Hello, Friends! I hope that you have had a good week, and that you were able to join us recently for the virtual launch of I Will Go—a rallying call for Total Member Involvement in reaching the world for Christ!
Today, we will look at one of the most effective ways of being a messenger for Christ. In fact, this method goes all the way back to the prophet Daniel and his three friends, when they were taken captive to Babylon.
As we read in Daniel, chapter 1, these young men were no ordinary captives—they were Hebrew nobility, good-looking, gifted in wisdom, possessing knowledge, and quick to understand. They had the ability to serve in the king’s palace, and King Nebuchadnezzar was determined they would receive the best education his kingdom offered—and a diet filled with fine delicacies and free-flowing fermented wine.
No doubt these four young Hebrews were flattered by the king’s generosity, however, instead of eating from the royal table, they requested a very simple, plant-based diet, and pure water to drink.
We are told in the book Prophets and Kings that “Daniel and his associates had been trained by their parents to habits of strict temperance. They had been taught that God would hold them accountable for their capabilities, and that they must never dwarf or enfeeble their powers. This education was to Daniel and his companions the means of their preservation amidst the demoralizing influences of the court of Babylon” (p. 482).
Is temperance important? Does it really matter what we put into our bodies, and how we live? It certainly mattered for Daniel and his friends, and I believe it does for us today. For you see, following a healthy lifestyle not only strengthens our minds and bodies, but serves as a powerful witness to others.
God wants everyone to be healthy—physically and emotionally, as well as spiritually! We read in 3 John 2, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
And how wonderful that in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, God has given clear instructions on how to live healthfully—showing us what is best to eat, to drink, how to care for our bodies, and much more. These divine instructions, given long ago, have proven effective in bringing better health to many, and have been verified by numerous scientific studies. Let’s briefly review some of these important life-giving principles.
As Adventists, we believe that eating a plant-based diet filled with legumes, nuts, whole grains and fresh produce provides a sturdy foundation for good health. Many scientific studies have verified the benefits of eating a plant-based diet.
Staying away from mind-altering substances like tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is important for keeping our minds and bodies healthy.
Drinking plenty of water—at least 8 glasses per day—helps clear our minds and rid our bodies of impurities.
Getting regular exercise in the sunlight and fresh air can boost your mental outlook as well as strengthen body and mind. I try to walk for at least 1 hour outside every day!
Rest is also important, and even though it may be tempting to short-change our sleep, studies have shown that adults need from 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night, and children and youth may need even more.
Not only is physical rest important, but each week God invites us to partake of the special spiritual rest that He provides every Sabbath—reminding us to “rest from our labors” and trust in Him.
Living a healthy, balanced life—physically, mentally, and spiritually—is a wonderful way to allow the love of Jesus to shine through us as we follow His example in being a blessing to the world. If you would like to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle, or to share what you have learned with others, I encourage you to download a free copy of the book Health & Wellness: Secrets That Will Change Your Life by Pastor Mark Finley and Dr. Peter Landless. You may download this book at the URL shown at the bottom of the screen.
Friends, Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that He came that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly. He invites us to enjoy living that more abundant life through His grace and power today!
I invite you to pray with me just now.
Father in heaven, we ask now that You will guide everyone listening and viewing right now. Help them to know that You are the God who created them, the God who sustains them, and the God that wants them to live life abundantly on this earth, and in preparation for eternal life. Thank You for Your health principles. Thank You for health reform. Thank You for the opportunity of not only living it by Your grace through Your instruction, but also sharing it with others because we know that health is so important to not only physical health, but to spiritual health. Thank You for hearing us. In Christ’s name, amen.