Summary: Week two of our health check series, we are looking at the marks of being dead or alive.
Good, you’re sitting down, I have some bad news for you, some of you are dead. Now it’s not as bad as it sounds, it might be reversible, if we catch it in time.
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 suddenly my GPS said “Now take exit 334d on the left”. On the left? We were in four lanes of traffic and I knew that we were going to have to take exit 334d but who puts an exit on the left, unless you’re in Australia. And I looked back and there was a tractor trailer pulling up beside me and one of my passengers yelled “go for it, it’s a rental.” They were kidding, I think. Well the upside is we got to see a whole lot more of Jacksonville then we had originally planned.
But too many people view their bodies like they would a Budget Rent-A-Car and they see their salvation as the extra insurance you buy. If everything goes well, that’s fine but if not, well we paid for the protection. Instead we need to see our bodies not as a rental but as a keeper but it goes beyond that because our bodies are gifts from God. And often how we treat gifts is indicative of how we view the gift giver.
Some folks talk about when they get to heaven and are given a new body, a glorified body, but really if we haven’t done that good of a job with the one we have now, if’n I was God, I’m not sure I’d trust us with the upgrade.