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James Merritt - One Foot In Front Of The Other

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    James Merritt - One Foot In Front Of The Other

We're glad that you're with us today. We're concluding a series that we started at the beginning of this year that we called "Otherwise". And what we've been saying is is that life is basically a series of decisions. You are who you are today and where you are today in almost any area of your life because of the decisions that you made yesterday. And so we've been saying that you can basically make one of two kinds of decisions, either wise decisions or foolish decisions.

Almost every decision falls into one of those two categories. And what we've been saying is is that God is the source of all wisdom. And God has given us a book that's called the Bible. And this book not only reveals who this God is and how we can relate to this God, but this book is chock full of Biblical principles that are very practical and if we will apply these principles to our lives and to the decisions that we have to make, we will live smarter, we'll make better decisions, we'll minimize the regrets that we have in life, and we'll maximize the blessings we can have in life. And if you've been here over the last three weeks, you know that we've been talking about three key areas that impact our life the most. So we talked about how to manage our time wisely. And we talked about how to handle our money wisely. And we talked about how to face temptation wisely.

Now, today, believe it or not, I'm going to deal with a topic that we take for granted. It's something that we basically have to look at and face up to every day of our life, and yet it's one that we rarely talk about. As a matter of fact, I'm going to talk about a topic today that, as far as I can remember, I've never heard a pastor talk about in church. I've never heard a pastor address this particular topic, and yet it's something that we really do need every single day if we're going to function at our maximum capacity. So believe it or not today, I want to talk to you about health.

Now, I promise you there's some of you right now that you're sitting and you're thinking, "Wait a minute, the Bible doesn't talk about health. The Bible doesn't say anything about health at all". And you might find it amazing to know, as I recently rediscovered, that not only does the Bible talk about health, as a matter of fact, it very specifically talks about health. For example, there was a disciple named John. You know who John was. He was one of the 12 disciples. Perhaps you don't know, but he was, and he was in the kind of the inner circle. He was one of the best friends of Jesus. He wrote the Gospel of John. He wrote the Book of Revelation and he wrote three letters, 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John.

Well, in 3 John, the letter he wrote, he wrote to a man by the name of Gaius. And in that book, he makes this statement. Listen to this. He said, "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul". Now there's a Biblical principle. We ought to pray for good health for ourselves. We ought to pray for the health of others. One of the things I thank God for every day is the health of my family. And I pray for the help of my family. I'll give you another example. The greatest book of wisdom ever written is a book called Proverbs. It was written by the wisest man who ever lived, a king by the name of Solomon. And actually Proverbs is a letter that Solomon wrote to his son on how to make wise decisions, how to live otherwise. And in the course of writing this letter, he makes a very interesting proposal to his son.

And I bet you've never noticed this before. Listen to what he says in Proverbs 3:7. He says, "Do not be wise in your own eyes". He said, "That's when you start making foolish decisions, when you do what you think you ought to do, instead of what God tells you to do. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil". Now, this is why you ought to do it. "This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones". Now, if that's not enough, he repeats himself another chapter over in Proverbs 4. He says this, "My son, pay attention to what I say, turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight. Keep them within your heart for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body".

Now here's what Solomon said in effect. He said, "Spiritual wisdom will not just make you holier and it won't just make you happier. It will make you healthier. Spiritual wisdom is a contributor to physical health". I say all that to kind of set all this up. God, contrary to what a lot of people think, is not just interested in your spirit. He's not just interested in your soul. He really is interested in your body. The fact that God created us with a body tells us that God values our body. A matter of fact, let me tell you how important your body is to God. Your body is so important to God, he's made a promise. He's going to raise that body from the dead. He's gonna make it into a brand new body that will never die. We're going to be in a body for all eternity.

Now, the problem is people tend to go to two extremes with their body. There are some people on the one hand and they just don't think their body is as important as God thinks it is. Then you got people on the other extreme and they think their body is a lot more important than God thinks that it is. So let me explain to you what I mean. There are basically three categories of peoples. You're all some of you in this room right now. In fact, I would put it, could pretty much say you're about to fall into one of these three categories unless you have a healthy view of your body. Many people ignore their body. They just ignore it. And that's because sometimes we just evade it. We just quit caring and we just let it go, so we overeat and we under exercise and we fill our bodies with junk food and smoke or drugs or something like that. We just kind of ignore it. We don't think it's a big deal.

On the other hand, there are some people who adore their body, right? They get in front of the mirror and sing "How Great Thou Art". They adore their body. And we kind of feed that in our culture. You go to the magazine rack and you've got these airbrushed magazine covers and you've got these beautiful skinny models on runways and you know, so you've got these gyms and gyms are now filled with iron pumpers and treadmill runners and the waiting line at the plastic surgeons office is incredibly long. Did you know this? Last year, there were 15 million different procedures done by plastic surgeons at a cost of $11 billion. There are some people, they ignore their body. There's some people that adore their body. And then there are some people they abhor their body. They hate the way they look.

As a matter of fact, according to a "Glamour Magazine" poll, 97% of women struggle with their body image. They struggle with the way they look. They're not satisfied with their physical appearance. Now, what I want to do is I want to help all of us in this area. See there's some of us, we focus all of our attention on the spiritual side of life and totally neglect the physical side. Many more people focus more attention to the physical side of life and they neglect the spiritual side of life. What I want to show you today is God is interested in both. As a matter of fact, let me tell you why I'm talking about health today to begin with, 'cause I know there's some of you still going, "I can't believe he's going to spend a whole message talking about health".

Let me tell you why I'm going to do that. There is not one part of your life that God doesn't care about. Not one part. God is interested in every single part of your life. He's interested in your wallet. He's interested in your clothing. He's interested in your daily habits. He's interested in the way you think. He's interested in the words that you say. And yes, he's interested in how you take care of this body. There's not one part of your life that God is not interested in. He's interested in both the spiritual side and the physical side. Now let's just tell the truth. Some people are too sexy for their shirt. Some people are too big to get in it, okay?

And so God has a word for both of us and it's a word that both groups need to hear. For example, 67% of the people in this country are overweight. 33% of the people in this country are obese. I read about a guy the other day, his name was Ralph. It was right after Christmas and he got on the bathroom scale and he sucked in his stomach just as much as he could, you know, on the scale there and his wife saw it, saw what he was doing and she started laughing. She said, "Well, what are you doing"? He said, "I'm sucking in my stomach". She said, "Well, honey, that won't help". And he said, "Well, it sure does. It's only way I can see how much I weigh".

Now, you know, it's funny. It's funny in a way, but in a way, it's not because how much we eat and the way that we eat is costing this country a lot of money. This is an amazing statistic. Cars, listen to this, cars on the US roadways now burn nearly one billion additional gallons of gas a year because of overweight drivers and overweight passengers. Think about that. One of the best ways you can get more miles to the gallon in your car, just quit eating cookies. I mean, it's just, it's not a hard thing, right? So now I know, listen, there are some of you out there, you're the gym rat, right? You're enjoying this part of the message. You know, you're that gym rat. You got that kind of smug look on your face because you've gone to the other extreme. You know, you're consumed with how you look. You run, you pump iron, you eat vitamins, you suck on wheat germ. And what you don't understand is, what you don't understand is you could be doing it for all the wrong reasons because the reason why you work out and the reason why you're trying to stay healthy is because you want to live longer and you want to look better.

Now there's nothing wrong with living longer and there's nothing wrong with looking better, but that's not why God wants us to be healthy. That's not why God wants us to take care of our bodies. The reason why we ought to take care of our bodies and keep them healthy has nothing to do with how we look. It has everything to do with how we live. And that's what I want you to see this morning that's so very important. So whatever group you happen to be in, and listen, I'm not here to condemn either group or praise either group. I'm not here to make you feel bad or feel good. That's not the purpose of the message. What I want to do this morning is help every one of us begin to see our body in a completely different way than maybe we've ever seen it before for this simple reason.

How you see your body will determine how you treat your body. How you see your body will determine how you treat your body. So whether you ignore your body or you adore your body, or you abhor your body, it is not a physical issue. It is a spiritual issue. You say, "Well, how do you know that"? I know that because of something a man by the name of Paul wrote to a church 2,000 years ago, and I want to show it to you. If you brought a copy of God's Word or an iPad, smartphone, whatever it is, you look Scripture up on, I want you to turn to a book called 1 Corinthians. It's in the New Testament. Go to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Start turning toward the right and you'll hit a book called 1 Corinthians.

I want you to look in 1 Corinthians 6. And while you're turning, let me just kind of set up what we're going to talk about today. There was a church in Corinth. Corinth was a pagan city. And the prevailing philosophy in that city was the body was just not all that important. There was a teaching there that said, "God is not interested in the body. He's not interested in the physical. God is a spirit. God's not a body. God is a spirit. And all God cares about is the spiritual side of life". And so since the body was going to die, anyway, their philosophy was eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow your body is going to die. So there was this philosophy that basically said you can do anything with your body that you want to do. It was the old, if it feels good, do it, because after all it's your body. And then Paul comes along and he says, "Let me just say all you people out there that says if it feels good, do it, let me just tell you that not everything that feels good is good. Not everything that tastes good is good".

And so Paul comes along and says, "Let me give you a principle on how you ought to see your body. Let me give you a principle on how you can physically live otherwise". And this is what he tells them. Living healthy is a part of living holy. Living healthy is a part of living holy. Here's what I'm going to help you with this morning, I hope. If you will take what God's going to tell us today, if you will take what Paul's going to tell us today about your body and if you apply these principles, you will live otherwise, not just in your spiritual life, not just in your financial life, not just in your emotional life, but also in your physical life as well.

Now, listen, we're in 1 Corinthians 6. Let me just share with you a couple of things I want you to write down. Number one, Paul says I should do what is holy with my body. I should do what is holy with my body. Now we're in 1 Corinthians 6. Here's what Paul says in verse 19. "Or do you not know," the reason why he says that is he says, "Look, I know what the philosophy is out there. I know what they're teaching in the public schools. I know what they're saying in the universities. I know what they're saying out there in the culture, but do you not know that your body," he's talking to the church, "your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God. You are not your own".

Now listen to what Paul said. Paul said to the church at Corinth, he said, "You know, when you look at your body, here's what you see. You see eyes and ears, hair and teeth, feet and hands, flesh and bones". He said, "When God looks at your body, he sees a temple. He doesn't see what you see. He sees the temple". Now you wouldn't know this reading the English translation, but in the Greek language, the word your, that word there, your, is plural. But the word you is singular. And it's almost as if Paul is talking to the entire church corporately, but he's talking to every single body individually. It's almost like almost like Paul's talking to the entire congregation, but he's pointing to every single person individually. He says, "Look, you are a temple. You are a temple. You are a temple. We are the body of Christ and we're all made up of individual temples".

For example, right now we're meeting in a church. We're not meeting in a temple, but this church right now, the Church at Mill Creek, we are filled with temples that we call bodies. Now there's a reason why God calls my body and God calls your body a temple. Because in the Bible, the temple was a place of what? Worship. Right. The temple was a place of worship. That means your body, if you're a follower of Jesus Christ is a place of worship. And since the Holy Spirit lives in this temple 24 hours a day, that means that every waking moment of my life and your life, our body is to be a place where God is worshiped and where God is honored.

So even though the body...Now, here's the important. Even though the body is a place of worship, it is not an object of worship. We worship in this building, but we don't worship this building. However, because it is God's building, when we walk into it, what do we expect you to do? We expect you to respect it. We expect you to keep it clean. We expect you to honor it. Same thing is true. God said, "Now that I put my Holy Spirit in your temple, I expect you to honor it. I expect you to respect it. I expect you to take care of it". Because listen again to what Paul said. He said, "Look, your body is not just a temple. As a matter of fact, your body's not even your temple". God says, "Your body is my temple. It's all mine". Because listen to what he goes on to say again. He says, "You are not your own for you were bought with a price".

Now, what did Paul mean? Paul's going all the way back to the cross when Jesus died for our sins. And what Paul is saying is, look, God has the title deed to your body. The bill of sale was signed at the cross of Jesus Christ. And when Jesus died on the cross, he not only gave you forgiveness for all of your sins, he took title deed to everything you are. He owns your spirit. He owns your soul. He owns your body. He owns you spiritually. He owns you emotionally. He owns you physically. Now, do you understand what that means? It means you don't get to use your hands only for your benefit. You don't get to say, "I don't have to serve anybody else".

Yes, you do, because they're not your hands. That means you can't go anywhere you want to go with your feet because they're not your feet. That means you don't have the right to look at just anything you want to look at because they're not your eyes. That means you don't have the right to listen to whatever you want to listen to because they are not your ears. And since my body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives, then it stands to reason whatever I do with my body ought to be holy. If the Holy Spirit lives in me and the Holy Spirit controls me and if the Holy Spirit holds title deed to my body, that means that whatever I do in my body, whatever I do with my body, ought to be holy. That's why, by the way, in this chapter, Paul was talking about sexual immorality.

Why is it wrong for two unmarried people to sleep together if they're believers, especially? Because it's not your body. Why is it wrong for a married man to have sex with a woman that's not his wife? Because it's not your body. Why is it wrong to get drunk? Why is it wrong to do drugs? Why is it wrong to put things that are harmful in your body? Because it is not your body. It's his body. It is a holy body. It has to be set apart for his honor and his glory. And when you live otherwise, you just make up your mind. I am not going to subject my body to anything that might be unholy. See, that's why I don't get up here and I don't talk to people well about the things that, you know, preachers used to talk about all the time. You know, smoking and, you know, alcohol and all that stuff. I don't do that. I'll tell you why. I just give you the principle.

Here's the principle. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Doesn't belong to you. It belongs to God. Now you need to go and work out for yourself what does that mean about what ought to go into my body, what can go into my body, and what can't. How does that work out with what I can do with my body and with what I cannot do with my body. So Paul says, number one, I should do what is holy with my body. All right, number two, I should do what is healthy for my body. Because listen to how Paul concludes what he says. Listen to verse 20. He says, "So glorify God in your body". Listen up. Your body was created for one purpose. One purpose, not two, not three, not four. Your body was created for one purpose, to glorify God. Only the reason God gave you a body, to glorify God. So that means wherever you take it, you make sure it glorifies God. That means, however you treat it, you make sure it glorifies God. That means whatever you do with it, it should always be to glorify God.

Now, if that's true, if you say, "Okay, I get it. I understand," then there must be implications and applications concerning the health of our body. All right? So now I'm going to ask skew a question and it's a hard question and it's a difficult question and it's going to make some of you squirm and it's going to make some of you uncomfortable and it may make some of you feel guilty and I'm not trying to do any of those things. It's just the nature of the question. But it's a good question and it's a fair question. All right, here's the question I want to ask you. How would my physical habits change if I began to see my body as a temple that belongs to God? Fair question. How would my physical habits change if I began to see my body as a temple that belongs to God?

Now I'm going to give you some practical areas that we all deal with and I'm going to give you some things just to chew on, no pun intended, and some things to think about, okay? Here's what I'm not doing. I am not setting up some legalistic deal up here where, you know, you ought to feel guilty if you do this or do that or whatever. That is not where I'm going at all. I just want you just to simply ask that question again, okay? My body's a temple of the Holy Spirit, so in light of that, are there some physical habits that maybe I need to look at and change and just simply then let the Spirit of God lead you.

All right. Let's just take some areas. For example, think about your diet. Let's just think for a moment about diet. And you say, "Well, I don't think God really cares about diet". Why do you think the Old Testament is filled with all these things that he told the Jewish people, "Eat this, don't eat that, don't eat this". Yeah, now the major part of it was to be holy. I get that. But there were other reasons. In fact, that matter of fact, it goes on to say, if you'll kind of do what I tell you to do, you won't have a lot of these other diseases that the Egyptians have, right? So even from the very beginning, God said, "Look, there are certain foods for you that are not as good for you as other foods are".

Now, Jesus, for example, remember how Jesus talked about people who would strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. You remember that? Strain of the gnat and swallow a camel. I got to thinking about that. I wonder if he was talking about fat overweight preachers who loved to stand up and talk about drinking and smoking, but never talked about anybody stuffing God's temple with too much food. As a matter of fact, Paul said this same thing in the same chapter in verse 13. Listen to what Paul said. He said, "God has given us an appetite for food and stomachs to digest it, but that doesn't mean we should eat more than we need".

So here the issue. He says... Is there anything else up there? Maybe it's not. Okay. Don't think of eating as important because someday God will do anyway with both, will do away with both stomachs and food. Now, there's an old saying that inside of it every fat person, there's a thin person trying to get out. Well, I think it's also true that outside of every thin person, there's a fat person tried to climb in. Now, I'm just being honest. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and they're sometimes some of us who spend too much time adding too many rooms to the temple. And now I'm just simply saying, there's a difference between living to eat and eating to live. And we just need to, we need to think about that.

I heard about a man that went to see his doctor, had a very thorough examination and he called him back in. He said, "John, I've looked at your blood work and I've looked at, you know, your physical markers". And he said, "I'm recommending a bypass". Well, man, his eyes got about that big. I mean, just, a bypass. He said, "Yes, you need to bypass the pizza, the nachos, the cookies, and the French fries". Now over 750,000 people in America have heart bypasses every single year. You know, what's amazing? When I read this, this blew my mind. When people have, my dad had a heart bypass. I can tell you about it because he's Exhibit A. My dad had triple heart bypass surgery when he was 79 years old. Okay. Doctor told him same thing all doctors tell people that have bypass surgery. He said, "Look, you got to change your diet. You got to stop smoking. You got to start exercising".

As a matter of fact, what doctors are really telling heart bypass patients are real simple. Change or die. Okay? The reason why you had this done, because you got into some bad habits. Change or die. Now here's the amazing thing. You would think that something as serious as a heart bypass, something as serious as a near death experience would forever grab the attention of those patients. You would think they would change. Are you ready for this? Listen, 90% of people who have bypass surgery don't change. 90%. Study after study indicates that two years after heart surgery, the patients have not changed their behavior at all.

In other words, instead of choosing life, they choose death. My dad, my dad had triple heart bypass surgery, right? Doctor sits down with him. He said, "Mr. Merritt, gotta change your diet". My dad said, "What does that mean"? He said, "Well, you got to give up certain foods". He said, "Well, like what"? He said, "Well, let's start with pork". Dad said, "Stop right there". "What do you mean"? He said, "I've had sausage and biscuit, red-eye gravy all my life for breakfast. Not going to stop now". True story. Doctor said, "You'll die early". Dad said, "I'll die happy". It was just, that was his attitude. You know, I'm not going to stop.

Now, I want you to listen to what I'm about tell you, okay. This is important. I am not going to stand up here and tell you what you should and shouldn't eat. And I don't think it's wrong on occasion to indulge yourself and eat things that you normally wouldn't eat. Look, I'm like the rest of you, right? I used to varsity Atlanta, Atlanta several times a year. And then I asked for forgiveness. Do the same thing you do. Okay. I get that. Nothing wrong with it. I eat cake. I eat pies. I got a sweet tooth. I indulge sometimes. What I'm simply saying to all of us is this. In light of the fact that your body and my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, should you reconsider what you are regularly eating and how you're eating? That's all I'm asking. And for some of you, the cold hard truth is the answer to that is yes. I don't need to eat as much of this and I don't need to eat as much of that. As a matter of fact, I don't eat the eat as much of anything and I could be healthier. Okay, there's one area. Here's another area. It's exercise.

Now you may think, "Well, the Bible say anything about exercise". Yes, it does. In 2 Timothy 4:8, Paul said this. "For while bodily training is of some value," that word means exercise, "godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come". Now, a lot of people that read that verse and totally misunderstand what Paul was saying. Paul was not saying exercise is completely unimportant. As a matter of fact, he's right. He said it is of some value. And so it simply prioritizes exercise correctly by saying, look, godliness ought to come first. If you're going to... there's no comparison between the spiritual side of your life and the physical side of your life.

However, a part of being godly and a part of being spiritual is doing all you can to keep your temple in good health, to keep your body in shape. Because I mean, look, logic tells you this. If my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God, don't I owe it to the Holy Spirit to make it the healthiest temple that I can, to give it the best shape that I can? As a matter of fact, here's another reason why it's so important, this whole subject. When we take care of our bodies, and you know this, those of you who have applied this to your life, you know it, you'll be more energized in your personal life. You'll be more energized and your family life. You'll be more energized in your spiritual life.

Look, we learned from the secular world. There was a study that was done with some top level executives, Fortune 500 executives. Let me tell you what they discovered. 93% of them have a high energy level, which you would expect. If a guy's running a Fortune 500 company, he ought to have a high energy level. But here's what was surprising. Less than 10% of them smoked, over 90% of them exercised regularly, and the vast majority of them maintained healthy cholesterol levels and had good blood work. So we've talked about diet. We've talked about exercise. Let me tell you about another area the Bible does talk a lot about, and that is rest. That's another part that is so important to your body. Rest is important to God.

There's a reason why the Bible says, "And on the seventh day God rested". Well, God didn't rest because he was tired. God doesn't get tired. But he rested because he said, "Look, I want to set a principle. I want to set an example. I want to give you a principle. I have so made your body that it needs rest". So for example, we need to get rest every day. That's why God made the body so it gets sleepy. We need to rest our body every week and that's why God sets aside this Sabbath day, or for us on Sunday, a day to rest. We need to rest yearly. That's why, just like Jesus did, we need to take vacations. We need to take time to get away.

Now there are a lot of, some of you may know this, or a lot of you know it. Some of you don't. There's a reason why I do what I do. I take the month of July off and I realize that's a privilege a lot of you don't get to do and I'm grateful that I get to do it. But I take the month of July off. I can tell you right now, no doubt about it, I am so much more effective the other 11 months of the year, because when I hit July, I'm done. My tank is empty because Jason, one of our teaching pastors, Jason Cane. We were told about it the other day and Jason said, "Doc, I am so glad I don't have to preach every week". He said, "Man, it's so nice that you'll give me the chance to preach and I get all this time to prepare, I'll kind of give it my candy stick, you know, and give it my best shot and then I get to go and do other things". He said, "Man, you got to do it every single week. I don't how you do it". I said, "Jason, people don't realize what," you know, because you know this. It's just the way it is, right?

I don't care if I preach the greatest message since Pentecost last week, the minute you walk out the door, you know what you're saying? You better do it again next Sunday or we're out of here. That's the way it is, right? What matters is always the next at bat. It's a grind. It's hard. It's emotionally draining. And nobody, maybe Teresa somewhat. Otherwise nobody knows how tired this gets. I enjoy it. But it's just so, I mean, it's just so draining. And when I get, and I'm just being honest with you, I've never told anybody. When I hit July, I don't want to prepare a sermon. I don't even want to hear a sermon. I just want to just dig.

And Teresa will tell you this. It takes me two weeks to decompress. I'm a very early riser. If I sleep till seven o'clock, that's late, okay, for me. I know that like I woke up this morning, 5:15, 5:30. Day before that I got up at 4:45. I'm just an early riser. It takes me two weeks to get off that schedule because the first, about the first four days I'm on vacation, I wake up and Teresa will say to me, "Lay back down. You don't have to prepare a message. You're okay. Just decompress". Okay. So my point is, God knows that about all of us. That's why he says, "Okay, every night you've got to get some rest". And that's why he says, "Every week you got to get some rest". And he says, "Every year you've got to get some rest," because it maximizes our efficiency in God's service.

Now there's one last area that is a great contributor to your health. I'm going to shock you when I tell you this 'cause you'd say, "Well, I think you've covered all the bases. You've talked about diet, you've talked about exercise, and you've talked about rest". Well, can I tell you one other area that will really help you be in the best shape that you can be? It's this one. It's church. I'm not making this up. One of the things that contributes both to your spiritual health and your physical health is going to church. One of the healthiest things you can do every week for your temple is to take that temple to church. Proof. Regular church goers on average, regular church goers on average have blood pressure 5% lower than those who don't go to church.

As a matter of fact, scientific studies show the only person that goes to church regularly, that has a problem with blood pressures is the pastor. So I'm just telling you, it's really great to go to church. As a matter of fact, listen to this, people who attend church weekly live, on average, seven years longer than people who never attend church. God knows what he's doing. So health is important. Taking care of our body is important to God. But listen, this is so huge. I am not telling you this so you'll live longer. I'm telling you this so you'll live better, so you can give God your very best thinking, you can give God your highest energy, you can give God your longest service. That's why I exercise. That's why I watch what I eat. That's why I get rest.

You know, Adrian Rogers, my mentor, used to say, "I don't want to burn out and I don't want to rust out. I want to last out". That's what I want to do. That's what I want you to do. So we should do what's helpful for our body. We ought to do what is holy for our body. And then here's the last thing. I should do what is helpful for my body. Now, last thing. This'll kind of surprise you. Do you know one of the most helpful and healthy things you can do for your body? This will surprise you. Be thankful. Have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for the body that you have and make sure you keep that body thankful. Now, when I was doing my research on this message several weeks ago, I read something that absolutely amazed me. It didn't surprise me, but it was really kind of incredible. Medical researchers are discovering that gratitude is the one emotional trait most likely to benefit physical health and, if you're sick, it speed ups the recovery process. Grateful people tend to be happier, most satisfied with their lives, and actually live longer.

Now, as a follower of Jesus, think about this. If you say you're a follower of Jesus Christ, as I am, we ought to be grateful every day of our life that not only that God has given us our body, we ought to be thankful every day of our life that Jesus gave his body for our body and our soul and our spirit. We ought to be thankful that Jesus dabbled across and it was raised from the dead so he could send his Holy Spirit to in our body so that it could be a holy temple and a healthy temple and a happy temple because, see, Jesus cares about us in every way. He cares about us spiritually. He cares about us emotionally and he cares about us physically.

So let me just wrap all this up and we'll be finished. Listen, God cares with what you do with your body. And let me tell you why. Because it's not your body. It's his body. That's why God cares about what you do with your money, because it's not your money. It's his money. That's why God cares with what you do with your mind, because it's not your mind. It's his mind. It's why God cares about what you see and what you hear and what you say because your eyes belong to him and your ears belong to him and your mouth belongs to him. God cares about what you do with your body. Health is not just a physical issue. It is a moral issue and a spiritual issue. Your body is his body. Yes, someday this body is going to die. I get that. But someday this body is going to be raised to live with the one who gave his body for us forever. And you know what? That is God's universal healthcare plan for the entire world. And that's why we want to live otherwise.
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