Health is a wonderful gift for which we can thank God. But what is health?
Think of the difference between between having a toothache and having healthy teeth
that do not hurt? Think of the difference between having a miserable cold
and being healthy. Is there a difference
between having a cut (an open wound) that hurts and having skin that is whole
and healthy? Think of the difference between having a fever of 102 degrees and
normal. Is there a difference between feeling like you are going to
throw up and feeling fine?
What is good health? Is there more to health than just not being sick? Can a person who is not sick be unhealthy?
Letís think about some of the things that describe a healthy person:
Letís think about things that are hard. Which is harder? To go up steps
(stairs) or to come down steps? Would you rather walk up the Statue of Liberty
or walk down? Which is easierófalling out of a window or climbing to where the
window is? Going forward is harder than going backwards. [Think of
swimming up a stream.] Why is this so?
No one wants to be ill. How can we prevent illness? How can we keep ourselves from getting sick more than is necessary? Everyone gets sick from time to time, but is there anything we can do to help ourselves stay as healthy as possible and as free from sickness as possible?
More often than not, healthy children will grow up to be healthy adults. If we can learn the rules of health when we are young, then usually we will keep following these rules when we are older.
Think about the physical part of you: your body, brain, blood, and bones. What does the body need in order to stay healthy? Here are four things that are needed for physical health:
What are some things that harm the body? (Two examples are given.)
When we think about the body, every believer should remember 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. According to these verses, what is the believerís body? __________________________________________________ Who lives in this body? ______________________________ Who does this body belong to? _________________________ Why does it belong to Him? _____________________________________________________________ How can we glorify God in our bodies?
What are some things that harm the mind and that make the mind unhealthy? (One example is given.)
What kinds of food did God say man could eat after the flood (Genesis 9:2-3)? ___________________________________________________________________________ According to 1 Timothy 4:3-5, what has God given to man to eat? ________________________________________________ How should this food be received, with complaining or with thanksgiving? ________________________________ Why do we pray before eating? It is impossible to eat food that is perfectly cleanóthere are germs all around us and all around our food. But God is able to take care of any germs or impurities that might still be in the food. This is why we pray and ask God to set the food apart. Paul was careful to give thanks to God before eating (Acts 27:35)! Do you give thanks to God before you eat?
God made our bodies and He made us so that we need food ("our daily bread"). But if we only have food, we are missing something very important. Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread ________________ , but by _______________________________________________________________ (Matthew 4:4). What was Jesusí meat (food) (John 4:34)? ______________________________________ There is more to life than just eating and or drinking. To have real life we need to feed on Godís Word (John 6:63) and do His will.
Exercise is important for health. What would happen to our arm muscles if we never used them? What would happen to our ability to multiply if we never practiced multiplication? If we never multiplied, then we would soon forget how to do it! Bodily exercise is profitable, and spiritual exercise is much more profitable (1 Timothy 4:8). Physical exercise takes place when we use our muscles. Spiritual exercise takes place when we use Godís Word, and work with God's Word so that we follow what is good and avoid what is evil (see Hebrews 5:14).
Exercise is a healthy thing for young people. We all need to move around and run around and engage ourselves in different sports and games.
Certain supplies and equipment are needed to play certain sports and games. Can you name some?
How do these kinds of activities help your body? What is the difference between you playing catch with a ball and a New York Yankee or a Boston Red Sox player having a part in a major league ball game? Why do you play ball? Why does he play ball? Who does it for fun and enjoyment? Should you play just for fun and enjoyment? Do you play just for fun and enjoyment?
Do you need to be a star performer? Do you need to be the best? Why? Why not? We should always do our best and try our hardest, but this does not mean we are going to be the best player.
What happens to all our games and sports? Think about some of the great superstars in the world of sports today. When they grow older are they going to be able to play as well? Will there come a day when they will not be able to play at all? Then what? Is life more than sports? What is Godís purpose? What happens to this body? Why?
The Bible speaks of a special kind of strength that is better than the strength any young athlete has. Read Isaiah 40:26-31. Who is the One who is really strong (verse 26)? __________________ Does He ever get weary or tired (verse 28)?___________ What is He able to do for us (verse 29)? ____________________________________________________________________________ What will happen to even the greatest of athletes (verse 30)? ______________________________________________________ What is God able to do for us (verse 31)?
Cleanliness (keeping clean) is very important. The doctors and nurses and other people who work in a hospital try to keep everything as clean as possible. Doctors are very careful about washing their hands before they see a patient. Would you want a doctor with dirty hands to operate on you? Is it important to keep your hands clean?
We should seek to keep ourselves clean in every way possible, but we should also remember that God has ways of taking care of germs. The human body is wonderfully made and even though germs enter the body in different ways, God has made the body so that it fights germs and fights infections. Some people are overly worried about germs. Instead they need to relax and trust God. We do our part by keeping ourselves clean; God does His part in taking care of us as only He can.
God wants people to be clean and healthy, not only on the outside, but also on the inside, because He is clean: "Be ye holy; for am ______________" (1 Peter 1:16). "God is _______________ and in Him is no _________________________ at all" (1 John 1:5). God is pure and clean and holy! There is no pollution with God! Throughout the Bible we see that God has been teaching His people that there is a difference between what is clean and what is not clean! For example, in Leviticus chapter 11 God gave the children of Israel a whole list of animals that were clean (and could be eaten) and animals that were unclean (and could not be eaten). Today we know that God allows us to eat any animal (1 Timothy 4:4). Why did God have this list of clean and unclean animals for the children of Israel?
The answer is found at the end of Leviticus chapter 11. In Leviticus 11:44 God says, "ye shall be H__________; for I am _________." Does He say the same thing in verse 45? _______ Why did God do all this? Verse 47 gives the answer: "to make a difference between the ___________________ and the _______________." God is clean and holy and God wants His people to be clean and holy! God does not want His people to be all filthy with sin like the peoples of the other nations. The children of Israel needed to know that there was a difference between clean and unclean and that God wanted them to be clean (and not polluted with sin).
The Pharisees thought that they were clean and pleasing to God because they washed their hands in a special way and because they did this often (Mark 7:1-5). But the Lord Jesus knew that they were not clean at all! He knew that their hearts were unclean and filthy (Mark 7:20-23). They were very concerned about outer pollution but their real problem was the inner pollution of the heart. Often we try to blame everything else for our problems (we blame our school or our parents or our friends, etc.), when the real problem is our own sinful heart.
When a person believes on Christ and receives Him as Saviour, he is made
clean (cleansed from all his sins). The Bible talks about this wonderful
cleansing in John 13:10. ("Ye are clean!") As the saved person walks in
this world he can still become polluted with sin, and therefore he daily needs
to come to God for cleansing. This cleansing is described in 1 John 1:9. What
must the believer do to be clean, according to this verse? _____________________ What
does God promise to do?
What is a contagious disease? Contagious means something that another person can catch. A contagious disease is something that can go from one person to another person. Sometimes we call this an infectious disease. This means that the disease is easily spread. Can you think of some contagious diseases?
The Bible talks about contagious diseases, especially the terrible disease called leprosy. We learn what to do about this disease in Leviticus chapters 13-14. The person with this disease is pronounced unclean (Leviticus 13:3,44). This person is then isolated and kept away from other people so that the disease will not spread or be caught by others (Leviticus 13:5,46). Clothes must be washed (Leviticus 13:6) and if the disease is still in the garments they must be burned (Leviticus 13:52). When the man is healed he must be washed and his clothes must be washed (Leviticus 14:8). When the disease has contaminated a house, the house must be broken down and carried away (Leviticus 14:45). All of these rules were given by God to protect people from this terrible disease.
Today doctors have different rules so that diseases and germs do not spread. Everything in the hospital must be kept clean: clothes must be washed, beds must be changed and clean sheets put on, towels must be cleaned, etc. Everything must be disinfected. Even in our homes we have bottles and spray cans that disinfect and kill germs. Can you think of some things in your home that your family uses to kill germs (disinfect)? When do they use these things? For what do they use them?
The living God is the great Physician (Doctor)! He also has certain rules
which are given to protect man from the greatest disease of all ó the disease
of sin! God does not want sin to keep spreading! God has given us
instructions on how to get rid of sin, how to stay away from sin, how to prevent
sin and what to do about sin when we get infected with it. What are some of
these instructions? The Great Physician (Doctor) has the perfect remedy for our
health and for our healing.
Many people don't get the rest their bodies need. Can you think of ways this can harm them? How can lack of sleep affect others? (Traffic accidents, etc.)
Can you think of times when you didn't get enough sleep? How did you feel the next day?
Sometimes young people stay up too late at night watching TV or spending time on the computer or doing other things. Can we be alert in school and at home and learn everything God has for us if we are half asleep? _______
Sometimes people are fearful at night. Does God ever sleep (Psalm 121:4)? ______ He is always watching over us while we are asleep. David had many enemies who wanted to kill him, but he could say "I will both lay me down in peace, and _________________: for Thou, LORD, only makest me ____________ in ________________" (Psalm 4:8). Restful sleep comes from the Lord: "He _________________ His beloved __________________" (Psalm 127:4).
God also gives a wonderful rest of spirit to those who trust in Him. No matter how many problems we have, we can take them to God, knowing He will take care of them, and we can let our minds be at rest. "There remaineth therefore a ____________ to the ____________________ of God (Hebrews 4:9).
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May God help us to be the healthy and strong young people He wants us to be, as we honor His principles of proper eathing, exercise, cleanliness and rest--each and every day of our lives!