Gender and Discipleship

Scripture: Luke 1:26-38, John 4:4-30, Luke 10:38-42
Date: 02/03/2008 
Lesson: 5
Though not as well known as many of the men, Jesus had several female disciples as well.
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church right here in Sacramento - capital city of California. We're so glad that you are tuning in. Whether you're listening on the radio, watching live on our web site at '' or on the various television networks, it does not matter. We're just glad that you're joining us and that you're going to sing with us and you're going to study God's Word with us today. Our first request is #547 as we start our program - 'be thou my vision'.

This is a request from Matthew and claudine in china, kisku in india, suelyn in ireland, the stevens family and beth in new zealand, yelena in the russian federation, and Godwill in sweden and there were a whole bunch more requests from around the world for this song. So we're excited to have such an international family joining with us each week. It's very exciting. I love to travel and so it's like I go on a trip every week when I put these songs together - seeing the different countries and all across the u.s. And - very exciting.

So we're very glad that you are joining with us. We're going to sing stanzas 1, 2 and 4 - 'be thou my vision'. Beautiful song. Thank you so much for requesting that and if you have a favorite that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming program, go to our web site at '' and click on the 'contact us' link and any song that's in the hymnal is right there for you to choose and we will do our best to sing that for you on an upcoming program. At this time let us bow our heads for prayer.

Father in Heaven, thank you so much for loving us - for being our kind Heavenly Father. I pray that you will be with us as we open up Your Word and we study together. Be with our extended Sabbath school family across the country and around the world no matter where they are. Some of them, we know, are hours from a local congregation and this is their Sabbath school - this is their church family and I just pray that you would be with each one in a very special way right now. Be with pastor chris as he brings us our lesson study.

In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor chris buttery. He is our family life and evangelism pastor here at central church. It's good to see you. It's good to see you.

Or maybe you were just thinking I wasn't me this morning, but it is certainly good to see you and Happy Sabbath and what a delight to study together here this morning and share in time - in opening God's Word. And we also want to extend a welcome again to those that are viewing us either online, on tv or listening by radio - glad you could join us. And for those that are joining us and our extended family, we want to make sure that this morning you are aware of our free offer. And it's offer #806 - it's called the 'amazing health facts - 8 Bible secrets for a longer and a stronger life' and so you want to be able to call in and grab this. Offer #806 - 50+ pages of medical information dealing with better health.

Eight biblical lessons dealing with the benefits of exercise, rest, keeping the Sabbath, etcetera. So you want to call in -866-study more or -866-788-3966. Call in for the free offer. You'll be glad you did. It's a power-packed magazine.

Well, we're into our lesson study here this morning and we're going to be over at the lesson entitled 'discipling the sick' and so I trust you've got your lesson guides - lesson studies with you here and we're going to be tackling or at least reviewing our lesson here in our time together. I want to look at the memory verse with you first and that's found in Matthew chapter 15, verse 30 and 31 and I'll be reading from the King James version. It says, "and great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them: insomuch that the multitude wondered when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel." Someone said that the world is, in fact, like a great big hospital. And they wouldn't be far off the Mark. Sickness and disease has always been with us - probably will - definitely - shouldn't say probably - but always will be with us until Jesus comes.

I wanted to share with you here, as we get into our lessons, a few statistics. And I know when I mention statistics, folks just jump up and down and say 'goody! More statistics and more facts for me to digest.' But I just want to kind of create a scenario or at least - I don't have to create the scenario, but at least mention and look at the - the extent at which sickness and disease really dominates our planet. Some of these statistics come from the world health organization and I'm just going to share a few of these with you. They suggest that the world has made some significant progress of reducing the number of children deaths - that's between the ages of one through five - by about forty percent. But yet, around in 2011, 7 million children between that age group died.

That's a lot of children. About 75% of those deaths are caused by six conditions: neonatal causes like pre-term birth, birth asphyxia and infections, and then other things like pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, hiv/aids, and measles. Between 1990 and 2011, the proportion of overweight children doubled in the africa region and in the europe region. As a matter of fact, the europe region has the highest - 12.5% - of overweight children. It's quite a large group - no pun intended.

Overweight is often also linked with heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Almost 10% of the world's adult population has diabetes. That's one in every ten persons on planet earth has diabetes. People with diabetes, of course, have increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and are ten times more likely to need a lower limb amputation than those who do not have diabetes. It's one of the leading causes of renal failure, visual impairment and, of course, blindness.

In 2011, an estimated 1.7 million people died from aids-related causes worldwide. Fortunately, that's 24% less than what was in 2005. New infections have also declined, but not enough. In 2011 an estimated 2.5 million people world wide were newly infected with hiv and around 34 million people living worldwide have hiv. Also, consider the top deadly diseases of the developing world.

Some have already been mentioned. These figures come from 2007. 4 Million people die annually - died in that year - from lower respiratory infections. Then you had 1 to 5 million people die from malaria, 2.2 million from diarrhea, 2 million from tuberculosis, half a million from measles, 2 to 3 hundred thousand from whooping cough, a quarter of a million from tetanus, 174,000 from meningitis and 157,000 from syphilis. The infection rate from each of these diseases, of course, is that much larger, you understand.

You should try it if you have it - I don't know if any of you have checked out the web site '' - ''. A team of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers from boston children's hospital, they all teamed up to create an online disease-monitoring and real time surveillance program of emerging public threats across the globe. The site brings together disparate data sources. Yesterday, when I was on there, I discovered something interesting here just in northern California - that there were 43 respiratory alerts. Most of those were influenza and then another large portion of that was swine flu - h1n1 virus - in just northern California.

It's interesting when you go on that site - not to create paranoia or to get folk worked up, but just so that we - it's interesting just seeing these things popping up around the globe on a daily, even weekly, basis. And not to overwhelm anyone, but add to these figures the following concerns: non-communicable diseases, also known as chronic diseases. These are diseases that are not passed on from person - infectious diseases. They kill - now listen to this - they kill 36 million people every year. Now you take all the figures from those who die from aids and from lower respiratory diseases and syphilis and all the others, and it doesn't even touch the number of people who die from chronic diseases.

Most of these are lifestyle-related diseases around the world. Cardiovascular account for most of these chronic deaths - .3 million people die annually, followed by cancer which is 7.6 million, respiratory disease .2 million and diabetes 1.3 million around the world. Now these four groups of diseases account for 80% of non-communicable disease deaths. And, of course, they all share the same four risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets. So our world really, if we consider just that collage of data is truly ripe for authentic biblical ministry of healing to the sick - as it was, actually, in the time that Jesus came along the scene.

The Bible says Jesus came in the fullness of time. He came right on time, prophetically speaking and also just the condition of the world - it was ripe for the Messiah to come. I was reading in my favorite book 'the Desire of Ages' page 36. The author tells us the condition of the world when Jesus came. She writes, "the bodies of human beings made for the dwelling place of God, had become the habitations - of demons.

The senses, the nerves, the passions, the organs of men, were worked by supernatural agencies in the indulgence of the vilest lusts. The very stamp of demons was impressed upon the countenances of men." That was the condition of the world when Jesus came. Folk were engrossed in vile lusts and the devil had control of folk because they had given him permission to do so, whether intelligently or non-intelligently - non-consciously. And he had wreaked havoc in the human mind and in the human body. Today, certainly, looking at the data and looking around us - and we've all been touched or affected by something, whether personally ourselves or whether a close family member - by some of even these diseases that have been mentioned here this morning.

This affects all of us in one way or another and we certainly live in a very sick - physically sick and mentally sick world as well. So when Jesus came, the time was ripe for him to come and that's why you read - and it's quoted here on page - the first - on Sabbath morning's lesson - or Sabbath's lesson in our lesson guides - from 'ministry of healing' pages 19 and 20 where the author says, "during his ministry Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching. His miracles testified to the truth of His Words that he came not to destroy but to save. Wherever he went, the tidings of his mercy preceded him. Where he had passed, the objects of his compassion were rejoicing in health and making trial of their newfound powers.

As he passed through the towns and cities he was like a vital current diffusing life and joy." So everywhere Jesus went, folk were just happy and rejoicing and ecstatic that they had found newfound health. Jesus spent more time healing than he did preaching. Not to suggest that preaching's not important - and - but you understand that - and we'll talk a little bit more as we move through the lesson. But you understand, Jesus - Jesus used healing - Jesus healed folk as an entryway for the Gospel - for folk to receive him as their Savior. So let's go over to Sunday's lesson and let's dig in just a little bit more.

Let's talk about the healing Messiah for just a little bit. I want to just briefly review with you some of the magnificent healings that took place during the ministry of Jesus. Now, if you scan Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, you're going to find twenty-two miracles that Jesus performed. Now, not everything that Jesus said or did is recorded in the Gospels, but when you read the Gospels, you'll notice acts of healing that Jesus performed to help people recover from a certain sickness. There were other things that he did and there were marvelous miracles as well and we'll talk about those in just a bit, but of them were recorded in the Gospels.

Just real briefly I'm going to go through these and I'll just tell you where the references are, you don't have to jot it down, but a lot of them are found in the book of Matthew. And even though Matthew is not written in chronological order Matthew is very interested, as is Luke, in the healings of Jesus. And so in Matthew 8 you've got the healing of the leper - you remember the leper comes to Jesus and says - and he knows Jesus can heal him but he's not sure he will heal him because of who he is. And he says to Jesus, 'if you will can you make me clean?' And Jesus said, 'I will. Be thou clean.

' And so the leper was healed. A few verses later you had the healing of the roman centurion's servant. You remember the roman centurion came to Jesus and said, 'look, my servant's sick even to death' and Jesus said, 'well where is this individual? I'll come.' And the centurion said, 'no, no, no, no. You just speak the word and he'll be healed. Because I'm a man of authority and I tell my folk what to do and they come and they go and you can do the same thing.

' He exhibited tremendous faith in Christ's healing power and so there's the healing of the roman centurion. A few verses later Peter goes to - Peter - Jesus goes to Peter's mother-in-law's place and heals her. And Peter's glad for that because she gets up and fixes them some food and some drink and she's back to doing what she does. And then in Matthew 8, toward the close of the chapter, you have the healing of the wild men at gadara. Now in Matthew chapter 9 you've got the healing of the palsied or the paralytic man.

In Matthew 9:20 the healing of the woman with the hemorrhage. You remember, she comes to Jesus and seeks to touch the hem of his garment so that she might be healed. She's sought all the doctors - none of them can help her but she hears of Jesus and presses through the crowd and Jesus feels that touch of faith even though he's been jostled and pressed on every side. Even in that same chapter you've got the healing of two blind men, the healing of the demon-possessed man, then over in Matthew 12 you've got the healing of a man who had a withered hand. In Matthew 15 you have the healing of the syrophoenician's daughter.

Then in Matthew 17 the healing of a boy who had epilepsy. Then over in Matthew 20 the healing of two blind men at Jericho and one of those men is bartimeus. You remember that story? Then in Mark and Luke you have the following healings: the healing of a man with the unclean spirit. The healing of a man who is not only deaf but he's also speechless. The healing of a blind man at bethesda and the healing of a woman that had an infirmity.

The healing of a man who had dropsy and that would probably be edema today - a build up of water in the tissue there in the body - so edema. And then another - then - remember Jesus healed ten lepers. How many came back to thank him? You remember the story, right? Just one came back to thank him and that was recorded in Luke 17. In Luke 22 Jesus heals malchus. You remember Peter withdrew his sword - took off the ear of the high priest's servant malchus and Jesus somehow frees himself from the tight grip of the - those who have come to arrest him and he heals malchus' ear.

And then in John you have the healing of the nobleman's son, the healing of the lame man at bethesda - and then in John 9, verse 1, you've got the healing of the blind man. That's the story where the disciples came to Jesus and said, 'what caused this man to be blind, was it his sin or was it his parents' sin?' We'll talk a little bit more about that. So when you review all of these miracles that Jesus performed - there's twenty-two of them - when you review all of these, one thing stands out to me: Jesus' healing was indiscriminate - indiscriminate. He didn't decide that some people were better off or some people were more worthy of receiving healing than others. No he didn't.

It didn't matter what disease they had. It didn't matter what gender they were. It didn't matter what nationality they were - whether people brought the disease upon themselves or whether it was hereditary or whether it was pure misfortune - it didn't matter. They all came to Jesus for healing and Jesus healed them. Now it's an interesting - interesting episode in Mark chapter 1 where we're told a lot of people came with diseases and the Bible says Jesus healed many of them.

There are times where you read these large groups of people came and everyone was healed, but in Mark 1 it leads us to believe that - in this particular episode, Jesus didn't heal everybody. We'll talk a little bit more about that here in just a bit as well. Also, keep in mind that in Jesus' day, folk generally believed that every sickness that a person had was a penalty for some sin of the sufferer or of his or her parents. So, as I mentioned before, the story of the healing of the blind man in John 9 reveals this type of strange and superstitious thinking - when the disciples asked Jesus, 'master, who caused this man to be blind? Was it his sin or his parents'?' And in John chapter 9 and verse Jesus said, 'neither' - neither. And so Jesus refuted the common false knowledge of his day.

In that book 'Desire of Ages' - and I want to share this with you here, page 471 - it's very interesting. I want you to notice here what the author says, "it was generally believed by the jews that sin is punished in this life. Every affliction was regarded as penalty of some wrongdoing either of the sufferer himself or of his parents." And so it is true - she goes on to say that all suffering results from the transgression of God's law. That's an interesting distinction - sickness, disease comes about because of breaking God's law - not just moral law but also the health laws. "Satan, the author of sin and all its results has led men to look upon disease and death as proceeding from God as punishment arbitrarily inflicted as account of sin hence one upon whom some great afflictional calamity had fallen had the additional burden", she says, "of being regarded as a great sinner.

" So you can imagine the condition of folk who were sick in Jesus' day. Burdened down with some debilitating disease or sickness and on top of that they had to accept the fact and they had to just live with the fact that folk saw them as great sinners - that what they were dealing with and what they were suffering with was a direct punishment of God - that he was just, you know, arbitrarily bringing this punishment upon them because of something they'd done in their lives. And so folk, just being sick would be - just be embarassed to be sick - heads down - maybe not even going out into society a whole lot - have people run their errands. Quite a burden for people to carry and certainly not a burden that folk ought to carry. But when you look at the ministry of Jesus, you realize that Jesus' ministry revealed God's love.

It was contrary to what people were thinking about God. Through his ministry of healing, Jesus exemplified the generous and compassionate attributes of God and revealed that God does not take delight in suffering but rather seeks to relieve it. That's the ministry of healing that Jesus brought to the world. If anyone thought, at that time, that God was arbitrary and unkind, they had to rethink their entire premise, having witnessed the demonstration of divine love and empathy through Christ's divine acts of healing. And it's important too - I think you'd agree with me - it's important for folk to accept and understand and settle that question today - with regard to God's love.

Folk who take time to read these stories of Jesus getting close to folk who were sick - even with diseases that were known, like leprosy, as being something that would be passed on - infectious - which in many cases it's not, as has been discovered in recent scientific studies. But Jesus came close. He touched these folk. He broke with tradition and with cultural norms and he brought healing to folk. So when folk look - and if they spend time looking at the stories of Jesus and his ministry of healing - you've got to rethink your - the thoughts you might have in your head with regard to whether God is arbitrarily inflicting punishment on a person because of some sin they've done.

That thinking somehow still prevails. Not a whole lot in this culture, but it still is there to some extent. Some folk come down hard on folk who've got a sickness - and wonder and ask them, 'well, what have you done? What have you done? What have you done that has violated God's law?' Or, you know, job's friends - you remember job's friends came to him and in their attempt to console him basically said, 'if you just, you know, tell God you're sorry for the sins you've committed, all this" - they believed that what job was suffering was the result of some sin he had not acknowledged and confessed and forsaken, which was purely bogus. It wasn't the case at all. The story of job's a fascinating story.

I want to read a few Bible texts here, as we continue. Now I didn't - I want to - we're going to do something a little different here. I'm going to ask somebody - and I'm going to start here. Michael, would you read Matthew :16 and 17 for us? Matthew 8:16 and 17. I've got a few other verses I'm going to read as we're getting ready.

So here - just jot these down - Isaiah - or that would be Isaiah - Isaiah 42, verses 2 and 3 - beautiful passage talking about Jesus' ministry. He said - it says here, "he shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street." - In other words, when Jesus came upon the scene, Jesus didn't come arrogantly, seeking to push himself upon people. Kind of like the sun rising in the morning did Jesus arise - his ministry arose and broke upon - his grace broke upon people. He didn't cry - lift up his voice - he didn't press himself upon the people. Listen to what it goes on to say, "a bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax" - that's the flickering candle wick that's about to go out - "the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

" Jesus isn't about to deal harshly with someone who's a broken reed or a smoking flax. Jesus didn't come to push himself upon people, but he would carefully handle folk who were sick, whether physically or mentally or spiritually - kind of like a box that has 'fragile' written on it - you handle it carefully - Jesus came to deal carefully with the human body and the human mind. Isaiah 61 - Isaiah 61, verses 1 and 2 says - and you probably know this one well - it says, "the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me;" - this is a prophecy of the coming of the Messiah - the first time - "the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;" this is the ministry of Jesus: to set at liberty those that are bound by maybe some physical addiction or someone who's bound up with their brokenheartedness and can't beat depression. Jesus came to set the captives free. And then Malachi 4, verse 2, it says, "but unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness" - talking of Jesus - he will "arise" - do you know with what in his wings? - "With healing in his wings;" - Jesus' life and ministry oozed with healing virtue and he came and he arose with healing in his wings.

Michael - Matthew 8:16 and 17. Matthew 8:16 and 17, "when evening had come, they brought to him many who were demon-possessed. And he cast out the Spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 'he himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.'" Alright, so under inspiration, the writer Matthew takes a passage from Isaiah - Isaiah - that is talking about Christ vicariously taking our infirmities of sin - our sin - upon himself. If you look at the context, that's what Isaiah is referring to. But Matthew takes and makes a literal application to the healing ministry of Christ.

In other words, in his humanity The Son of God is fully able to feel and express human sympathy. That's what Matthew is saying. Jesus came and he felt with us and he feels for us. We have a great sympathetic high priest whose name is Jesus. Christ, as well, has now committed to us, the church, a ministry of healing - a compassionate and sympathetic ministry that doesn't know color, that doesn't know creed and this ministry of healing is not the end in and of itself, but the means to an end and that is drawing people to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Let's go over to Monday's lesson 'healing the body'. Let's talk a little bit about this. Now, when I think about this ministry of healing that opens the door and hearts for the Gospel of God's grace - because, after all, Christ's ministry of healing found a way to people's hearts and it will for us too. When I think about this ministry I wonder whether I'm doing all that I can to help and to bless others. Not that i, and any of us, can help everyone, you understand, but am I equipped enough - do I know enough simple basic things about how the body works - a little bit of anatomy and physiology, so to speak.

Do I know enough - a little bit about how the body works - maybe even some simple natural remedies - to make a difference in someone's life? What can I do - what can we, as a church, do - what more can we do to bring whole health and healing to those that have been entrusted to our care? What more can we do? You know, I want to just give a plug for two books here this morning, that perhaps many of you have read - maybe some of you have read one, maybe haven't read the other - but the two books I'm referring to - one is 'the ministry of healing' and the other one is 'counsels on diets and foods' penned, not by some leading physician or nutritionist, but by a little lady who received very little formal education; however, was led by God to help people understand the true nature of healthful living and to avoid the misinformation circulating not only in her day, but also in our day and age. What Ellen white wrote was a hundred years ahead of her time, making these books extremely relevant today. If you don't know Ellen white - like Paul harvey used to say - get to know her. Get to know her - powerful books. Now, if you've picked up ministry of healing, you'd be delighted and it'd just be a wonderful read and you're impacted by the ministry of healing of Jesus and his love for humanity and it's just a tremendous book.

And then, as you get halfway through, you start standing on your toes a little bit with regard to the lifestyle that mankind typically lives and - but if you want to get your toes really stood on, you're going to pick up the book 'counsels on diets and foods'. And when I first picked up that book I thought it'd be a book that you should read from cover to cover and I got into it a little bit and it was a book that - I'll just be honest with you - I really felt like I wanted to throw across the room. I mean, it was dealing with a whole bunch of different things that when I looked at my life I said, 'ooh, ow, eee'. I mean, it was standing on just not the big toe but the other toes as well. It was a challenging book.

So I realize it's not a book you want to read from cover to cover but use it as a resource book and so that's what I did and I tell you what - a power-pack - power-packed book full of powerful information. Just knowing what is written in those two books alone will help an individual know how to properly care for their own personal health, but also provide a biblical - biblically- based framework to know how to assist others in need of care. Now, not suggesting here for a moment that the church should take the place of doctors and hospitals and that type of thing, this church has been blessed with a ministry of healing through hospitals and lifestyle centers and those types of things. But what I'm saying here is that when a person gets ahold of this information, it can be revolutionary. It can be life changing.

It can help a person. We had the privilege, in our previous church district, to be involved in healing ministries - health ministries. My wife would do cooking classes and we'd do some health lectures and we'd also team up with some physicians and doctors as well and it was just excEllent. This church has a wonderful health ministry, as well, that takes place here and has blessed a lot of people and hopefully will continue to bless a lot of people. And how impressive it is to see folk make just some small changes - someone who came to us and said, you know, 'I've just increased my water intake and I've already lost x-number of pounds'.

'I've stopped chewing gum between meals and I've lost weight.' Because, you know, chewing gum continues to activate the digestive juices, which slows down what you've previously eaten, you understand. That goes into snacking and all of those and you understand the more the snacks the bigger the slacks, right? You've heard that before. So anyway - just powerful - but more than that - more than that we've seen folk not only just make some slight, small changes in their lifestyle, which has improved their health tremendously, but we've also seen folk begin to trust us as a church - as people - and inquire more about the Gospel and the everlasting Gospel and we've had the privilege to see folk give their lives to Christ and be baptized because, as a church, we reached out and showed, truly, that we cared. We didn't use health ministry as the end - some folk like to think health ministry is the end of all things. We somehow praise God when everyone becomes a vegetarian.

I mean, that's not the end. While that's a good thing, and while it's a good thing to move in that direction and must move in that direction - I would think, especially with disease as rampant as it is today in animal livestock and so on, it's a good direction to move. It's not the end. You know, you can be a vegetarian, but on your way to hell. You want to be a vegetarian on the way to heaven, amen.

Health ministry is not the end, but it's a means to an end and the end is bringing folk to Christ and helping them understand his last-day truth as found in the Scriptures, you understand. And so, anyway, the ministry of healing - I got off on a sidetrack here, but a few other Bible verses - let's talk here a little bit about the healing of the body. I've got several verses here and I want to make sure that someone has this particular - is someone going to read - yeah, someone'll read for me here. I'm going to ask somebody to read 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Who's used to reading around here and would read for me 1 Thessalonians 5 and 23? Thank you jolyne.

I appreciate it. Just a couple of quick verses before jolyne reads hers: psalm :14 - you remember David said, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." David valued and understood that his body - who he was - was marvelously made. John 2 - John says, "beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." And so God, as he values our soul prosperity, he wants our health to prosper as well. Romans 12:1 and 2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

" So here Paul calls for Christians to dedicate their bodies to God. Living a healthful life is actually an act of spiritual worship. Did you know that? Because we acknowledge that we truly are fearfully and wonderfully made. Truly we have been bought with a price. We are not our own.

Truly these are bodies that God has made and we have been trusted to take care of them. And so Paul calls for folk to dedicate - Christians to dedicate their bodies to God and then he calls on them to dedicate their intellect and their spiritual faculties because we're not - what we're comprised of is not all separate and random. These things are not independent entities. We are a whole person. Each aspect of our make-up affecting one - each other.

There's a sympathy between the health of the body, the health of the mind, and our spirituality. Thessalonians 5:23. "Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Okay. So I want you to notice what Paul writes there. He's talking about the whole person being what? Sanctified.

Now we don't believe in the platonic theory that asserts that there is an immortal soul residing within us that pre-existed us and will live on after the body dies. That belief led the Greeks to, basically, not have any respect for their own bodies and not to take care of their bodies because the body would end up dying and the soul would continue living forever. The Bible doesn't teach that. The Bible teaches that we're one entity. We're a whole person and what affects the body affects the mind and the Spirituality.

I've never met someone who's a hard - not a hard worker, but someone who overworks and is always very tired, being very patient. Have you ever met someone who continues to exert themselves - continually tired - and is ultra patient? I don't know of one. Overworked, stress on the body, stress on the mind and it makes them impatient. And patience and longsuffering is a gift of the Spirit. Yeah.

Though these things are intimately related - when I do hospital visits, one of the things I've got to focus on and keep in mind and make sure I do is to lift the individual's spirit and make sure that they're - they're connected to the Lord, they have faith in him. Because when you're sitting on that hospital bed - you just had an operation or whatever's happened to the person - you're sitting there and it's - it just can get at you and it can depress you and that depression affects your spirituality and I've had numerous conversations with folk in their hospital bed, whether they've been there one day or whether they've been there several, who are not well and that affects, intimately, their spirituality. And so, of course, the goal is to let people know God cares, he's there with them, he's blessing them, he's going to help them - and in lifting their spirits, that'll bless them and help them feel better, as well, as they move along. You've over - if you've ever over-eaten - I know you never did - I know you never did - but if you ever over-ate and you realize you - and you have to take those deep breaths - that's a good sign that you've eaten too much, right? Now don't be going to potluck today listening to folk next to you, 'oh, they've overeaten'. Don't be doing that but, you know, if you're taking these deep breaths, you know you're pretty much done.

But sometimes we keep on going because it looks so good and it smells so good and it tastes so good and we want to keep on going and - but if you've ever overeaten, then what happens to you when that happens? You just don't feel good and then you're sitting through a seminar that the presenter has spent hours trying to prepare for you and make sure that you learn something and what happens? Yeah, you start nodding off a little bit and get a little drowsy and woozy and things are just kind of maybe even circling a little bit in the room and all of this - what affects the body affects the mind and what affects the mind, which is, by the way, and as you know, the only way God communicates to us. It's the only way God can communicate to us: through our minds. If our body's affected it affects our minds. If our mind's affected, guess who we can't hear too clearly? God. Yeah.

So look, while - and I praise God for the health message that this church has been entrusted with - we have wonderful books and we've been guided in this direction as a church and we've blessed so many people, good health is not necessarily the end of the program. Good health is a means to enable us to have clearer minds so that we can hear, more distinctly, the voice of who? God. Yeah, folk have very little appreciation for last-day events and Bible prophecy because their minds are so befogged - both so fogged because of the diet and the lifestyle they're living. And so our job is to encourage folk to make the best lifestyle choices - not pound them - not get on their case, but progressively lead a person to make the best decisions they can so their minds will be clearer to appreciate and accept the wonderful truths - last-day truths of God's Word. That's the reason we've been given this message.

Sure you'll have ten, eleven years longer life expectancy - that's the norm if you put some of these things into practice - but that's not the end. That's not the end. The end of this message is to enable a person to have a clearer mind so they can follow the Word of God more closely, you see. Alright. So I'm getting off track here.

By the way, a friend of mine, he's a medical missionary - works with folk, goes to their homes even - works with them very closely in helping them make some lifestyle choices so they're not going to get into the hospital. And he was working with a couple one particular time and he was helping them make some lifestyle changes - exercise, working on a more vegetarian - total vegetarian diet, establishing a good routine, not meals here, there, and everywhere and sleep patterns everywhere, but just a good routine. One was improving - that was the husband - he was improving. His vital signs were looking good. His, you know, blood pressure was coming down.

He was taking less insulin for his diabetes and all of these things. But his wife was not improving. And so my friend was wondering, 'I'm doing all these things and working really - and making these changes and they're supposed to make a difference and nothing's changing with her.' So he dug up - he decided to dig a little bit deeper and what he discovered - he discovered that there was resentment in her life. There was resentment in her life and it was unresolved hard feelings with regard to a particular family member and it was just eating away at her and it had been for years. And so after taking her through some steps to accept and receive God's forgiveness, and to be able to release and free and forgive her family member, guess what happened to her health? Drastically improved.

And Jesus knew this. That's why when he talked to the paralytic and the paralytic came to him and he had a disease - and the paralytic recognized that he was in that bed because of things that he had done in his life that had led him to this point. And he was remorseful - he was sorry. That's why Jesus didn't say to him, 'get up, take up your bed and walk.' He said, 'son, your sins be forgiven thee.' He needed to know his sins were forgiven. He needed to be free and to know that his - the slate had been wiped clean and he was able to take up his bed and walk.

These things - our spirituality - our mental health - our physical bodies - our bodies are all intimately - they work together and are intimately - affect each other. Talking of the mind - that's Tuesday's lesson - you - in the book 'counsels on health' page , the author says, "a great deal of the sickness which afflicts humanity has its origin in the mind and can only be cured by restoring the mind to health." - Interesting-ly - interestingly put, that a lot of the sickness folks suffer with starts in the mind. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone but I don't know if anyone's tried thinking themselves to sickness - especially if you've got that project coming up at work or you don't want to see the boss or something. Some people just get themselves all worked up and make themselves sick. Mmm hmm, yeah - yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

Sometimes it's happened to some of you here. "Both through physical as well as mental restoration, Jesus made disciples." Remember, restoring physical and mental health was not Jesus' final objective, his was discipleship. You remember the story there in Luke chapter 8, verse 26 - the demon-possessed men - Luke wrote - Luke focuses on the one man - the demon-possessed man of gadara - and he came to Jesus. Jesus freed him from the demons. And this testimony was said of the man, he, when he was freed and Jesus healed him, he was sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.

Powerful stuff. If we've truly encountered Jesus' healing and saving grace, it's going to have a big impact on the way - on what we wear - we'll be clothed, amen? Amen? Just checking in on you there. We'll be clothed - we'll be fully clothed - I guess that's what I'm trying to say, and we'll be in our what? Our right minds - our right minds. You know, we came from Pennsylvania and there's not a lot of sun over in Pennsylvania so depression is big in Pennsylvania and in some of those other eastern states and midwest states, right now, that don't get a lot of sunshine. Depression is rampant and folk are - think funny things about life and the future of their life when they're depressed and so a great deal of ministry, being affected there, has to do with depression recovery.

Things come to each of us and it starts a cycle and, unfortunately, folk become depressed. It affects the psyche - affects the mind - and Jesus came to heal and deliver us and to free our minds. How might the principles taught in the following verses relieve anxiety, guilt, and shame that underlie all or many mental illnesses? After all, the relationship between the mind and body is well established by medical science. Anxiety predisposes some to stomach problems. Worry causes sleep disorders - by the way, so does excessive coffee use - and unfettered anger factors into heart disease.

So here are some verses. I'm going to have someone read 1 John 3, verses 20 through 22. Who could do that for us here this morning? Would someone volunteer? Thank you so much manjeet. John chapter 3, verses 20 to . I'm going to read a couple of quick verses for you, Matthew :33, you remember what Jesus said? "Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.

" What are all those things? Well, all those things that he mentioned previously - a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in your stomach. Anything extra is a bonus. Those are the things he guaranteed. Those are things he said you don't have to worry about. He'll take care of those things for you.

Yes, you've got to go to work, you've got to do your thing, but don't stress. Don't stress about it. That's why he said take - in the following verse - "take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." A lot of folk are borrowing - are borrowing worry. They're looking into the future worried about what tomorrow brings when they can't even get through today.

And so Jesus said stop thinking about tomorrow. He's not saying don't plan - you've got to plan - but he's saying don't worry about tomorrow, just deal with today. By my grace we'll get you through. Don't worry about tomorrow, seek first my kingdom. Trust me to provide for you.

Then 1 Peter 5:7 - Peter encourages the believer to cast all our cares - how many of our cares? All. But instead we run to so and so, we run to this one or we run to that one and we don't bring them to Jesus. How much we lose when we don't bring everything to God in prayer. Cast all our cares upon him. You know what we're good at doing? You know what we're really good at doing? We're good at giving it to God for a moment and then taking it right back.

'Here it is God. And, by the way, on my way out I'll just pick that stuff right back up again and move on.' We're not good at leaving it with him. We can trust him, you know. We just cast all our care. Folk are carrying around a lot of baggage - a lot of luggage they don't need to be carrying around.

Jesus said, 'I'll take it all. Cast all your cares upon me because I care for you' he says. And then in 2 Corinthians 4:7 through 10 it says, "but we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excEllency of the power may be of God and not of us. We are troubled on every side yet not distressed; we are perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our bodies." And then in Philippians chapter it says, "rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice." Yeah. And then he goes on to talk about things - thinking on things that are wholesome and pure and lovely and - boy, we could just spend a lot of time talking about what we feed our minds with that agitate our peace - that destroy our peace.

We could talk about the type of music that will destroy our peace in an instant - the type of music that will stimulate mental activity and cause our minds to - to function in full capacity. 1 John 3:20 to 22 - where were we - right here, manjeet. 1 John 3:22, "and whatever we ask we receive from him because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment: that we should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another as he gave us the commandment." Okay. And so, when we are walking in the will of the Lord and we're doing his will, by his grace, it brings great peace to the life and, therefore, helps correct and straighten our thinking here.

Jesus wants to heal us completely. Now over on Wednesday's lesson it talks about the resurrection and the life and there were three stories that I didn't highlight with regards to Jesus' miracle working. We talked about 22 of those - 22 miracle-working stories - there were three others - because there are two things you can count on in life - you know what they are, don't you? Death and taxes and if you live in the state of Pennsylvania it's also roadworks in the summer. And so you would know those are three things you can count on. We reviewed Jesus' wonderful miracles of healing, but there were three stories.

He raised the daughter of jairus, he raised the widow's son, and then he raised his own friend, Lazarus, back to life again. Although Christ brought healing to a lot of people, eventually though, those same people would end up dying. But in the act of raising the dead, Christ offers a whole lot more than good health here and now, but eternal life there and then. Disease and accidents might initially prevail, but eternal life will ultimately conquer. Healing might not happen every time when it's requested - and we're not always sure why - but everlasting life is guaranteed to all who make Jesus their Lord and Savior.

Later, Jesus would rise from the dead, and in 1 Corinthians 15:20 and 21 Paul would say, "but now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits" - or the pledge - "of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." Even if we don't experience true and full healing here and now, we can know that one day Jesus is going to come back and we're going to get brand-new bodies. Some of us may pass on to our - on to our sleep - but Jesus will rise us back to life again. Well, on Thursday we have Christ's healing ministry - legacy of healing - the early church continued what Jesus started and that ministry of healing is to continue today in God's church. I want to just read a statement as we close today's lesson - and this is found in ministry of healing page 143.

It says, "Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desires their good. He showed his sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, won their confidence, and then he bade them, 'follow me'. There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing and more time was spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen.

The poor are to be relieved, the sick cared for, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the ignorant instructed, the inexperienced counseled. We are to weep with those that weep and rejoice with those that rejoice. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer and the power of the love of God, this work will not, cannot be, without fruit." Isn't that powerful? 'Ministry of healing' page 143. Friends, we've got a work to do. God has called us each to the ministry of healing.

We can, by God's grace, be equipped to help others and to, ultimately, lead them to accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior because, ultimately, that's what it's all about. Amen? Amen. And for those that are viewing us, we're glad that you joined us today and we want to make sure that you call in and receive your free offer. It's offer #806. You want to call in to -866-study-more or -866-788-3966.

So glad you joined us today. God bless you and God bless you today as well. Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming. Watch Amazing Facts television by visiting ''. At 'aftv.

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