The Right Arm Indeed
More and more ASI presenters who participate in public evangelism or lead group Bible studies include health subjects in their repertoire.
Health is indeed the right arm of our message. We know that it is God’s will that we prosper and be in good health. God is interested in the whole being. He is not just seeking verbal or mental assent to the reality of His existence and the goodness of His grace. He seeks restoration of the whole person—body, mind, and spirit.
A feeble brotherhood of believers does not speak well of God. If before and after mug shots show no physical difference (at least a discernable joyous smile after baptism), perhaps a new lifestyle or exercise program is as important as Bible study.
Today there is widespread public interest in health, while many people can hardly identify Moses, Elijah, or Job as Biblical characters. They may attend a meeting to learn about vegetarian cooking—and then decide to stay when the Spirit of God touches their hearts with the “foolishness of preaching,” or when they make friends with some of the nicest people they have ever met.
As Seventh-day Adventists, we have much to offer in the area of healthful living. We know that there are real health advantages in observing a Sabbath day of rest and maintaining a healthy lifestyle without using unnecessary prescription drugs and stimulants.
A reverse influence is also possible when existing members see the changed lives of new believers. Many within the church have lost sight of the benefits of healthy lifestyle practices and their relationship to spiritual growth. Some are in need of repentance and restoration. The success of new believers in implementing healthy lifestyles can serve as a gentle rebuke.
I remember deciding to stop smoking cigars when I became persuaded that the nicotine in my brain would impair my ability to communicate with God in prayer. Why wouldn’t I want a clear channel of communication between me and my Best Friend?
We have a message that is holistic; let us share it in its fullness.