Articles & Devotionals
Are you staying healthy? I certainly pray and hope that you are experiencing good health. As I ask this question you might be thinking about our Coronovirus Spring, trying to keep the viral bug away from your own house and loved ones. “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2)
There is no question that God cares about our health and physical happiness. Jesus, the Son of God, had a heartfelt compassion for those whose bodies were wrecked by sickness and even death. When Jesus saw the widow of Nain (a Gentile) and the funeral for her son “He felt compassion for her, and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’” (Luke 7:13) He raised her son from the dead and brought joy and proof, showing that only God has the ultimate answers and solutions for sickness and even death. He cares with a care that is moved by compassion.
But most importantly, God is concerned and compassionate about our spiritual health. You know that is why the Father “gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Physical sickness and dying in this world is not what God intended for people. It wasn’t that way in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapters 1-3). And for people who “live by faith” (Romans 1:17) He has prepared Heaven as an eternal haven where “He will wipe away every tear…there will no longer be any death…mourning, or crying, or pain” (Revelation 21:4). Yes!
So how is your health, spiritual health? The apostle Paul uses the Greek word for health/healthy several times in his letters to Timothy and Titus. It is the Greek words HUGIES (healthy) and HUGIAINO (to be healthy). We get our English word hygiene from these Greek words. Sometimes these words are translated using the word sound, meaning wholesome or healthy. Christians need healthy doctrine (a fancy word for teaching). Healthy Bible teaching gives us information for avoiding sinful behavior and attitudes (1 Timothy 1:9-10). Healthy teaching in good hearts produces godliness (genuine devotion to serving God), rather than rotten, harmful behavior (1 Timothy 6:3-6).
Paul told Timothy to “retain the standard of sound (healthy) words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:13-14). So sound words (healthy teaching) must be valued and guarded if we are to be spiritually healthy, faithful Christians (2 Timothy 2:2, Titus 2:1). Our leaders must keep encouraging us with healthy teaching (Titus 1:9), helping us to avoid unwholesome teaching. We want to be sound (healthy) in the faith (Titus 1:13)—notice the use of the definite article “the” here (Titus 1:13)—it is “the faith that was once delivered” (Jude 3). You got to be in the Bible with good healthy teaching to be spiritually healthy!
Well, what is important to good health? Good food, exercise, quality rest, good hygiene , and a positive mindset? Certainly! And the same is true of our spiritual health. We have to be “constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the healthy teaching” (1 Timothy 4:6). We want to “exercise…unto godliness” (1 Timothy 4:8 in KJV Bible)—that is, be devoted to doing God’s will every day. We’ve got to rest (refresh) ourselves with confidence in God’s loving care of our lives (Matthew 11:28) and in the loving care of other Christians (1 Corinthians 16:18). We’ve got to trust in the cleansing power of the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7), and we have to have our minds set on good things (Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:2). Stay healthy! jc