Incorporating the counsel
I thank the Lord that I grew up in a family with parents who believed in a healthful way of living, having been influenced by the biblical and Spirit of Prophecy counsel regarding health practices. During my life I’ve enjoyed exercise and a vegetarian diet. I owe so much of my lifestyle to heavenly counsel and parental instruction and modeling.
My wife, Nancy, and I are very careful about our diet at home and while traveling. We are both lifelong vegetarians. Nancy is a wonderful cook and has increasingly been preparing very simple foods rather than elaborate or complicated dishes. We try to drink adequate amounts of water and avoid sugary drinks. Nancy is especially keen on drinking water and encourages me to keep myselfhydrated with God’s greatest drink.
Because of our travel schedule, getting adequate rest can be a real challenge, but we do our best to achieve it. When at home, I try to walk at least two miles a day. The Spirit of Prophecy says that walking is the best exercise. When we have time, we love to hike and ride bicycles.
Nancy and I thoroughly enjoy outside projects on our property. Nancy is an accomplished gardener, and I enjoy carpentry, gardening, and home projects—which provide a dramatic change from my normal activities of office work and travel.
Of course, we avoid harmful substances, including coffee. We try to live a simple, healthful lifestyle according to God’s counsel.
We have learned that when we eat and live properly, God blesses enormously. We are grateful for the health that God has provided and don’t take it for granted. A sound mind is dependent on simple, healthful living and a strong trust in divine power.
Whenever we are sleep-deprived or don’t get adequate exercise, not only does our energy level go down, we also don’t think as clearly. We feel sluggish, and that affects our communion with Heaven, since the Holy Spirit impresses us through the delicate nerve endings in our brains. When tired, it’s more difficult to concentrate when studying God’s Word or during prayer.
God has amply explained this in His Word with 3 John 2—“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (NKJV)1—showing us how closely physical and spiritual health are related, and how much God values good health.
We don’t earn our way to heaven by the health message, but we obey God’s moral and natural laws through the indwelling, sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit because we love God. We were created as “whole” persons, and God expects us to live life to the fullest through His power in every aspect of life—physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.
The health message is for our personal sanctification, and to share with others how Christ would have us live. Christ told us He came to give life more abundantly.
Sharing With Others
As we approach Christ’s soon second coming, I encourage every Seventh-day Adventist to be involved in comprehensive health ministry. You don’t need a professional health degree to share the practical benefits of God’s natural remedies, which can be remembered with the acronym CELEBRATIONS—choices, exercise, liquids, environment, belief, rest, air, temperance, integrity, optimism, nutrition, and social support and services. The acronym is derived and expanded from the eight natural remedies indicated in the Spirit of Prophecy.
Wonderful material for sharing CELEBRATIONS is available from the General Conference Health Ministries Department.2Many other denominational and supporting ministries have powerful materials that encourage people to take seriously God’s moral and natural laws.
Be part of God’s final outreach to the world as you share your personal testimony about your relationship with Christ and the dynamic health principles that He has given.
- Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.