Living a Healthful Life
By Mark A. Finley
God created us to be healthy, to enjoy life in all its fullness. Disease and death were never part of His plan. Sin has separated us from God, who is the source of health and life itself. Although we cannot control all the factors that cause disease in a sinful, broken world, we can make positive, healthful choices. These lifestyle choices will dramatically affect our total well-being. In this month’s Bible study we will rediscover God’s plan for living a healthy life.
1. What is God’s longing for each one of us? Read 3 John 2 and discover God’s total plan for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
God made us as an indivisible whole. He longs for us to be healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Health relates to complete well-being in every aspect of our lives. It has to do with our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, and our bodies.
2. Read Romans 12:1, 2. What earnest appeal does the apostle Paul give us about the sacred responsibility each one of us has in caring for our bodies?
In translating the expression “your reasonable service” (verse 1), the English Standard Version uses the expression “spiritual worship.”* In other words, dedicating our bodies as “living sacrifices to God,” and living in harmony with the eternal laws of His kingdom, is an act of spiritual worship. We worship the Creator by cooperating with Him in building up what He has made, not destroying it with faulty lifestyle choices.
3. Read 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. How did the apostle Paul attempt to motivate the believers in Corinth to make better health choices? Look for the specific expression that best describes why it is so important to make positive choices regarding our health.
Our bodies are temples of the living God, not fun houses to indulge selfish pleasure. God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in the soul temple impresses our thoughts and molds our minds to become more like Jesus each day (see Phil. 2:5; 1 John 3:1, 2).*
4. What fundamental principle should guide us in all our lifestyle choices? Read 1 Corinthians 10:31 and in one sentence describe Paul’s fundamental principle for living.
5. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:23. How does the apostle Paul relate our total health to the second coming of Jesus? Summarize why our physical habits are so important.
Paul prays that we might be sanctified “completely,” that our spirit (thought patterns and attitudes), our soul (spiritual faculties), and our bodies (physical beings) be “preserved blameless” until the coming of Jesus. Sanctification, or holiness, includes every aspect of our lives. Our lifestyle choices impact our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
6. Read Philippians 4:13. Although the apostle Paul, like all of us, had weaknesses, experienced temptation, and at times fell, what was his source of strength? What was the source of his spiritual power?
Jesus longs to empower us through His Holy Spirit to live victorious Christian lives. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. When our weak, wavering wills are united with His stalwart strength, victory over destructive lifestyle practices is certain.
7. Read Hebrews 4:15, 16. How does Jesus’ victory over Satan’s temptations assure us of victory over those same temptations?
We have a Savior who fully understands what it is like to be tempted in every area of life. Jesus was “in all points tempted as we are” (verse 15), but He never yielded to Satan’s overwhelming temptations. There was one thing different about how Satan tempted Jesus and how he tempts us. Satan used not only every temptation possible to get Jesus to fall, he also used all his power on Jesus.
Satan does not need to use all of his power on us, because we are such easy prey. Jesus was tempted in all things with all power and His victory is ours. Surrendering our weak, wavering wills to Him, we receive spiritual power to live the abundant life that He has planned for each one of us.
*From The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.