SCREAMING IN THE STREETS:  It’s In The Bones   Proverbs 4:20-22

I had a dad/husband fail yesterday.  I planned this tubing trip for my wife’s birthday.  We were going to go tubing down the Platte river, starting in Deckers.  A friend gave me specific instructions which started with go buy river tubes from Costco.  What I heard was ‘go buy the cheapest tubes you can from Target.’  I did — the Target one.  I got two tiny tubes for the two oldest kids.  I figured the youngest would ride in the tube with us, because I’m not a cruel parent.  I got a big river tube from one of my friends, the kind that gets towed behind a boat.  I thought we would be good.  I got the upscale version from Target also, thinking, “If we need to get two kids in that one, we’ll be fine.”  We showed up at the river with four tubes.  I dropped the car where we were going to get out and ran the two miles back to meet them.  When I got there, we did not have four tubes, we had three tubes.  BUT, the biggest river tube was the one that popped.  I asked what happened and my wife said, “We were just standing here and it blew up!”  I was a little frustrated, but since we were up there, and two miles from the car, I figured we were going down this river one way or another.  The bigger Target tube held myself and our two youngest kids.  Ethan, our oldest, was in the $4 Target tube, which was just big enough for him.  My wife was in the other $4 Target tube, which was just big enough for my son Ethan.

In my head, I had this picture of a lazy river at a resort when in reality, this water was snow yesterday.  We get in the tubes and start floating down the river.  We got to this one part where we hit these sort of rapids, right before we’re going to get out.  We hit this rock and the tube I was in, with my two youngest kids, capsized.  We went forward and the tube flipped over.  My youngest, Reid, is in a life vest and he’s just panicking.  Avery’s doing the same thing.  Someone down the river yells, “Oh no!!  There’s babies!”   At this moment I think, “Oh, we’re in trouble here.”   I start gathering kids and throwing them in the tube as quickly as I can.  We got everyone in and got over to the side.  My heart was racing for the next hour.  My pulse was up there.  My blood pressure was just going through the roof.

I was reminded of the reality that we’re all aware of and may loose sight of sometimes.  We’re very complex beings.  Your physical body and your soul and your spiritual self.  I think, sometimes in churches, we minimize that and forget that we are complex.  If you were to look at a picture of yourself, there’s three major parts to who you are.  This experience in the river yesterday reminded me of it.  You’re spirit — There’s a part of you that connects with God.  If you’re a follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you and you have direct access to him.  You also have a soul.  You have a mind.  You have emotions.  You have a will.  You make decisions.  We talked about the heart a few weeks ago and how important that is to the way that we live and who we are as people.  You also have a body.  You’re aware of that, I know.  We often lose sight of the fact that all of these pieces of us (body/soul/spirit) talk to each other.  We’re holistic beings is the way that we would describe it.   So, when you go on a run, your brain releases endorphins and there’s this chemical exchange that happens in your brain.  When you get finished with the run, you think, “That was a good time.”  Endorphins suppress pain and increase pleasure.  Or, if you were to go and sense a smell.  Smell happens in your physical body — there’s a reaction that happens in your brain that smell triggers memory.  Every time you smell a certain smell, you think of something.  It’s because all of these pieces of your body are talking to each other.  They’re all in communication.  You’re a holistic person.

I haven’t heard a lot of messages, or given a lot, on the body.  The way our physical body actually impacts our soul and impacts our spirit.  We often leave that to doctors and other realms of thought and education, but the Scriptures talk a lot about you being a holistic person, and what happens in your body impacts your soul and what happens in your body impacts your spirit.  If you’ve every been, or are, in chronic pain, you know that’s true.  If you’ve experienced some of the “benefits” of aging, you know that’s true.  Your body is not inconsequential, but we live in a time and a place where we spend $2.5 billion a year on gym memberships, in our culture at large, and, in large part, worship the body.  But in a church culture, we very rarely talk about it at all.  We almost ignore it.  We have these two, sort of, competing ethoses that are going on, that are driving us, and I think as followers of Christ, as people who love the Scriptures, we wrestle with the fact that we are physical beings.  As Karl Barth so beautifully put it: “We are embodied souls and besouled bodies.”  But the bones matter!!  There’s a long tradition that pushes back against that.  I need to invite you into that so you know where we’re coming from and why, in large part, we’ve ignore the fact that we have a body.  {Although we could pinch ourselves and remind us of it on a daily basis.}

It started with platonic thought.  Plato taught that the ideal could only be found in the conceptual.  Plato really distanced himself from anything material, because the ‘perfect’ was only an idea.  Let’s chase after ideas, let’s have conversations, but we don’t need to worry a whole lot about the physical world that we live in.  That evolved during the time of the writing of the New Testament into a heresy that’s called ‘gnostic dualism.’ Gnostic dualists believed that matter was inherently evil and that the spirit was inherently good.  It even evolved into this heresy where they believed that Jesus didn’t actually have a physical body—it’s called docetism—and that he was just spirit.  They started to say that the body is something to be suppressed and you’ve got to control the body, otherwise it would impact your soul and your spirit.  They’re partially right — the body DOES impact the soul and the spirit.  It’s not just something to be subdued or pushed down, it’s actually could be a great tool for you as you walk with Jesus.

So, you have gnostic dualistic thought, but then you have Scripture.  As followers of Jesus, that’s where we want to land.  Here’s what the Scriptures say.  There’s three affirmations, in Scripture, of the physical world that we live in.  Not three verses, but three themes that transcend it all.  One is creation.  God creates the physical world and he steps back from his creation and he says, about human beings who have physical bodies and about his creation and about food that we’ll need to eat, etc., “It is very good.” (Gen. 1:31)  That’s God giving himself a high five, which you can do if you’re Trinity.   He’s going listen, I’m a pretty big deal here and this is an amazing work.  You live in a physical world.  {You are a material girl living in a material world.}  That’s number one.

Number two is the incarnation.  Jesus clothes himself in humanity.  The book of Hebrews will go so far as to say that he is like us in every way. (Heb. 2:17)  Jesus had a physical body like you and like me.  And the third theme in Scripture is resurrection.  The story doesn’t end with you and I as disembodied spirits floating around on a cloud in heaven.  Heaven is a great hope and I would encourage you to hope in heaven, but it is not the ultimate hope according to the Scriptures.  The ultimate hope, according to the Scriptures, is actually resurrection.  So we have it backwards.  A lot of followers of Jesus think that life on earth is just a holding tank until they get sucked out of here and get to heaven and that that’s where the really good stuff starts.  The irony is that that’s exactly backwards.  Heaven is actually a holding tank for resurrection.  It’s a holding tank for the physical.  When we die, we’ll be absent from the body, present with the Lord, but that’s not the end of the game.  The end of the game is that you and I will be united with Christ and we will have a resurrection body just like his.  Some have said Christianity is the most materialistic of any religion, because we believe that the end is, in and of itself, material.  New heaven.  New earth.  Resurrected bodies.  We don’t talk about that a whole lot.  We’ve lost sight of it.  We talk more about escape from this world than how to live well as embodied souls.  How does our body, and our soul, and our spirit interact with each other and feed off of each other? When of my favorite theologians, Dallas Willard, said it like this:  “Probably the least understood aspect of progress in Christlikeness is the role of the body in the spiritual life.”

We’ve been walking through this series, this summer, in the book of Proverbs.  This theme of flesh and bones in the Proverbs started to jump out to me.  Open with me to Proverbs 3, that’s where we’ll start.  Remember, proverbs are short, pithy statements about the way the world generally works.  Proverbs are principles, not promises.  We’ll read some things today and you’ll go, “Well, that doesn’t happen every time and there’s a few outliers to that.”  Solomon would agree.  What he wants to write about is the way the world generally works; the way of wisdom — that’s how we align ourselves with the world that God has created.  These phrases started to stick out to me, and I started to think, “How did I miss this?”  Maybe you’ve missed it to.  Here’s what he says in Proverbs 3:8, talking about the way of wisdom — It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.  I always read that and thought that it was going to be really good for us….our soul and our spirit.  The only problem is is that’s not what it says.  It says wisdom will actually be refreshing to our bodies.

Proverbs 4:20-22 — My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. {Lean in.  Take this seriously.}   Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.  For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.   Here’s the crazy thing that Solomon is saying — The life of wisdom brings wholeness and healing to our bodies.  To our physical bodies.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  We could go through almost all through the entire book and point out ways that he claims the way of wisdom—when to say something and when not to say it, when to do something and when not to do it, making the right choice at the right time—makes you a holistic being.  Wisdom doesn’t just affect your heart, your soul, your mind, your emotions, your spirit.  But wisdom actually touches every single piece of you.

I ran this by a number of people just to see if I was crazy.  Every person, in one way or another, cautioned me not to imply that people get cancer because they do bad things or they don’t walk in the way of wisdom.  I said, “No, no!”  I want to be really clear….that’s NOT what I’m saying.  People get cancer, people get sick, you get colds, because we live in a fallen world that’s fractured, that’s permeated with sin.  It’s not specific sins that make you get sick, it’s just part of living in a fallen body.  What I do want to say is when we choose the path of wisdom, it has an impact on our physical bodies, because when we align our lives and ourselves with the way of truth, the way God created the universe, we step into the flow that He has created from the beginning of time. Remember, Wisdom screams in the streets…it’s woven into the very fabric of the world that we live in.  When we step into THAT flow, even our bodies go, “Oh yeah! That feels right.  That feels good.”  There’s something even in our bones that cries out, “Yeah!”

I’ll throw out the Scriptures where you can read about the body.  We prayed it this morning.  David, in Psalm 63:1, says: My soul AND my flesh cry out for you.  Even my physical body longs to meet with you.  The psalmist will write in Psalm 32:3 that when I held my sin inside and refused to confess, even my bones cried out.  He’s saying that confession is this holistic release—body, soul, and spirit—where we come back into the presence of a God who’s already redeemed and already forgiven and recognize it.  It feels like a weight has been lifted off of our shoulders.  Has anyone felt that?  Yeah.  You can either choose to carry it or choose to surrender it, but you can’t do both.  We can only surrender it in the presence of God.  Or, you have Jesus saying, in the Garden of Gethsemane when the disciples were sleeping:  The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)   Even Jesus identifies that you have more than one part of you.  You have flesh, which is fragile and frail.  He doesn’t say the flesh is evil.  He says your flesh is weak.  Your spirit wants to, but your flesh just can’t go there.  Anybody fall asleep reading, almost every night, like I do?  I’m reminded the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Yeah, amen!  Jesus would say that this ‘body’ part of you—the body/soul/spirit—is fragile and it needs some attention.  It doesn’t need to be discarded.  You need to listen to it more.  You need to pay attention to what’s going on, because it needs you to know that it matters.

Here’s what we’re going to do in the next few minutes.  We’re going to go off the beaten path a little bit.  We’re going to explore a few of the passages in Proverbs, that you might read twice and go, “I’m not sure.”  Proverbs that talk about our physical well-being and our soul’s interaction with the body.  Let me give you three of them that I’ve seen as I’ve read through the book of Proverbs.   Proverbs 14:30 says this:  A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.  I scratched my head when I read that, for a second, because, like I said, I always read it, “A tranquil heart, or a heart at peace, or a heart that’s healed (according to the Hebrew) gives life to our soul. And envy can destroy your soul or spirit.”  The only problem is….that’s not what it says. What it says is the condition of your heart has a bearing on the health of your body.

If we could rephrase what Solomon is saying, I think he’s saying that the emotions that we embrace (this emotion of envy or jealousy) get into our bones.  Emotions can either rot or restore our body.  It takes wisdom to know what emotions we should continue to carry and what emotions we should let go of.  {Would you look up at me a moment?}  You are in complete control of the emotions that you carry.  Oftentimes we think we’re carried by them or we’re carried away by them.  If you’ve read either of the great books on emotional intelligence, Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Intelligence 2.0—I highly recommend them—the author talks about one of the things that emotionally healthy people do is that they step back from their emotions and try to look at them from the outside looking in to recognize what’s going on.  Why do I feel the way that I feel?  What’s going on in my soul to make me go there?  Amazing, right?  I mean, a thousand of years before, the Scriptures are going to say, “Oh yeah, a healthy heart gives life to your body, but envy…oh, that will rot your bones.”

In a recent study done by the American Psychological Association, results show that jealousy and envy have a negative effect on your brain, your stomach—-so your gut starts to turn (you’ve heard this terminology?). Literally, it affects your gut.  It affects your brain, it affects your gut, it affects your eyes.  They’ve actually been able to prove that we perceive situations differently and inaccurately when we are acting in jealousy or envy.  And, your blood pressure starts to go up.  Jealousy and envy affect your brain, your stomach, your eyes, and your heart.  That’s crazy, isn’t it?  This emotion, or this conviction (I deserve that) actually has a negative effect on our whole body, not just our soul and our spirit.  I can’t believe that person got the promotion and I got looked over.  Are you kidding me?  That thought in the back of our mind….I’ve been getting there early every single day and THAT person gets a raise.  Seriously?  I’ve longed for so long to be in a relationship and it seems like every single one of my friends is getting proposed to.  There’s something in us that goes, “I don’t have that and I long for it and I want it.”

Solomon would say the heart that’s tranquil, that’s happy, that’s at peace, can actually influence your flesh positively, but when you act in envy, he affirms what every single social scientist now is proving, that can rot our bones.  So what do we do about it?  Let me give you two things we can do.  One, we can be honest.  We can be honest about the things we’re disappointed about.  We can be honest about thinking we got overlooked.  We can be honest about wishing we had something we didn’t have.  We can decide then that we’re going to let it go.  I think people who let envy rot their bones don’t even know they’re carrying it.  They are consciously aware that this is the baggage they carry every single moment of every single day.  We can get honest about it and go, “Yeah, that’s in there,” and then, “God, it’s yours.”

The second thing we can do is create a rhythm to our life that is drenched in gratitude.  It’s one of the best disciplines you can develop.  To just start to look for things in your day….maybe you do this right before you go to bed at night.  Maybe you make a list of five things today that you’re thankful for.  You go, “Alright Lord, thank you.”  Because the emotions you carry, whether it’s envy or jealousy, have an ability to actually impact your physical body.

Solomon writes: A joyful heart is good medicine {I read that and thought it’s good to be joyful.  Joy is great. Who would choose sorrow?} but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  (Prov. 17:22)   Sadness, or grief, or depression doesn’t just stop in our soul, it actually transcends into our body.  You know this if you’ve ever lost someone you’ve loved, if you’ve ever had a dream die that you put a lot of weight in, if you’ve been divorced and walked down that road.  You know this feeling of being so dried up on your soul level that you don’t feel like you can get out of bed.  Has anyone been there?  {Yeah! Yeah!}  Why?  Because the emotions that we carry have a way of impacting not just our spirit and not just our soul, but our entire body.  One research said that out of the emotions that we go through in life, sadness and depression and grief are the longest-lasting. Depression doesn’t just affect the mind, it affects our physical bodies.  It shows up in erratic sleep habits, or loss or increase of appetite, or constant fatigue, or muscle aches, or headaches, or back pain.  These things get into our bones.

Here’s my encouragement.  I’m not a medical doctor, but if that’s you…if you go, yeah, I’ve experienced that or am experiencing it on an ongoing basis, can I encourage you to reach out?  There’s help available.  Sometimes it is a physical thing.  It may be an imbalance that’s going on in your brain.  Maybe it is a spiritual or emotional thing.  Can I encourage you to pursue wholeness and health as if your life depended on it.  It might.  If you’re sitting here, it’s not too late to reach out.   As you do that, my other piece of encouragement would be don’t leave God out of that.  David has his heart ripped out and it says in 1 Samuel 30:6 — And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters.  But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.   I love the way that Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his sermons on spiritual depression, says:  “Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”   Let’s hit pause there for a moment.  Most of the emotional baggage, or unhappiness, or depression, or grief happens because we listen to what we’re telling ourselves rather than telling ourselves something that’s true.  So he points to David, in Psalm 42, where David speaks to his soul and asks, “Why are you downcast, o my soul?”  {Back to Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ quote.}  “His soul had been depressing him, crushing him.  So he stands up and says, “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.”  Some of you need to have that conversation with you.  I know it sounds schizophrenic, but you need to speak to your soul, encourage your soul.  The truth of the matter is that you’re a holistic being—body, soul, and spirit—and a tranquil or peaceful heart gives life to your flesh, and a joyful heart is really, really good medicine.

Here’s how he continues.  (Prov. 16:24)  Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.  I know, it’s crazy!  I didn’t see it either!  Every time I read it, I read when somebody says something good or nice about you, it’s like honeycomb to the soul and health to the soul.  But that’s not what he says.  Solomon’s point is the words that we carry will either carry us or they’ll bury us.   They have a very real impact, not just on our soul and not just on our spirit, but actually on our body!  Have you ever seen somebody or said something to somebody….as a parent, if you’ve said something to your kids and you’ve seen their shoulders slump.  Words have a real weightiness to them.  I think Solomon would say to us that the words we carry either strengthenor suffocate our bodies.  It takes wisdom—which is what this book is all about—to know when to carry a word and when to bury it.  When to identify it as truth and when to identify it as a lie. We are much more concerned with the things we put into our body than we are with the words that we carry.  We want to know….hey, is that organic?  Is it cage-free?  Is it farm fresh?  How many pesticides have been on this? {To sunscreen or not to sunscreen — the new rage.  Kelly posted on Facebook about the most amazing chemical-free deodorant and 65 people had some comment about the deodorant–Primal Pit Paste or use other products as the best organic deodorant by JK Naturals which are great for this as well.  We care a lot about what we put in our bodies.

Did you know that the words that you carry matter just as much as the things you put in your body?  They have just as much of an impact as the food you put in for consumption.  We have an easier time carrying negative words than we do carrying positive words.  I’ll prove it to you.  How many of you can remember a cut-down or something somebody said about you back in elementary school?  Would you just raise your hand?  Yeah, me too. Here’s why.  We have what’s called a negativity bias.  It’s a physical thing — two-thirds of the neurons in your brain that are looking for experiences to process are looking specifically for negative experiences.  Two-thirds!!! Why in the world would that be?  Because negative things have the ability to kill you and you want to live, so God’s programmed us in such a way that we remember the things that are painful, we remember the things that hurt.

When my wife and I were away for a few days, our son, Reid, who is four, was being cared for by my mother-in-law.  She was cooking something and had the oven open.  He walked passed the oven and saw the red element in there.  He walked up to it and touched the element.  I’ll tell you, he remembers that.  He also revised the history — his story is Memaw didn’t tell me the oven is hot!  {Ryan} says, “We’ve told you every day of your life, child. Now you’re going to remember!”  Why? Because you brain has the ability to process….  Not only that, two-thirds of the neurons in your brain are looking for negative experiences.  Also, the pathway to convert that negative experience to long-term memory is way shorter than the pathway to convert a good experience, or a positive word, to long-term memory.  The latest studies show that in order to have something positive sink in on your soul, you need to hold on to the comment or the event for at least twelve seconds to have it sink in.  So, Rick Hanson, who is a researcher, said: “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.”

What do we do with this?  If the words we carry either strengthen or suffocate us and it’s way easier to carry negative words—things people have said about us that aren’t even true, but have just stuck with us—what do we do?  That’s why I would say that gathering under the Scriptures on a weekly basis, but even more than that on a daily basis, to remind yourself of what’s true is so important.  Because it’s so easy to carry things that are false and have them destroy us.  The Jewish people had this rhythm, this tradition, that every time they would gather together they would read a blessing over each other, over the whole community of people, because they know that words can either ignite a soul or they can kill a soul.  They wanted to remind themselves of the story that they lived in so they would read the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6:24-26 — The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.  Why did they do it?  They wanted to remind themselves of the story that they were in in order to drown out the lies that they’ve been told.  They wanted to remember we are children of the Most High God, that by his grace and by his mercy we are known and we know him and he is with us in it to speak to our body, our soul, and our spirit to give his good and gracious health and wholeness and shalom over our entire beings.

Can I just encourage you with two things?   (1) There are people who have spoken a good word or blessing over you (my guess is in the last few days) and you just didn’t hear it.  I want you to go back and think through if there’s a way you can pull those back from the past and into the present to say, “Yeah, this actually is true.” Choose to dwell on the good.  As the Apostle Paul so beautifully writes to the church at Philippi — Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phil. 4:8)   Dwell on them.  Let them get in you, because a good word has the ability to speak life to body, soul, and spirit.

Just a quick word for parents. {Would you look up at me for a moment?}  I’ve had a chance this week to do a lot of research in the social sciences regarding brain activity.  It’s fascinating!  One of the things that stood out to me as a parent is this:  It takes 5-10 positive words to outweigh ONE negative word.  Think about that for a moment.  5-10 positive words to outweigh one negative word.  What kind of words—as parents, or people living in a house with others, or in your neighborhood, or at your place of employment—do you put on people? Blessing or curse.

So, first, dwell on the good.  Second, choose to believe the truth of the Scriptures.  That you are loved by the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  He has called you by name and knows you.  He loves and is for you.  He that is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  He has adopted as his sons and his daughters.  He has made you holy, pure, and blameless and you are His!  Hold on to that!  It may actually give life to your bones!  It’s in the bones.

Finally, Proverbs 19:23 says:  The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied.   This idea of putting God in his rightful place helps us sleep well.  When we lay our head down on our pillow at night, if our worship has been directed in the right place, there’s a direct effect on…..{big sigh} oh yeah.  Another way to say it is that the worship we offer either builds or breaks our bones.  What we do here on a Sunday morning actually can affect how you go to sleep tonight, if we do it right and we do it well.  If we remember that God is in his rightful place, that he sits enthroned above the universe, that he’s in control, then I don’t have to be…and neither do you.  There’s some amazing effects that stress, and anxiety, and worry, and control have on your body.  The anecdote to those, scripturally…..not all of them.  There’s some reasons that some of you can’t fall asleep at night that are completely physical…I get it.  Don’t email me!  Actually, I have a folder on my email of encouraging notes.  People email me all the time.  It’s great!  I could have ten wonderful, encouraging emails and one negative one and I remember the negative one.  I discard the negative one and keep the positive ones in a folder.  There’s some days where you just have to read through them and remind yourself the world is not falling apart.

Our worship affects not just our soul and not just our spirit, but our physical bodies.  Worry and control and stress have the ability to bury us.  They do.  The Scriptures will say things like:  Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication…(Phil. 4:6-7)   So, instead of anxiety, which is worship in the wrong place, turn yourself to worship your great God.

What do you do with a message like this?  Let me give you two things:  1) Listen to your body.  Your body is one of the loudest instruments you have to tell you what’s going on in your soul.  Things like stress, anxiety, neck pain (which has been associated with all sorts of things) are God’s bullhorn to you that something on a soul and spirit level is off.  Learn to listen to your body.  Learn to see anxiety, or an increased heart rate, or even envy as something that….alright God, what do you want me to relook at?  What do I need to carry and what do I need to bury?  What’s the way of wisdom here, because I’m convinced that words can either strengthen me or suffocate me, that my emotions will either build me or they’ll break me, and that the worship I offer has a very real effect on my physical body.  So, can we agree to listen better to our bodies?  They can tell us what’s going on in our soul.

Second — Care for your body.  You’re only going to get two of them!  You should care for them.  You have one now and then you’ll have a resurrected body.  I don’t need to go into all the things your doctor would tell you, but I’ll just give you a few.  Exercise every once in a while.  Eat healthy, it’ll help you be more aware of what’s going on in your soul.  Drink more water.  Praise the Lord that coffee is 99% water!!  Care for your body.

Let’s take a moment before we go running out of here.  Just between you and God.  What’s the Spirit of God saying to you?  About the reality that you’re an ensouled body—you’re body, soul, and spirit.  Are there some emotions that you’re carrying—envy, jealousy, grief, or sadness?  Those things are hard to discard nor should we, but to be honest about them, bring them before the Lord and ask that he would work.  There’s some things that you’re carrying that maybe today, for your holistic health, God would say it’s time to let that guilt go…it’s time to let that shame go…it’s a new day and I’ve got new things for you.   Jesus, this morning, would you, in these earthen vessels that we live in—body, soul, spirit—would you meet us?  We know, according to Scripture, our body’s a temple of the Holy Spirit, that you live and dwell within us. Would you just put your finger on some things going on in our life….maybe it’s emotions, maybe it’s words, maybe it’s worship.  Would you put your finger on some things in our life and call us out?  Call us to more.  Call us to wisdom.  We believe that the way of wisdom is health and healing for us, holistically, and we want it.  It’s in Jesus’s name we pray.  Amen.

South Fellowship Church, our benediction is out of 3 John 1:2 — Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.   Remember, true spirituality is not disembodied faith.  Creation, incarnation, and resurrection remind you this physical world matters.  So, let’s walk in wisdom with the emotions we carry, the words we carry, and with the worship we offer.  I pray it in the name of Jesus.  Amen.