Series: The Gospel: It's Not...
Message: About Health
Preacher: Tom Eickmann
Daily Walk: Mark Johnson
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 92:1-4.
Read: Romans 14 (ESV). As you re-read the text for the final time this week in the English Standard Version, what new insights did you discover about God’s character?
Reflect: It seems that in our perversity as human beings, health is not truly valued until it has been lost. And yet, health should not be the ultimate goal. Health is a tool. It is a wonderful blessing, but it is still only a tool. With it, we can be more productive in our labors, can think more clearly in our deliberations, and can enjoy life more fully. Without it, much of our time, money and focus is spent in our endeavors to reclaim it—we lose productivity and clearness of thought.
Living 7 to 10 years longer than the average American should also not be our ultimate goal. We were created to live forever. Christ, whom we believe lived a most healthy life, died at the age of 33. Many of God's best friends were also unable to live long and restful lives. While Elijah was translated to heaven, Elisha, who asked for twice the Spirit that Elijah had received, evidently died of a long, lingering illness. Health for health's sake is not the goal.
In John 17:3 and 4, Christ gives the most succinct summary of what His mission to earth was all about. He doesn't mention His healing ministry, even though that is how He spent most of His time. He doesn't mention the great example of healthy living that He modeled for His followers. He doesn't mention health at all, for health, while a wonderful thing, is not the Gospel. He says He has finished His work on earth, and then mentions the one main thing He has done—He has shown the world the glorious character of God. By learning to know the true God whom He has revealed, He says we have eternal life.
The Gospel is not about heath or healthcare. The Gospel is about the character of God.
Respond: Pray for a clearer picture and understanding of the character of God and a better knowledge of how to share it with the world.
Research: What is the average age of someone living in North America?