A New Year is approaching w/ new resolutions, new ads); get in shape, join a gym, try a new diet – most stop after a few weeks.
I’ve done the same.
Flashback to my annual physical appointment …..“Everything looks good, except you have High LDL cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoprotein)” “that’s not a problem unless someone in your family has died of a heart attack”.
LDL= fragments of cholesterol (plaque) attach to blood stream wall and clogs the arteries causing heart attacks and strokes more likely.
2 options: medication or treat myself (discipline)
Doctor List of foods to eat, not eat
Appointment on same day with a brother to discuss some spiritual areas that I was struggling with & I realized I was both physically and spiritually unhealthy.
I/we want to be HEALTHY, physically and spiritually living and growing and loving.
Ephesians 4:16 – “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
5 healthy habits
- Eat Right (nutrition)– strengthens my body
- Physically eat:
- More whole foods (vegetables, fruits, fish, Drink lots of water)
- Less processed foods (baked goods…)
- In moderation (pork, red fatty meats, eggs)
- Spiritually eat:
John 6:55-58– “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eatsmy flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eatsthis bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”
Matthew 5:6– “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied”
Acts 2:42– “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper, and to prayer”.
Hebrews 5:11-13 – There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.
- Exercise Routinely – conditions my body
- Physically – exercise more by being active:
- aerobic activity that exerts the heart (swimming, running, biking)…sports
- Spiritually – exercise
1 Peter 1:13 –“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control.”
1 Timothy 4:8– “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
1 Corinthians 14:4– “A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church”.
- Eliminate Rot – rids my body
- Physically –eliminate (cut out) the fat; unnecessary clutter, burden, stress, distraction
- Belongings (Spring cleaning)
- Technology (TV, social media, media, talk radio)
- Relationships (toxic)
- Physically –eliminate (cut out) the fat; unnecessary clutter, burden, stress, distraction
Proverbs 16:24 – “Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 20:6– “Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?”
- Spiritually – eliminate (cut out)
- Sin –
Job 11:13-15 – “If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! 14 Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you.15 Then your face will brighten with innocence. You will be strong and free of fear.”
- Evil behavior –
1 Peter 2:1 – “So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.”
- Expand Rest – recoupes my body
- Physically –expand rest time for the body & soul; (sleep, naps, sit), Sabbath, vacation
- Spiritually –expand rest (spending time with Jesus and knowing him)
Matthew 11:28-30 – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Hebrews 4:10 – “For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.”
- Peace (God gives strength)
Psalm 29:11 – The Lordgives his people strength. The Lordblesses them with peace.
John 14:27– “I am leaving you with a gift—peaceof mind and heart. And the peaceI give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
- Examine Regularly – checks my body
- Physically –have your body and your blood examined by a physician (outside and inside)
- Spiritually – have your soul examined by the great physician
Psalm 139:23-24 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart;test meand know my anxious thoughts.Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.“
When I think back about the 2 options: medication or treat myself. I could have easily chosen the easy way out and just take the drugs for the rest of life and accept that as my future.
I also think how I got there & how I’ve been so complacent and comfortable physically and spiritually for a long time.
Movie – WALL-E
Main character (WALL-E) – waste collector droneWaste Allocation Load Lifter,
Space-faring cruise shipfull of obese, infant like consumers (Americans) who are too bloated to walk and too lazy to think,spend their days immobile in hovering lounge chairs, staring at ads on computers screens.
Satire of humanity – Wall-Etells us that if we don’t change the way we live, we’ll all get really fat and destroy the world. The plot begins with the idea that a megacorporation called Buy N Large has essentially taken over the planet and induced so much consumption and waste that humans must escape their dying planet on an enormous, space-faring cruise ship. Once onboard, their self-destructive tendencies only get worse: After 700 years adrift, humans have grown too bloated to walk and too lazy to think.
John 10:10 NKJV “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have I more abundantly”
God did not create us for salvation followed by comfort and complacency as we wait for eternal life. We were created for life abundantly now.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Death and life are in the blood.
Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sinthat so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
How’s your health?
When was the last time you relented and were examined by the Great Physician?
21 Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee.[a] This is how it happened. 2 Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[b] Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.
3 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.
4 At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. 5 He called out, “Fellows,[c] have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
6 Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
7 Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. 8 The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. 9 When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.
10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.
12 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. 14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?[e]”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
Peter was a fisherman.
Jesus called Peter to follow Him.
Jesus said He’d teach Peter to become a fisher of men.
Peter followed and got to know & love Jesus.
But when trouble arose, Peters heart monitor revealed a problem; he didn’t love Jesus more than people.
Fortunately, for Peter, his story didn’t end with denying his Lord and Savior three times. After Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, He ate breakfast with Peter by the seashore and monitored Peter’s repentant heart with three questions.
Peter DID love Jesus more than he loved people.
Peter loved Jesus.
Peter loved JESUS with all his heart!
Because of his love for Jesus, and the power of the Spirit he received at Pentecost, Peter became a fisher of men who was able to care for and feed the Lord’s sheep, as commanded.
Do you love Jesus more than people?
Do you love Jesus?
Do you love JESUS with all our heart?
If you’ve read any of my posts you know that I repeatedly sound the alarm on the heart monitor of the American Church. I’ve confronted sin & beckoned believers to repent, not as a high priest who stands in judgement, but as a fellow disciple who’s been convicted, deeply grieved over and repentant for loving people (& myself) more than I love Jesus.
One could assume through my writing that I might be a “negative Nellie”- always pissed off with the Church, constantly tearing down the body of Christ while never building her up. That’s untrue. I love the Church. I love God’s people. I intercede for believers everywhere. I pray for the Bride. And I weep when I see that she is not prepared to meet her Groom. I LOVE the Church. But I want to love Jesus more.
In my last post, Divorcing the Church System, I shared that our family no longer joins a crowd in a building on Sundays for worship & the word. Instead, we gather with a small group of believers each week at home to worship, pray, devote ourselves to biblical teaching, take communion and share a meal.
We began hosting Sunday Meetings last year because God said to. Not because we were angry with our local church family or that we thought we could do things better than our previous leaders. We left the system as a result of continual revelation of Jesus through Scripture and by the Spirit in prayer. We obeyed the Lord when He whispered “host meetings” and “feed the sheep.” What we’re doing is simple; Sunday Meetings are based on Scripture (Acts 2) and are Spirit led.
Catching a load of fish in a day requires lowering a net into the water off the “right side” of the boat. Feeding lambs, taking care of, and feeding sheep every day requires constant, ongoing devotion for years.
Preaching the gospel catches fish. Living the gospel cares for and feeds the sheep. Both are necessary in the Kingdom.
The Church needs fishermen and shepherds!!! Let us not forget that the same Spirit is still empowering the body of Christ to do both.
The old system is broken.
God is doing something new.
Do you not see it? (Isaiah 43:19)
It’s time for more.
It’s time to seek the Father more.
It’s time to love Jesus more.
It’s time to be filled with the Spirit more.
Preach the gospel.
Live the gospel.
God is faithful, He will add to the numbers. (Acts 2:47)
For those who’ve asked: We follow Acts 2:42-47 for our *Sunday Meetings. We also recommend Jeremiah Johnson’s book, “I See a New Apostolic Generation” & Francis Chan’s book “Letters to the Church.” (*a part of At Home Ministries)