lord for the body." In other words, I don't have the right to just share my body with anybody, and neither do you. That's a radical concept! We're not dualistic like the Greeks who taught that if your spirit is right with God, it doesn't really matter what you do with your body. They devalued the body, taught that the body is evil. So it really doesn't matter if you mess up your body because it's just evil - kind of provides a built-in excuse to let you off the hook. What really only matters, these dualists taught, is your spirit.

The Bible teaches that's absolutely false. Your body is not evil: your body is holy because God made it. And everything God makes, He makes for a purpose. So don't compartmentalize and say all that really matters is my spirit, not my body: they both matter. Fact is, God owns your bod - He's the boss of your body. God owns it and expects you to manage it well.

3) The third thing this passage teaches is that my body will be resurrected after I die.

V14 "By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also." My body will be resurrected after I die. God never wastes anything. He never wastes a hurt, if you'll give it to him: He'll take even the hurtful things in your life and turn them around and use them for good. He doesn't waste anything. Right now you're living in body version 1.0 - in heaven you're going to get version 2.0, glorified, spiritual, nonetheless real. Heaven will be beautiful. Who do you think created all earthly beauty, including our blazing fall colours, and gave us eyes to see it? God did! If the world is broken and it's this beautiful, what do you think heaven is going to be like? Multicolor, extravaganza like you can't believe!

God's going to resurrect our body. What's my resurrected body going to be like? We don't know specifics, but we can look at Jesus our "forerunner", the "firstborn from the dead". We do know that after Jesus was resurrected, he appeared over the course of forty days walking around, and one time was seen by five hundred people; his body actually had some kind of capability to dematerialize because he could appear in a room without walking through the door. How cool! Kind of like Star Trek, "Beam me up, Scotty!" But everybody recognized him. So that gives us a clue that when you get to heaven you're going to have a different kind of body than you've got right now, but everybody's going to know who you are. You're still going to be you. You're just going to be you, version 2.0, with no blemishes, perfect in every form.

Circle in this verse the phrase, "by his power": "By his power God raised the Lord from the dead…" There are 3 mistakes we make resulting in why we don't stick with diets.

The first reason, our first mistake, is we rely on willpower instead of God power.

Willpower, works for about three weeks. Then you get tired and you go off the diet, and you start smoking again. Because willpower is not enough to change. Pretty soon you're going to get tired and let go of the steering wheel and the autopilot of the boat is going to take you back the other direction. You need more than willpower, you need God power. Because willpower alone is exhausting, you get tired.

The second reason we don't stick with it, our second mistake, is we have the wrong motivation.

When the goal is simply all about me, that's not enough to keep most people going. You need something bigger than yourself to draw you out of yourself so you can be greater than yourself. There's far more spiritual significance to being in shape than simply looking good and feeling good.

The third reason why we don't stick with it, our third mistake, is we try to change on our own.

As a solo effort, it's just not a-happenin'! You were made for community, you were created for community. You've got to have group support, including a partner or a coach. You've got to have accountability. That's why small groups are so beneficial. You're not going to make it on your own. You need help; we're better together.

4) The fourth thing the Bible teaches about our bodies is, my body is connected to the body of Christ.

V15, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?" Get that? YOUR body is a member or part of Christ Himself, you're connected to HIS body. Paul goes on: "Flee sexual immorality.All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body." That's why it's in a special class, because you're actually sinning against yourself, hurting yourself - often bringing on board actual physical diseases - not just God.

5) The fifth thing the Bible teaches about my body is, the Holy Spirit lives in my body.

God puts his Spirit in my body. V19 "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" That means God takes up residence inside you. He gives his Spirit to indwell alongside your spirit. So you are the temple of God today. God puts his Spirit in you...Amazing!

If you were out walking down the street and you saw a gang vandalizing a house of worship and they were breaking the windows of a church and they were writing graffiti on a house of worship, you'd think, "That's not right.You shouldn't be vandalizing a temple." You'd call the police. But, in a different sense, you vandalize a temple all the time - your body, by what you put in it, by your sleep schedule, by not taking care of your body. You are vandalizing the temple of God, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, when you don't take care of your body.

6) The sixth thing Scripture teaches about the body is, Jesus bought my body on the cross.

That's one of the things he came to do. V20 "You are not your own; you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your body." Jesus bought your real estate.

Do you know how much you're worth? If you want to know how much you're worth, look at the cross. With arms outstretched and nail-pierced hands Jesus said, this is how much I love the world. Everybody - Buddhist, Baptist, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, atheist, whatever. He said, "This is how much I love you.I love you so much it hurts.I love you so much I'd rather die than live without you. I came all the way from heaven to do this for you." That's how valuable you are! The price God paid for your salvation, your eternally making-whole. Your body is included in that worth.

Question: If you owned a million-dollar race horse would you feed that race horse junk food? You'd be crazy to! But you put that stuff in you all the time, and you are priceless. You are worth more than a million-dollar race horse. You are the temple of God.

Romans 12:1"I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices…" It doesn't say offer your soul; it says offer your body - your physical body. An important way to serve God is in your body."Offer your bodies...this is your spiritual act of worship." Did you know that taking care of your health / your body is an act of worship?

Let's summarize so far. I want to get my body in better health. And as your pastor who loves you, my desire for you is also to get your bodies in better health - not just so you can look good or feel good or so you can live longer; though those are legitimate motives. BUT for these 6 Biblical reasons: God created my body, Jesus died for my body, God's Spirit lives in my body, I'm connected to Christ's body, one day God's going to resurrect my body, I'm expected to take care of my body, and one day I'll give an account for it.Based on these six facts, can you see how caring for your body is more than just, "I'd like to look better?" It's a 'spiritual discipline'. Being healthy removes roadblocks, it makes it more possible for God to bless you and use you, and to bless others through your "living sacrifice".


God gave us bodies; He also gave us a "User's Manual", the Bible. There are all kinds of health promises and health principles in the Word of God.

Psalm 119:73 "You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws." A lot of people are always praying for a miracle. Why would God give you a miracle and heal you if next week you're going to keep on doing the same thing that got you in the mess you're in right now? He's not.

Deuteronomy 32:47 "These instructions [that God gives us] are not mere words - they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land…" You'd pay top dollar for any pill that would extend your life. But you don't have to pay me a thing - it's all right here in Scripture. There is promise after promise about what makes for extending one's life, living long in the land.

More people are now living over the age of 100. Recently Statistics Canada reported that, in the year ended in July, the population of people 65 and older is now larger than the number of children under 15. (So-called squaring of the population pyramid) So the general probability is you're going to live longer than your parents. The question is, what kind of quality of life are you going to have? How well are you going to be able to actively serve God when you get to that stage? Are you going to be confined to a wheelchair prematurely? Or are you going to be more like Moses who was sharp and in full health the day he died (Deut 34:7)?

You already know about nutrition, exercise, sleep, rest. This is not rocket science. But here from the Bible are some potentially unknown health factors that you're not going to read in any nutritional book.

Proverbs 3:1-10 "Keep my commands in your heart, [says God] for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity… [Then he gives some of those commands…] Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, [What's He saying there? He's saying trust in Me instead of worrying.Don't get stressed out.Don't try to figure it all out.] and he will make your paths straight. [That's integrity - living a straight life of integrity.] Do not be wise in your own eyes; [That's humility.] Fear the Lord and shun evil.This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. [Why the bones? Why is that important? Because blood that nurtures every cell in your body is created in the marrow which is in the bones.] Honor the Lord with the first part of your wealth, [That's generosity] the firstfruits of all the crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing." Notice in this passage he mentions tranquility - trust in God; integrity - paths straight; humility - don't be wise in your own eyes; and generosity - give the first part of your wealth away. Living a life of tranquility, integrity, humility and generosity predisposes one to be in better health. It doesn't GUARANTEE it - that would put us in the health-and-wellness camp - but these four things in general eliminate some common pitfalls and can set us up for better outcomes. There is a direct connection between your spiritual health and your physical health. So here are four things we need to be doing that will, in general, help us be healthier.

1) Trusting God is good for my health.

Why? Because when you're trusting your Heavenly Father, you don't worry. You're either going to worship or worry in life, either pray or panic. When you worship, you find you have less to worry about. Trust God. Psalm 116:7 "I said to myself, 'Relax, because the Lord takes care of you." Just relax - the Lord will take care of you; that's trusting God. Proverbs 14:30, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Consider this: it's not just what you eat that matters: it's what eats you! You can have the best microbiotic plan and eat fresh, healthy, organic, in proper portions, BUT if you're resentful against your dad and envious of your friend, bitter against your mom and guilty about something you did yesterday - those things are going to be eating you. When you take resentment and bitterness into you, it's like a poison. It's like a fire. It'll burn you up on the inside. It's not just what you eat. It's what eats you. Trust God to sort things out rather than wishing you could settle the score yourself.

2) Confessing my sin is good for my health.

Talk to any psychologist will confirm that one. You can't repress it, you can't suppress it - you need to express it to God, you confess it to God. When I swallow my anger, my stomach keeps score. If you don't talk it out to God, you're going to take it out on your body. So David says in Psalm 32, "When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, [It's impossible to feel guilty and happy at the same time!] and I groaned all day long… My strength evaporated… [That's why you're weak all the time - you're carrying around a garbage bag of guilt.] Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them… and you forgave me! All my guilt is gone." One of the healthiest things you can do is receive the forgiveness of God in your life. A huge garbage truck just pulled up in front of your soul: on the side of the truck it reads, "Yahweh & Son, sin disposal - in business for over 2000 years". Just throw away that garbage bag of your failures, trespasses, and mess-ups. Don't carry forward a moment longer all the resentment, fear, worry, guilt, legalism, jealousy and envy and all those other emotions. Receive the clean slate Jesus offers you through His cross, which like a chalk-brush can wipe clean the chalkboard slate recording your wrongs. Trusting God is good for your health; confessing my sins is good for my health.

3) Giving generously is good for my health.

It's good for your heart. Every time I give, my heart grows bigger. Every time I give, I break the grip of materialism in my life. People say "I'm not materialistic;" let me see your chequebook and your datebook or calendar - tell me how you spend your money and your time, and I'll tell you what your priorities really are. How much is selfishly directed? Is it all spent on you? Or are you giving it away?

Proverbs 11:25 "A generous man will prosper [most people would like to prosper]; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." There are more promises in the Bible about giving and generosity than any other subject. Because God says, in effect, "I want you to learn to be like Me." And God is a giving God. Jn 3:16 "God so loved the world that He GAVE..." He's generous. Everything you have is a gift from God. You wouldn't take your next breath if God didn't give it to you. Everything you have, the next beat of your heart, is a gift from God. Everything you have. God says, "Like Father, like son: I want my kids to be like Me.I want you to learn to be generous." Every time you give generously, instead of keeping and hoarding, you are healthier. It's not a mistake that the word "miser" and "miserable" come from the same root. Misers are miser-able. Givers are glad. They're the people who give away.

4) Having fun is good for your health.

Proverbs 17:22 "A cheerful heart [that's a positive attitude, a happy, fun loving, laughter, humorous, cheerful heart] is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." He who laughs - lasts. Having fun, the Bible teaches, is good for your health. The Bible teaches that life is meant to be enjoyed not merely endured; that God created everything for our enjoyment (1Tim 6:17). Good News translation of Prov 17:22: "Being cheerful keeps you healthy.It is slow death to be gloomy all the time."

If you learn to laugh at yourself, you'll never run out of material. You need to put some fun in your life. Put play in every day. Read the funnies. Listen to Phil Callaway at LaughAgain.ca, or some other good [wholesome!] humorist on YouTube. Who's a good story-teller amongst your friends that makes you laugh at their tales? Humour is essential to keep this life in perspective, and keep us from taking ourselves too seriously.

In John 5 Jesus is walking down the street and He sees a man sitting on the side of the road who's been paralyzed or lame for 38 years. Nearly 4 decades! Jesus asks one of the most important questions which I want to ask of you this morning. He says, "Do you want to get well?" That's a profound question. You think, of course he wants to get well. But Jesus still says, "Do you really want to get well?" He asks that question of us. Where do you want to be a year from now health-wise? Do you want to have the most energy, the sharpest mind, the brightest smile, the strongest body that you've ever had? Do you really want to get well? Let's pray.