What’s the Healthiest Thing You Do?

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

As Americans we try all kinds of strategies to live longer. Many folks spend lots of money trying to stretch their years. We workout, eat organic, take our vitamins, and try everything we can to relieve stress.

On April 26, 1999, an article written by Richard Willing was published in USA Today. The article’s headlines read, “Study: Worshipers live longer than those who skip services.” The study conducted by the University of Texas and Florida State surveyed over 22,000 regular and occasional worshipers and non-worshipers over a nine-year period. The life expectancy for people who had a strong faith, and who attended church regularly, was 10% better than those who were weak in their faith. The life expectancy for weekly churchgoers was 83 years versus 75 years for those not attending church at all. It appears that the reward for those enjoying the peace and comfort only God can provide is that they may have to wait a little longer to get to heaven!

There is no doubt that the high-risk behaviors of some non-worshipers figures into the results of this survey. Certainly the attitudes, faith, spirit, and lifestyles that can come from consistently reading God’s Word has to have a healthy impact upon our lives, too. The wise counsel of Proverbs says, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the table of your heart.” Prov. 3:1-3

Consider the following poem. How much time are we spending in God’s Word? Where are our priorities?

Side By Side

They lie on the table side by side
The Holy Bible and the TV Guide.
One is well worn and cherished with pride.
Not the Bible, but the TV Guide.
One is used daily to help folks decide.
No, not the Bible, but the TV Guide.
As the pages are turned, what shall they see?
Oh, what does it matter, turn on the TV
So they open the book in which they confide.
No, not the Bible, but the TV Guide.

The Word of God is seldom read.
Maybe a verse before they fall into bed.
Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be.
Not from reading the Bible, from watching TV

So then back to the table side by side,
Lie the Holy Bible and the TV Guide.
No time for prayer, no time for the Word,
The plan of Salvation is seldom heard.
But forgiveness of sin, so full and free,
Is found in the Bible, not on TV
-Author Unknown

Let’s put first things first. After all, the Bible is the Word of Life.

The Power of Truth:

“The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” John 6:63b

“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.” Prov. 14:27

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Heb. 1:3a

Suggestion for Prayer:

During this Thanksgiving week be sure to thank God for His life-giving words.