Your comments on this blog go through my email causing my phone to ding. All your little dings last week made my heart sing. Many thanks go out to Tim, Kristina, Kim, Karla, Susan, Annie, Ginger, Cindy, Lei Ann, Jarrod and Charlotte for having the courage to say, “I’m in!” I know there are others of you who are all in, but just didn’t take the time to comment. That’s okay! We’re all family anyway and we’re all in this together. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go back to last week’s blog and get caught up.) If you’re not into this health thing right now, just stay with me. I promise you won’t be disappointed. God has you here for a reason and I’m praying to be used for the next seven or eight weeks to help you see that reason.
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25
After God furnished the Garden of Eden and created man, He looked over all He had made and said, “It is very good”. I think God was being humble because I would have said, “Wow, unbelievable, most excellent, magnificent!!” This was a perfect world – perfect water, air, food, animals, plants, sky and people. Not even a hint of evil was detected. God walked and talked with his creations in the cool of the garden. How cool that must have been! To top it all off, this garden had only one rule; don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That was it. With one measly little rule, Adam and Eve still blew it because, like us, they had a choice. They could have eaten from any tree in the garden, but they didn’t. They bypassed the Tree of Life, acted like kids and did the one thing they were told not to do. Sound familiar? Yeah, to me too.
The Israelites also had a choice. After their deliverance from Egypt and the establishment of God’s laws, Moses said, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” – Deuteronomy 30:19
Today, dear friend, heaven and earth are witnessing our choices. Every choice we make matters. Our choices today may determine the quality of our lives later on. Our choices today will determine whether or not we remain able to serve the people we love or need them to serve us. That’s a scary thought to me. I don’t want to be so self-centered that my unhealthy choices place an unnecessary burden on my husband, children or grandchildren. I like to play too much to allow poor choices to keep me on the sidelines of life. I want to be an example of good physical and spiritual health for my friends and family – especially my two grandsons and the granddaughter who should hopefully arrive by this time next week. I want them to see me enjoying life so much that they will also want to choose life and live – really live!
When the Pharisees asked Jesus what the most important commandment was, He said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” So, it really comes down to answering the question, who do you love? If we only love ourselves, we won’t consider trading our poor decisions for healthy ones. We like catering to ourselves too much. But, when we completely fall in love with God our choices can’t help but cultivate a healthier heart, soul, mind and body. By choosing to obediently love God, many choices have already been made. That’s what the next few weeks are all about. We will learn:
what God has to say about food,
how we can exercise more efficiently,
how we can make better food choices,
what stress does to us and the importance of rest,
how our food cravings can change,
how we can overcome discouragement and,
just in time for Thanksgiving, we will count our blessings and share what God has done.
Incorporating these things into our lives will allow those closest to us to observe the fruit of the Spirit in a powerful way causing them to hunger for what we have.
After Moses told the Israelites to choose life, he went on to say, “You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
To love God more deeply, we must get to know Him more intimately. So, whether you are all in or just sitting on the edge, I have a challenge for you. Turn off the TV for a while every day this week, spend time in the Word and pray for new insights. Try not to miss a day. This will set the stage for a progression of additional challenges you will receive over the next few weeks. Pray for God to equip us with the desire to make our Holy Spirit temples (our bodies) so vibrant and healthy that our friends and family will want to know what’s caused our joyful expression, perhaps even in the midst of trials. Pray for wisdom in making good choices that affect our hearts, souls, minds and bodies. Pray for a deeper love for God. Pray for me and I’ll pray for you. These next few weeks could change your life and give you many more things to be thankful for as we draw nearer to Thanksgiving Day.
Who do you love and how much do you love them? Do you love them enough to change? When love for God is our motivation, taking care of our bodies is not a chore; it’s just what we do.