Last week we looked at various different aspects set out in the bible as to why God considers what we do with our bodies as important. God is not just interested in our spirit or soul but our body as well. Jesus of course inhabited a body when He walked on earth (and now has a glorified one in heaven) and the Holy Spirit has chosen to inhabit our bodies now.
This week I am going to look at different parts of the body and use them as reference points as to how you can honour God with your body
We can honour God with what we choose to look at, or more importantly what we don’t look at. I am referring mainly to sexual images and pornography. Our eyes are a major portal into our body. What we look at can very quickly shape our desires and attitudes. Jesus defined adultery by stating that it was not just the act itself, but what goes on in our minds and hearts when we dwell on what we look at. We have already looked at this subject when we studied ‘The sermon on the mount’ http://adrianpursglove.com/tearing-out-your-eye/;
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)
But eyes can be used to lust after other things, such as a piece of cake! This leads me on to another part of the body
Gluttony is named as one of the major sins in the bible but it is rarely spoken of today. It has almost become an ‘acceptable’ sin. One that we, especially in the West, commit regularly without a second thought. When was the last time you had such a huge meal that you felt uncomfortable? You had eaten far more than you needed to. That is the sin of gluttony.
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. (Proverbs 25:16)
We can also do the same with alcohol. Drink more than we need to and lose control.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
The Apostle James has a lot to say about how dangerous the tongue can be. How we use our tongue can honour God by encouraging others, but it can also dishonour Him by talking angrily or hurtfully to others, by spreading gossip or telling lies
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. (James 1:26)
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. (James 3:5-6) strong words!
Just as the tongue can be used to honour or dishonour God, so what we listen to can do the same. We can honour God by refusing to listen to gossip or people who trash talk other people or even people who just speak lies:
An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue. (Proverbs 17:4)
5. Arms & legs
I’m referring here to physical exercise. Obviously the bible doesn’t talk too much about going to the Gym or working out but it does suggest that physical exercise has some use;
for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way (1 Timothy 4:8)
As our bodies are referred to as temples of the Holy Spirit it would be wise to look after them and keep them healthy. After all, the more energy we have, the more we can achieve for God. We do have to be balanced in this though as many can take exercise too far and be in danger of actually worshipping the body.
OK, I know I am pushing the analogy a bit here but I am referring to sleep and rest. Being too tired and exhausted is not a good thing. God has given us sleep as a gift
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2)
God also introduced the principle of Sabbath rest, so that we could recuperate.
And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27)
Our bodies get tired as a constant reminder that we are not God. He has set limits on our bodies to keep us humble and reliant on Him. He of course does not need to sleep;
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:4)
Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! (Psalm 90:17)
There are many ways we can use our hands to honour God. It could refer to our employment which we looked at a couple of weeks ago. It could refer to being creative. It could refer to using our hands to help others and it could also refer to works of service which we perform for God. This is what I am going to look at next week.