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The title and theme of our services from now until the middle of February is “Health Check” and our focus will be on our physical and spiritual health, because the two are really interconnected. In 3 John 1:2 the apostle John is writing to his friend Gaius and as part of his greeting he writes Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.
And often we err one of two ways, some folks focus on their physical bodies and ignore the spiritual side. They are concerned with making sure that they eat right, get enough sleep and get regular exercise but they never stop to think about the eternal. All of their energy is focused on the here and now and they miss the there and then. They obviously missed the bumper sticker that says “Eat right and exercise and die anyway”. They might give a nod to the eternal and make a token attempt at connecting with God but they can’t or won’t find time to actually develop a relationship with him. And if they spent half the time and energy on spiritual things as they do on their physical bodies I’m sure the results would be amazing.
Seriously what if we were as committed to finding time for God as we are finding time for the gym, or for walks. What if we were as concerned about our kid’s spiritual health as we are about their physical health, if church had the same priority in our lives as sporting events did? How would your children’s hockey, soccer, and baseball coaches feel if you treated practices and games the way some people, not you but some people, treat their kids church and youth group attendance?
But on the other side of the spectrum are the folks who get all spiritual and focus all of their energy on their spiritual development and ignore their physical bodies. They view what they have simply as a temporary container, just a vessel to house their soul during the time they are on this earth, and while they may not say it their lives are certainly testimony to their belief that it really doesn’t matter how they treat their body. And that belief certainly isn’t new as I mentioned last week the Gnostics were riding that pony two thousand years ago. The spirit was good and the body was bad, just a necessary evil to house that which was eternal.
But that belief is at odds with what Paul told the church in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 6:18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. And then he tells them why 1 Corinthians 6:19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? So if our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit it sounds like something we should take care of. And some folks use that scripture to explain why they don’t smoke or drink but ignore it when it comes to basic maintenance of the temple.
Unfortunately, some Christians don’t view their bodies as a temple.
I was at a conference two weeks ago with 1700 of my closest friends and we were driving from the airport to downtown Jacksonville and
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