Summary: 1. Worshipping God publicly and privately 2. Grow in knowledge of God 3. Fellowship with others 4. Share our faith with others 5. Use our gifts

“Five Things You Must Do to Be a Healthy Christian”

March 9, 2008

Everybody seems to be on a health kick these days. Turn on just about any channel on TV and you will find someone selling something to make you healthy. It may be a juicer or Bow flex or pill – but everyone wants you to be healthy.

Last week my four year old grandson, Nate, spent a couple of days with us. He’s always a lot of fun and good for lively conversation. One of them we had was over germs. He wanted to know how small they were and I told him they were so teeny tiny that we couldn’t see them. But there were good germs as well as bad germs in your body. I told him when the bad germs get stronger than the good germs – you get sick. I told him when you take vitamins it’s like you give the good germs guns and then they can kill the bad germs better. That’s why I take my vitamins every day – and why your mom wants you to take them, too. So I guess ‘I’ was even encouraging good health. I don’t think I made him too paranoid with my little illustration.

Good health IS important. I want to “live long and prosper” as Spock used to say on Star Trek. I want to have a good quality of a healthy life. I want to be a blessing to as many people as I can before the Lord takes me home. I want to share spiritual things with my family and with you. So – I take my vitamins. I exercise every day. I try to avoid stress. I try to eat right. I watch my weight. I take a day off every week to rest up. Paul told Timothy,

”Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8

Physical exercise, as the old King James version puts it, IS of some value. Too many pastors and preachers and gifted layman had their ministry cut short because they didn’t take care of themselves. They allowed themselves to become unhealthy – and so they became unproductive. It is just good stewardship of your health to take care of the physical body.

But – even more important is to take care of yourself spiritually. I believe there are five things you must do to be a healthy Christian. Most of us do one or two things pretty well – but it takes all five. It like eating right but not exercising. Or like eating and exercising – but not resting enough. To be healthy you need to do it all – and to be healthy spiritually you need to do all five of these things.

The first thing you need to do to be healthy is to worship God. Worship is two-fold - public and private. The bible is very clear about public worship.

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11

Our bodies are created to need a rest every week – but more than that – our Spirits are created to need worship every week. Someone said, “Seven days without prayer – makes one weak!” Well, a week without a day of rest will make you weak – spiritually and physically. But it is not so much about regulations and rules and stuff. It is about relationship. God wants you to spend some quality time with Him every week in a group setting. Jesus said the greatest command was to love God with all our hearts and souls and might. If we do that – everything else will fall into place. The tendency of our fallen nature, tho, is to slack off. The enemy of our souls will always try to hinder us from doing what God wants us to do. That’s why the Bible says to the early Christians,

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

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