How To Be Wholly Healthy

healthy-growthA man named Luke recorded a couple of amazing things about the life of Jesus. As both a doctor and an historian, Luke was an excellent “noticer.”

In first-century biographies, a person’s early life usually wasn’t mentioned. So it’s not uncommon that two of the four Gospel writers don’t pick up Jesus Christ’s life story until He was about 30 years old. Even Matthew, who did record something about the birth of Jesus, didn’t go into much detail.

Luke, however, notices two important things.

First, in covering the first 12 years of Christ’s life Luke says, “The Child grew and became strong…” (Luke 2:40).

healthy-growth-001The Greek word Luke uses for grew means a continual process of increasing. Sometimes we mistakenly think this means a continual movement on a graph upward and to the right. But I’ll give you one instance where this is not the case—when we record someone’s height, we do so in feet not in years. In other words, we say someone is 6’4” tall, but we don’t say they are 6-years and 4-months fall. We understand there is a limit to that sort of growth.

What Luke is referring to is a different kind of continual increasing. All of us go through four quadrants as we learn:

  • unconscious incompetence—we’re no good in an area but we don’t even know it
  • conscious incompetence—we know that we’re no good in an area
  • conscious competence—we’re good in an area but we still have to think about what we’re doing
  • unconscious competence—we’ve gotten so good in an area that we no longer need to think about it

healthy-growth-003When Luke said Jesus grew, he meant not upward and to the right, but a continual cycle of learning what He didn’t know and increasing His competence in that area. When Luke said Jesus grew and became strong, he was saying that Jesus learned how to apply the lessons He was continually learning.

Second, in covering Christ’s next 18 years Luke says, “Jesus grew (Luke 2:52), but he uses an entirely different word. This Greek word means to be hammered out, as a blacksmith hammers metal into shape. Notice that Jesus is not the One doing the hammering, but He is the One submitting to His Father’s hammering. He is letting God the Father shape Him into what He needs to be.

Luke says that Jesus grew in…

  1. …wisdom—mental health
  2. …stature—physical health
  3. …favor with God—spiritual health
  4. …favor with men—emotional (or social) health

In other words, Jesus was growing in a wholly healthy way. God wants us to be wholly healthy too. He wants us to continually allow Him to point out areas where we are lacking, and then submit to His guidance on how we can improve in those areas.

I’ll be exploring these four areas—mental, physical, spiritual and emotional—over the next few weeks. But in the meantime, why don’t you pray the prayer David prayed and ask God’s Spirit to search out any areas where you are falling short of optimal health. And then submit to God’s work of helping you get wholly healthy in every area of your life.

 

8 Quotes From “Today’s Moment Of Truth”

Today's Moment Of TruthThere is so much excellent content to digest in each day’s reading from Today’s Moment Of Truth. Be sure to check out my book review by clicking here. Below are th first set of quotes I’m sharing from this book.

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” —Robert Jastsrow, founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute For Space Studies

“As astronomers have discovered, our sun and moon are much more exceptional than once thought. Our sun is far from ordinary; it has exactly the right mass and composition and is the ideal distance from the earth to enable life on our planet. If it were much smaller, its luminosity wouldn’t allow the high-efficiency photosynthesis necessary in plants; if it were much closer, the water would boil away from the planet’s surface. Similarly, our moon is just far enough away and just the right size to stabilize the Earth’s tilt. Without the moon’s stabilizing presence, the Earth would experience wild temperature swings, with devastating consequences for life.” —Lee Strobel

“I think people who believe that life emerged naturalistically need to have a great deal more faith than people who reasonably infer that there’s an Intelligent Designer. —Walter Bradley, co-author of The Mystery Of Life’s Origin

“An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.” —Francis Crick, Nobel Prize winner

“It is my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It was only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.” —Allan Rex Sandage, cosmologist

“The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.” —Sir Arthur Eddington

“Secular scientists often talk as though life came about through this formula: Matter + Energy + Time = Life. However, when scientists go into their labs and try to produce life, they add another ingredient—one they often don’t think about. The formula they really use is: Matter + Energy + Time + Ideas = Life. 

“In other words, they’re not just throwing all of the ingredients into a blender, switching it to the highest setting, and hoping life will pop out at the end. Rather, they’re applying the best of scientific knowledge to selecting the elements necessary for living matter as well as the conditions that will be conducive for life to flourish.

“Putting it another way, they’re trying to replicate what God did. And if they finally succeed, it’ll only serve to reinforce what the Bible says—that God created life.” —Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith

“When this church service is over, I’m heading to the airport to fly back home. But it’s not enough for me to sit in the terminal and believe that airplanes fly. Just acknowledging the soundness of aviation science will never get me home. I have to go beyond mere belief that airplanes fly to a personal belief in the particular airplane that’s heading to my city—demonstrated by climbing on board. It’s that active trust that will ultimately get me where I want to go. Similarly, we all need to go beyond merely believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the Cross for our sins. We must take the next step and trust in Him personally, asking Him to forgive our sins and to lead our lives.” —Mark Mittelberg

If you would like to know when I post more quotes from Today’s Moment Of Truth, you may enter your email address in the form to the right, and you will be notified by email as soon as new content is available.

Also be sure to follow me on Twitter and Tumblr, where I will be sharing quotes from this book, along with lots of other material I’ve been studying.

Book Reviews From 2015

Links & Quotes

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“Those of us who are married need to ponder again and again how mysterious and wonderful it is that God grants us in marriage the privilege to image forth stupendous divine realities infinitely bigger and greater than ourselves.” —John Piper

“Have we any work to do now that we can set about at once? If we have, whatsoever our hand finds to do, let us do it. Let us not be asking for greater abilities than we have. If we can get them, let us do so; but meanwhile let us use what we have. … The best preparation for it will be, renew your dedication to Christ, be much in earnest prayer, seek the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, and then go forth in your Master’s strength with this as your resolve—that as portraits of Jesus Christ it shall be said of you, ‘He went about doing good’ [Acts 10:38].” —Charles Spurgeon

“The only difference between the Christian life and any other life is the matter of where we stand as we encounter the everyday trials and difficulties of life. … Even though the circumstances of a Christian’s life change, and even become adverse and cumbersome at times, this does not alter the fact that the Christian stands in—has access to, come what may—the glory of God. Believers may, under all circumstances and in every situation, slump down into the loving arms of the Lord and find glory and strength to help them bear up with joy and peace through even the worst life can throw at them.” —T.M. Moore

“Better to ask twice than to lose your way once.” —Danish Proverb

Sad to see how abortion providers target minority communities. Two-thirds of abortions in Michigan are done in the Detroit area, where only 40 percent of the state’s population is.

Eric Metaxas has some great advice for talking to your atheist friends about the problems with Darwin’s theories.

 

Links & Quotes

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“‘God works for those who wait for Him’ (Isaiah 64:4). The proper connotation of saying God works for me is that I am bankrupt and need a bailout. I am weak and need someone strong. I am endangered and need a protector. I am foolish and need someone wise. I am lost and need a Rescuer. ‘God works for me’ means I can’t do the work.” —John Piper

“Pure holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh.” —Francis of Assisi

The Cedar Springs Post has a nice article about our residents which are featured in the Heart of West Michigan’s ArtPrize. Glad our town is so well represented!

This is pretty amazing: why the information in our DNA points to a Creator.

Eric Metaxas explains how the heroin epidemic in our country is a great opportunity for the church.

5 lies that lead to burnout.

[VIDEO] Cecile Richards admits under oath that Planned Parenthood has lied about providing mammograms—

And here is a list of how beyond lying to the public, Planned Parenthood continues to break the law!

12 Quotes From “In Light Of Genetics”

Dr. John SanfordDr. John Sanford’s ebook In Light Of Genetics is fascinating reading. It’s a bit technical in certain places, but I think Dr. Sanford does a good job making the genetic concepts accessible to almost anyone. Check out my book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes from this work.

“Forensic evidence is never conclusive, and so scientific claims about the distant past must always contain an element of belief. The direction of genetic change is down, not up. Humanity is devolving due to mutation.”

“We feel biological similarities between different kinds of life are better explained by a Common Designer than by common descent.”

“We are unique and alone now in the world. There is no other animal species that truly resembles our own. A physical and mental chasm separates us from all other living creatures. There is no other bipedal mammal. No other mammal controls and uses fire, writes books, travels in space, paints portraits, or prays. This not a question of degrees. It is all or nothing; there is no semi-bipedal animal, none that makes only small fires, writes only short sentences, builds only rudimentary spaceships, draws just a little bit, or prays just occasionally.” —Juan Arsuaga, writing in The Neanderthal’s Necklace

“Man is a singular creature. He has a set of gifts which make him unique among the animals: so that, unlike them, he is not a figure in the landscape—he is a shaper of the landscape.” —Jacob Bronowski

“From a genetic point of view, the genes that enable our unique capabilities, gifts, and talents (i.e., science, art, love, relation to God) could not arise by any series of random mutations filtered by natural selection—not in any amount of time. There is no credible mechanism that could lead to spontaneous origin of mind, consciousness, intelligence, soul, or spirit. Indeed, while these human traits are found within a biological context (i.e., within an animal-like body/brain), they clearly transcend mere biology. We are exquisitely programmed to be more than animals, and our bodies are well-designed vessels that house our immaterial being: mind, soul, and spirit.”

“Leading human geneticists agree that in mankind deleterious (bad) mutations are accumulating faster than they are being selected away, and so the human genome is degenerating. … The data are highly consistent. The coefficient of determination (matching the curve to the data) is very high: 0.96. Due to the consistency of the decay rate, we can also rule out the idea that there were hundreds (or thousands) of missing generations that were not recorded. We conclude that the genealogical record must either be complete or very nearly complete. This validation of the genealogical record very powerfully points to the historicity and reliability of the book of Genesis.”

“Mounting evidence shows that natural selection is not a creative force, but is a stabilizing force that helps preserve the various kinds of life (i.e., it culls out the most dysfunctional individuals). It is very clear that natural selection cannot create our genome, let alone our mind and soul. At best, natural selection can only slow down the rate of genetic degeneration. … Because of the great abundance of deleterious mutations and the extreme rarity of beneficial mutations, it is not possible for mankind to achieve a net gain of genetic information.”

“Our latest numerical simulations show that in the type of pre-human population that supposedly gave rise to modern man, billions of years would be required just to create and establish a new genetic text string as small as six or seven letters, such as ‘GTCGCT’ or ‘GAGTTCA.’ Yet such a string would be just a drop in the ocean of new information needed to transform an ape into a man.”

“In the biblical model, humanity begins with Adam and Eve, who descendants rapidly multiply, and then, went through a one-generation bottleneck at the time of the Flood, then the population once again rapidly increased, followed by rapid divergence at the Tower of Babel event, creating today’s people groups.”

“If Adam’s genome was intelligently designed, it would obviously have had a great number of designed genetic variants. Otherwise all people would essentially be clones of Adam and Eve, which would be bad design, for many obvious reasons. … Even though many mutations have accumulated in the genome during human history, it is reasonable to conclude that most observable human genetic variation was created by God. The biblical perspective has unique explanatory power in terms of giving a credible explanation for the amazing range of human traits and abilities. There is no single ‘superior genotype.’ We all have unique sets of gifts and talents, which very reasonably reflect good design, and for which we can give thanks to God.”

“We have statistically analyzed over 800 human mitochondrial sequences and have been able to reconstruct and publish a very close approximation of Eve’s mitochondrial sequence. We found that the average human being is only about 22 mutations removed from the Eve sequence, although some individuals are as much as 100 mutations removed from Eve. Can we account for this amount of mutation in a biblical timeframe? Easily. The most recent estimate of the mutation rate in human mitochondria is about 0.5 per generation. Thus, even for the most mutated sequences, it would only require 200 generations (less than 6,000 years) to accumulate 100 mutations.”

“Now, by God’s grace, we do not have to choose between faith in God’s Word vs. faith in science, we can embrace both. There is now very strong genetic evidence that strongly supports Scripture and refutes evolution.”

In Light Of Genetics (ebook review)

Dr. John SanfordWhen I went to college, I went as a biomedical chemistry major. I began my collegiate education at a Christian liberal arts university, and then transferred to a very secular state university. Ever since that time, I have always been deeply interested in the scientific fields, especially biology. So I was excited to read Dr. John Sanford’s paper In Light Of Genetics: Adam, Eve and the Creation/Fall.

In my Christian education experience, the scale was slightly weighted in favor of a biblical view of Creation. In my state university experience, the scale was overwhelming tipped toward an evolutionary paradigm. At both universities, I had rather intense conversations with my professors and classmates about hard science viewed through a biblical paradigm. Dr. Sanford’s paper was an encouraging study to read because of its balance between science and the Bible.

You can read Dr. Sanford’s full paper by clicking here, but here are a few highlights for me:

  • Genetic evidence is pointing more and more toward the biblical description of Creation.
  • The “junk DNA” claim that Darwinists need to support their theories of evolution are being proven invalid.
  • There is clearly a “Mitochondrial Eve” whose DNA sequence is evident in living human beings today.
  • There is also a “Y Chromosome Adam” whose DNA sequence is equally as evident.
  • Molecular clocks point to a young genome for biological life.
  • The Y chromosomal differences between man and chimp are far greater than evolutionist theories predicted.
  • The genetic differences/similarities seen today fit perfectly with the account of the biblical Flood.

For all my geeky science friends, I will post some quotes from this paper soon.

Whether you are a geek or not, this is fascinating reading! I encourage my friends who hold Darwinist views to read this, and then let’s talk. I also encourage my Creationist friends to read this too, and use these studies to strengthen your apologetics.

Read more about Dr. Sanford and his work here.

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