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Summary: Series based on The DNA of Relationships by Dr. Gary Smalley. By taking care of ourselves we will have greater strength to care for our relationship with God and others.

TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF

A. Today will be our 5th lesson in the series The DNA of Relationships based on the book by Dr. Gary Smalley. Today’s lesson is entitled: TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF.

ILLUSTRATION:

I found the following true stories in the Reader’s Digest:

ONE WOMAN WROTE: Determined to lose weight, I decided to join a FITNESS CLASS that met three times a week. But no matter how much I pleaded, my husband, Keith, refused to join me. As the weeks went by, my EXCUSES for MISSING most of the classes became more and more CREATIVE. On the morning of playing hooky from yet another EXERCISE CLASS, Keith said, “Hon, if I’d known you were going to MISS this many classes, I would have JOINED with you.”

A NURSE SHARED THIS STORY: A client came in to join our program at the WEIGHT-LOSS CLINIC where I work. I asked for her doctor’s name and phone number so we could get MEDICAL APPROVAL. After I DIALED the NUMBER the woman had written down, I realized the source of her WEIGHT PROBLEM. The person on the other end answered: “Dino’s Pizza Parlor, home of the four inch deep-dish pizza.”

COMMENT:

Unfortunately, I can EMPATHIZE with the people in both of these STORIES.

B. We began this series of lessons stating that “we are created for three relationships—with GOD,OTHERS, and OURSELVES.”

1. The first and second greatest commandments are: “Love God with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself”- Matthew 22:37-38.

a. It’s the “LOVING OURSELVES” part that we sometimes have difficult understanding.

COMMENT:

Loving ourselves sounds rather SELF-CENTERED. We are TURNED OFF by people who THINK and ACT like they are BETTER than others. We don’t want to be that way, so the idea of LOVING OURSELVES is foreign to us.

b. Loving GOD, loving OTHERS, and loving OURSELVES is all about BALANCE.

COMMENT:

Certainly God doesn’t want us to become SELF-CENTERED and NARCISSISTIC, but He does want us to take CARE of OURSELVES.

2. By taking BETTER CARE of ourselves we will be better able to CARE for OTHERS and will be able to SERVE God with more FERVOR and ZEAL.

COMMENT:

It stands to reason that we cannot serve God with our HEART, SOUL, STRENGTH, and MIND if we are not taking care of those AREAS very well.

C. This is a lesson that was difficult for me to WRITE, because I know it is an AREA that I really fall short in—especially when it comes to taking better care of myself PHYSICALLY—yet, it is a LESSON that I think is IMPORTANT for us to EXAMINE.

I. JESUS ON SELF-CARE: Luke 2:52-“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”.

A. Jesus grew INTELLECTUALLY.

1. We learn this when Jesus is just 12 years-old- Luke 2:41ff

COMMENT:

Every year Joseph and Mary along with their son Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. As was customary, they stayed for the seven days of the feast and then started their 70 mile trek back home to Nazareth.

On their return home they realized that Jesus was nowhere to be found. “So they headed back to Jerusalem and three days later they FOUND Jesus as the Temple SITTING among the TEACHERS, listening to them and asking questions”- v. 46

a. Luke 2:47- “Everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers.”

b. Here’s this 12 year-old kid ASTOUNDING these highly educated TEACHERS of the LAW with His WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING of God’s LAW.

2. During Jesus’ MINISTRY He often got into an INTELLECTUAL TUG OF WAR with Jewish religious leaders—the SADDUCEES, the PHARISEES, the TEACHERS of the LAW.

a. “After CHALLENGING the Sadducees with their false doctrine” in Mark 12:18ff, a Teacher of the Law thought he could put Jesus in His place- Mark 12:28-34 (READ)

b. I love that last statement: “From then on no one dared ask Him any more questions.”

COMMENT:

I can see these Jewish LEADERS saying to each

other: “Okay, it’s your turn to try to TRIP Him up.” “NO! I’m not ASKING Him anything. You go ASK Him a QUESTION!” “Huh-uh, not me!”

B. Jesus grew PHYSICALLY

1. Although there is no PHYSICAL description of Jesus other than the prophecy found in Isaiah 53:2

describing Him as an “ORDINARY LOOKING MAN”, Jesus was probably physically STRONG.

COMMENT:

It was customary during this time period for a FATHER to teach his SONS his TRADE. Undoubtedly being a CARPENTER in the first century took a lot of PHYSICAL STAMINA.

There were no LUMBER YARDS, so Jesus and his father couldn’t run down to LOWES and pick out PRE-CUT LUMBER and have it DELIVERED. They would have to CHOP DOWN their own TREES and CARRY the WOOD to their SHOP. They would then spend hours WORKING the WOOD with HAND TOOLS (ancient hand tools) until it was FINE ENOUGH to be used for whatever PROJECT they were BUILDING.

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