This sermon is part of a series on questions about health and healthy living. As Christians, we know that our life is a gift to us from God. We just don’t happen by chance. No, God made us, created us, and gave us bodies and minds, and we are to take care of them. Sure, we know that one day we are going to die. Only the Second Coming of Jesus and the resurrection of the dead at His Second Coming can and will. But until then, we owe it to ourselves, to others, and to God to do the best we can in maintaining the bodies that He has given us. Regardless of our diversity, we are all one by Creation, and we should respect the dignity of others in all societies. Such unity encourages a willingness to provide service to one another.
A balanced diet, chosen from the best foods, will provide the essential nutrients needed for growth, maintenance, and energy. If we choose low-quality foods or do not eat enough of even the best foods, the body machinery will suffer just as the car would by the wrong fuel in the gas tank and water in the oil. God created our world with what we need for a good healthy diet. Sure, sin has come in, and the world has been suffering since. We all know that. But, the crucial and essential ingredients for good nutrition remain here for us, if we make the right eating choices.
Optimism and hope make all the difference. This is a sermon about health, and it is medically known just how important a right attitude can be for good health. First, what is optimism? There are many synonyms and related words: “happiness,” “hope,” “joyfulness,” “positive attitude,” “high spirits,” and “cheerfulness,” among others. Optimism has been defined as an enduring tendency to expect good personal outcomes in the future. This fits with the Oxford English Dictionary definition, which describes optimism as an inclination to “hopefulness and confidence.”
This Sermon is part of a series on health and wellbeing. And strange as it may seem, integrity is an essential factor in the prescription for the vital and exuberant celebration of health. A motivational ingredient is very much at work in the implementation of health practices. That is, it takes some integrity and fortitude in order to not only maintain good health but to help others do it, as well. What exactly do we mean by “integrity?” It is harmony in the life between theory and practice. The transparency and trustworthiness should characterize our every action. When there is a difference between what we say and what we do, we are lacking integrity.
As a church we have taken a very strong stand on some substances, and for the most part they are not problems for us. Tobacco and alcohol, for instance, are rarely seen among us, which is good. But that is, sad to say, simply not true anymore, if it ever were. Yet, for society as a whole, the problem is much worse. Tobacco and alcohol are legal and freely available with very few restrictions. As a result, they’ve become entwined in cultures and societies worldwide, despite the fact that they are the leading and third-leading causes, respectively, of preventable death! The seduction of advertising, as well as the stranglehold of commerce, has much to do with this tragic situation, but in reality our personal choices play an important role.
How did man become a living being? What happened? God breathed into him the “breath of life.” The breath of life! What a beautiful image that is. Now, I don’t think that anyone knows exactly what that means. After all, amazing as it is, biologists to this day still don’t agree exactly on how to define what life itself is. And we have here the mysterious “breath of life”? This is clearly a supernatural work by God to take this fully formed mass, created out of “the dust of the ground,” and turn him into a living human being.
We all know just how important getting enough rest really is. In fact, sleep science tells us that, as in the case of this experienced instructor, tired minds are much more likely to make serious mistakes. Now, this sermon is part of a series of sermons on health and wellness—that is, physical wellness. And that’s because, contrary to some strains of thought in Christendom, our physical bodies are important. There has been this idea, influenced from pagan thought actually, that puts the fleshy part of our existence against the spiritual part.
This sermon is about health and the relationship of our beliefs to our health. And though the question of the soul is a very important topic, one definitely worthy of our study, this isn’t the time and the place to debate the immortality or the non-immortality soul and what happens at death. We are now interested in life and how to live the best kind of life now, with the best possible health. And central to the idea of a good life, of good health, is our beliefs. What goes on in our minds. And that’s because, what goes on in our minds greatly impacts what goes on in our bodies.
Pollution of water and air, destruction of natural habitats, and massive industrialization threaten the continuation of life as we know it; therefore, environmental awareness is important to the maintenance of health. After all, you can take great care of your health but if you are breathing tainted air, drinking dirty water, or living in an area where toxic waste is in the ground, you can face dire health consequences. Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for our souls, is coming back. He, alone, will take us out of here. He alone will get us off the planet. And then, after the new heavens and new earth are created, we will live here for eternity. Jesus, His death, His Resurrection, and His return: that’s the only true answer to our environmental problems.
We see water linked to God as the Creator, the One who spoke our world into existence. And, too, we see water here, in Exodus, linked to God as the Redeemer, the One who redeemed the Hebrew nation from Egyptian bondage, a symbol of the redemption that we have in Jesus Christ, whose life and death is the foundation and source of our own redemption. And Jesus used the image of water, a fountain of water, springing up into everlasting life. Water, physical water, H20, is essential for life, for the temporal and fleeting physical existence we have here.