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Sermon Outlines - Topical Sermons - Prescription For Spiritual Health


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                  "PRESCRIPTION FOR SPIRITUAL HEALTH"


INTRODUCTION

1. In 3 Jn 2, John expresses his concern for Gaius' physical well-
   being...
   a. Implied is the excellent status of Gaius' spiritual well-being
   b. How about our spiritual health?

2. Spiritual vitality and strength are attained only through effort...
   a. Just like physical health requires a proactive approach to
      wellness
   b. What is need to maintain a good level of spiritual health?

3. While I am not a doctor, nor play one on TV...
   a. Let's take a look at the Great Physician's "PDR" (physician's desk
      reference, i.e., the Bible)
   b. To see if we can't come up with a "Prescription For Spiritual
      Health"

[Both physical health and spiritual health require...]

I. A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM

   A. TO WARD OFF DISEASE...
      1. Without a healthy immune system, relatively small threats can
         be deadly
      2. Spiritually, how strong is our ability to withstand threats
         like:
         a. Temptation?
         b. False teaching?
         c. Persecution?

   B. TO FACE THE INEVITABLE...
      1. Temptation and spiritual hardships are inevitable
         a. We can't live in a bubble
         b. Going out of the world to avoid all contact with temptation
            is not possible - Jn 17:15; cf. 1 Co 5:9,10; 1 Jn 5:18
      2. Spiritually speaking, we need to build up our resistance
         - Ja 4:7

   C. WITH A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM...
      1. We will be able to take heed, lest we fall - 1 Co 10:12
      2. We will be able to live circumspectly - Ep 5:15-17
      3. We will be able to withstand the wiles of the devil - Ep 6:
         10,11

[Contributing to a strong immune system is...]

II. REGULAR EXERCISE

   A. WE THRIVE ONLY WHEN ACTIVE...
      1. This is true spiritually as well as physically
      2. There is the danger of becoming spiritually "sluggish" - cf.
         He 6:11,12

   B. THE NECESSITY OF SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY...
      1. We have been created to walk in good works - Ep 2:10
         a. There is work to be done - Ti 3:8,14
         b. We have been saved in order to serve - Mt 20:27,28
      2. Each of us individually has work to do - 1 Co 12:6,7,18; cf.
         2 Ti 2:20,21
         a. We each need to exercise ourselves unto godliness - 1 Ti
            4:7,8
         b. We must work while there is time and opportunity - Ga 6:9;
            cf. Jn 9:4
         c. We can work most effectively within the framework of the
            local congregation!
            1) Fulfilling needed roles in evangelism, edification,
               benevolence
            2) Such as personal work, teaching Bible classes,
               ministering to the sick

[While there is much work to do, and work is conducive to spiritual
health, so also is...]

III. PERIODIC REST

   A. ENERGIES AND RESOURCES NEED REPLENISHING...
      1. When much productive work has been done, we need rejuvenation
         to continue
         a. We must stop and sharpen the saw
         b. Otherwise we become exhausted, and suffer "burnout"
      2. Periods of retreat characterized the Lord's ministry - Mk 6:
         30-31
         a. We are made such that we need some downtime
         b. There is value in periodic solitude, where we can meditate,
            reflect, rest

   B. WE FUNCTION BEST ALTERNATING WORK AND REST...
      1. Spiritually, as well as physically, the Lord designed us to
         function best within the round of cycles and seasons that
         alternate between work and rest
      2. The Lord Himself took time to be alone, to pray - Mk 1:35; Lk
         5:16

   C. SPIRITUAL REST DOESN'T MEAN DOING NOTHING...
      1. It means doing something different that will refresh and
         restore our energy for work
      2. It allows time for quiet prayer and Bible study
         a. Releasing anxiety and enjoying the peace of Christ - Ph 4:
            6-7
         b. Feeding our minds with things of virtue and good report - Ph
            4:8-9

[Whatever the content of our usual activities, we simply cannot remain
spiritually strong without significant periods of restful change.  Not
only for ourselves, but do we also appreciate the need for our brethren
to "take a break"?  Finally, let's not neglect to mention the importance
of...]

IV. A HEALTHY DIET

   A. PROVIDING SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT...
      1. We do not live by bread alone, but by the Word of God - Mt 4:4
      2. The Lord's words are the words of life - Jn 6:63,68
      3. We grow by virtue of the pure milk of the word - 1 Pe 2:2-3

   B. AVOIDING SPIRITUAL JUNK FOOD...
      1. The Bible refers to that which is "sound doctrine" (lit.,
         healthy teaching) - Ti 2:1
      2. There is also that which is opposite "sound doctrine"
         a. Anything which teaches contrary to the blessed gospel - cf.
            1 Ti 1:9-11
         b. Which may appeal to those with "itching ears" - cf. 2 Ti 4:
            2-4
      -- Health-giving nourishment involves both the assimilation of
         nutritious food, and the avoidance of toxic substances!

CONCLUSION

1. The "Prescription For Spiritual Health" is a simple one...
   a. A Healthy Diet
   b. Periodic Rest
   c. Regular Exercise
   -- Which together builds a A Strong Immune System

2. If we follow this prescription, our spiritual health and progress
   will be evident - 1 Ti 4:11-16
   a. Saving not only ourselves
   b. But blessing those around us as well (infecting them with good
      health!)

If we are not as spiritually healthy as we know we should be, then
follow the Great Physician's "Prescription For Spiritual Health".  If we
are overcome by the disease of sin, then look to Him who provides
spiritual healing and renewal:

            "Bless the LORD, O my soul;
               And all that is within me, bless His holy name!"
            "Bless the LORD, O my soul,
               And forget not all His benefits:"
            "Who forgives all your iniquities,
               Who heals all your diseases,"
            "Who redeems your life from destruction,
               Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies,"
            "Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
               So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

                                    - Psa 103:1-5

Note:  The main idea and several thoughts from this lesson were taken
from a lesson by Gary Henry.  The URL for his web site containing many
excellent articles and sermon outlines is:  http://www.brasstacks.org
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