Nobleton Community Church
February 25, 2024
Matthew 18:1-4
Pastor Paul V Lehmann

Listen to the audio here

In the gospel of Matthew there are a few recurring themes: True spirituality; living by faith; and achieving greatness. All of these themes overlap to some extent. Matthew 18 begins with the disciples re-opening these issues again by asking Jesus a question:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

In other words, “What does it mean to be a five-star Christian?” Or another way you might say it is: “What does it mean to be truly spiritual in God’s eyes…to be truly holy?”

In the next three chapters of Matthew, Jesus teaches about the nature of holiness. What does it mean to be holy in God’s eyes? How does one become “the greatest in the kingdom?” This is the topic we’ll be addressing, and I’m going to give away the ending right now — I’ll let you know how this will end. Becoming a five-star Christian — becoming the greatest in God’s kingdom — has almost everything to do with how you treat others.

The Bible says that when Jesus was asked this question, he called a young child forward to stand with them and he said…

I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

These verses, three words jump out at us: “Unless you change.” Jesus spoke these words to his disciples — men who had been following him for almost three years; men who had already performed miracles in his name; men who would ultimately turn the world upside down with the message of the gospel.

These were great men, and Jesus said to them, “Unless you change…” These words teach us a primary principle in becoming holy; this may seem rather obvious, but it’s a principle that must be noted.


The Bible teaches that we are born in sin, that we are born sinners, that we are, in our natural state, separated from God. He is good, we are not. We may make the occasional stab at goodness, but without experiencing a life-transformation, we will never become truly holy.

Just like the disciples, when we make the decision to follow Jesus, that’s where the process of change begins, it’s not where it ends. When you make the decision to follow Jesus, he comes into your life, he wipes away the past, he cleanses you of your sins, and he gives you a new life. At that point, you begin a journey into holiness.

I want to make something clear: for each and every one of us, it is a long journey. In fact, it is a lifelong journey. As long as we live, we must be 3 engaged in the process of change. As long as we have breath, there will be things that we need to eliminate from our life and things we need to add to our life in order to become more like him. The question, then, that we must ask ourselves is not “do I need to change anything about myself?” but rather, “what do I need to change about myself in order to live a life more pleasing to God?” And I can guarantee that he has an answer for each one of us. In today’s text, he spells out the first change we must make…

“Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Become like little children. That’s it. Do you want to be holy? Do you want to be a top-tier Christian — the greatest in God’s kingdom? Then you have to change; you have to become like a little child. What does that mean — to become like a child?

Today we’ll look at three characteristics of child-like faith. I want to quickly point out that he said that we’re to be child-like, not child-ish. It’s not that we don’t grow in the knowledge of his Word, it’s not the we become pouty and petulant and kick and scream when we don’t get our way. He’s not telling us to imitate the worst behavior of some children, he’s telling us to develop the attitude of a child .The first attitude is….

Verse 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 4 Have you ever noticed how our attempts at humility are often laden with pretentiousness? Oftentimes our efforts are focused on doing things that make us appear humble, rather than striving for true humility.

There’s a joke about a pastor who one day was overcome with a sense of humility and entered into the sanctuary and fell on the altar saying, “Oh, Lord, I’m nothing. I’m nothing.”

The associate pastor heard the commotion and followed suit, kneeling beside the pastor, saying, “Oh Lord, I’m nothing, I’m nothing.”

Then the youth director showed up, heard the other pastors praying and he joined in, “Oh Lord, I’m nothing, I’m nothing.”

The associate then tapped the pastor on the shoulder, pointed at the youth leader, rolled his eyes and said, “Get a load of who thinks he’s nothing.” Too often our efforts at humility are merely surface level efforts; we want to look humble more than we want to be humble. We think that humility is defined by the car we drive or the clothes we wear or our physical posture. For example, the Rule of St. Benedict, written hundreds of years ago, says…

“A monk should be not easily moved or quick to laughter…when a monk speaks he should do so gently and without laughter, humbly, gravely and with few and reasonable words…a monk should always show his humility to all who see him…in the monastery, in the garden, when traveling, in the field, or wherever he may be, whether sitting, walking or standing, he should always keep his head bent down, his gaze fixed to the ground.” [Rule of St. Benedict]

The Rule of St. Benedict teaches many other things about humility that are quite valuable, but this is often the only part we pick up on — that humility is about staring at your shoestrings. And, of course, it’s much more than that.

Jesus said, “Whoever humbles himself like this child…” How does a child humble himself?

For starters, a child is not pretentious. Children are not likely to put on airs; they’re most often straightforward and honest about who they are, and they accept others the same way.

I mean, have you ever met a class-conscious child? Of course not. Put a kid with rich parents on a playground, and he’ll make friends with the poor kids. A child will also make friends with children of other races; they accept everyone as they are — until they’re taught differently. Children aren’t pretentious. They don’t see themselves as being more than they really are; they don’t see others as being less than they really are.

Charles Swindoll gave a good example of this. He told about some kids who built a playhouse and posted these rules on the door:

  1. No one acts big.
  2. No one acts small.
  3. Everyone acts medium. Do you want to develop the humility of a child? Act medium towards everyone. Treat everyone as your equal. It’s been said that humility doesn’t mean that you think less of yourself, it means that you think of yourself less. Don’t be the most important person 6 in your world; develop the humility of a child — treat others as your equal. Act medium.

Jesus said that to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must become like a child. One way we become like a child is through humility. Another way is through…


it’s not until they become teen-agers that people begin to think they know everything. Children remain quite teachable. And have you ever noticed how much little children love to learn? When you ask a child, “Do you want to practice your ABC’s?” they’ll never say, “No, thanks, not today. I’ve got too much on my mind and I just can’t deal with it right now.” Instead, they say, “YEAH!” and they sing that song over and over and over again.

And when you offer to read a book to a little child, they never say, “Do I have to hear that story again? We’ve been through that book a thousand times. Go get the encyclopedia and read that to me.” Instead, little children absorb those books like every time is their first time. They love the process of learning: “That’s a cat, that’s a dog; that’s yellow, that’s blue…” and on and on.

And have you ever tried to complete a household project with a child around? They’re between you and what your work, asking, “What are you doing? Why did you do that? What is this for? Can you show me how to do it?”

Kids aren’t just teachable, they’re enthusiastically teachable. Have you ever met a first grader who didn’t love school?

This is the same attitude we must bring to the Christian life. We must be enthusiastically teachable.

The prerequisite of this is that we must first acknowledge that we don’t know everything. For some, this is very difficult.

In some churches, there are some people who believe that they are more spiritual than anyone else in the church, including the pastor. For them the teaching is never deep enough, the worship is never intense enough, and they just don’t get much out of church. These people are rarely involved in serving others and tend to church hop.

In every church I’ve been in there is another group of people who have a dynamic walk with Christ, who leave each Sunday service exhilarated, and who are accomplishing things for God between Sundays

There is never any overlap between group A and group B, because they represent two completely different mindsets — one group is teachable, one isn’t.

Now folks, I may not be the greatest preacher in the world —— but I do preach the Word of God to the best of my ability, and the fact is: if you’re teachable, then God will speak to you through the sermon. I mean, if God can speak through a donkey in the Old Testament, the parallel is obvious: he can speak through me.

If you don’t get anything out of a sermon, the problem most likely is not the sermon; the problem most likely is your attitude. Are you teachable?

Listen to what Solomon said:

Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers. (Proverbs 16:20)

Do you want to become a top-tier Christian? Become like a little child: recognize that you don’t know everything there is to know, and become enthusiastically teachable. There’s a third principle here to look at. Humility, Teachability, and…


“Unless you change and become like little children…”

You know what I’ve noticed about children? They’re utterly dependent and they know it. You’ll never hear a five year old say, “I’m a self-made child…I picked myself up from my bootstraps and made myself what I am.” They don’t say that; they’re utterly dependent. They say, “I’m hungry. I need help. Will you do this for me? Will you get this for me?” etc.

Just as children are completely dependent on their parents, we need to be completely dependent on God.

Listen to what Paul said in the book of 2 Corinthians. He talks about the hardships he has faced, and then he says…

Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead…On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us…(2 Corinthians 1:9-10) 9

The Apostle Paul, had to learn dependence in order to become a great Christian. We have to learn dependence, too. God isn’t looking for a bunch of self-made disciples who can get through life without his help. He’s looking for followers who will depend on him for everything.

Alex Haley, author of Roots, had a picture in his office of a turtle sitting on a fence post. He said the picture was there to remind him of an important lesson: if you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he had some help getting there. Haley said, “Every time I’m tempted to think, ‘Aren’t I marvelous? Look at all I’ve accomplished!’ I look at that picture and remember how this turtle me — got up on that post.”

That’s how much we need to depend on God. Becoming great in God’s kingdom — becoming a holy person — is about as possible as a turtle climbing a fence. We can’t do it on our own; we have to depend on him.

Are you struggling with sin right now? Are you fighting it in your own power? Are you trying to accomplish goodness on your own? It’ll never work.

You have to get to the place where you depend on God. Are you struggling with your emotions right now — feeling things you don’t want to feel, wanting things you shouldn’t want? You’ll never win this battle on your own. You need God’s help.

Just like a child can’t go out and earn the money to pay the mortgage, you cannot manufacture holiness on your own. And just like a child depends on his parents for food and shelter, we must learn to depend on God for strength for daily living.

We must pray, “God, I cannot change the way I feel, and sometimes it seems I cannot control my actions, my temper, or my sinful desires. All I can do is depend on you to change me through your mercy and power.”

Do you want to be a good Christian…a top-tier Christian…the greatest in God’s kingdom? In order to become holy you must change, but you can’t do it on your own.

Stop working at it as if you were working for a job promotion, and do it the way Jesus said: become like a child.

Be humble. Put everyone else on the same level as you; act medium.

Be teachable. Acknowledge that you don’t know all there is to know, and enthusiastically embrace instruction.

And be dependent. It may go against the grain of American rugged individualism, but it’s the only way to grow.

Stop depending on yourself and start depending on God, just as a child depends on his parents for all that he needs. When you become like a child, you will become mighty in the eyes of God.

Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10)

Yard and Bake Sale

Save the Date and bring your money!!! Our semi-annual Sale is coming up
March 8th & 9th! 8am to 1pm.


Nobleton Community Church
February 4, 2024
text. I John 2:1-11; I Peter 2:2-21
Pastor Paul V Lehmann

Listen to live audio here

John told us in chapter one that what they had heard, seen, and touched was what they as apostles of Jesus were proclaiming as the Gospel message. They were doing it so that we could have fellowship with each other as fellow believers. Then he says that their fellowship was with God and that if we claim to have fellowship with him we must not walk in darkness, otherwise we are lying when we say that we have fellowship with God. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. Because when we sin he will forgive it, if we confess it. (I John 1:9) 

Then to make sure that this gospel truth of knowing that through Jesus Christ and because of his shed blood we have forgiveness of sin, was not stressed as a license for sinning, he takes the other seemingly paradoxical position of saying he is writing to us so that we don’t sin. 

Far from tolerating sin, he says “I would have you aim at being sinless. Let it be deliberately set before you as your fixed and settled purpose that you are not to sin. Not merely that you are to sin as little as you can, but that you are not to sin at all. Absolute holiness is to be your standard for it is God’s standard, and as a Christian, you are in him. 

Now we may acknowledge a sinless ideal and our obligation to it, but often times this acknowledgment is accompanied by some sort of reserve or qualification. You do not really mean to be altogether without sin; but only so far as your own ability to keep from sinning goes, (but oh yes, we say, aided by the Holy Spirit.) 

The problem is, in regards to a specific temptation you do not really mean not to sin, in it, but only not to sin in it more than you can help. In other words, I’ll try to do what the Lord wants, but I know I’ll fail. And I know how I’ll fail. But is that, however, a really honest determination on your part not to sin? I don’t think so!

But John is showing us throughout this book that we are to be actively resisting sin and following after holiness, after the light, obeying him. No, whoever claims to live in him, must walk as Jesus walked. 

The other verse that that was read I Peter 2:21;  Peter says to this you were allied, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS.  

There was a book written in 1897 by Charles Sheldon entitled “In His Steps,” based on this passage. In more recent years it has been reprinted and even a movie was made about it.  The main theme was about what would Jesus do if he saw a down-and-out person –out of work and dressed shabbily.    (This book is available on Amazon) There were bumper stickers, some years ago, and teenagers wore bracelets with the initials W.W.J.D. These are still available if one would like to have them.  The story presents a church and pastor who makes the commitment to always ask this question. We read about the blessings that came on each one as they obeyed Christ. 

For us let’s consider what it means to LIVE IN HIM. 

To understand this verse we need to study the use of the word translated “to live in him”. To walk as Christ walked is essential to our abiding in God. Not merely being in God as we have it in verse 5, but being in him permanently; continuing or abiding in him –living in him. Jesus tells us; “if you obey my commands, you will remain (abide) in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 

So if we would abide in God as he did, we must walk as he walked, keeping the Father’s commandments as he kept them. Thus this verse fits into those that go before, and complete, so far, the apostle’s description at the divine fellowship, viewed as a fellowship of holy light, and transforming, obedient knowledge.

To live in Him means to abide, to stay, to remain, all part of the verb to live, but implies more than position. When used of remaining or staying in a home in also implies fellowship, communion, dependence harmony, and friendship. It is used in a number of Gospel passages   
Matt. 10:11 Jesus told his disciples to stay at the house of the person who receives them until they leave the village 
Matt.  26:36 When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane he asked the three disciples who were with him, “Stay here and keep watch with me.” 
Luke 1:56   Mary went to see Elizabeth and stayed with her 
Luke 19:5 Jesus told Zacchaeus—-” come down immediately, I must stay at your house today. 
Luke 8:27   The demonized man called Legion, lived or stayed among the tombes. 
John 1:39,40  Two of Jesus’ disciples asked him where are you staying?   Jesus told them; “come and see” 

These instances could be multiplied. To abide in the Lord Jesus means to STAY with him. Jesus therefore implies not only position but also relationship.—-  staying, living, (abiding)   But it literally means to “walk around  It came to mean the manner of life of the person–so now let’s consider; THE MANNER THAT JESUS WALKED AND LIVED

Walk here means to conduct one’s self, to order one’s behavior, after that of Christ. 

All things to him were of God (II Corinthians 5:17-18 Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.  All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.  After we are new creatures we are given the ministry of reconciliation. That is; telling people how they can be reconciled to God through Christ— this is witnessing. 

Phil 2:5-11 OUR ATTITUDE SHOULD BE THE SAME AS CHRIST.   To walk in this respect as Christ walked, abiding in god as he did is to be “emptied of self.” Of we walk with 

Him we ought to walk in love as he walked, a walk of active benevolence A man approved of god, who went about doing good because he walked in love.  But he also walked in the power of the Holy Spirit and so should we. He did the will of his Father and was obedient to him and so should we. He glorified God, and so should we.  

Are we really in Jesus Christ and is he in us?
Do we walk as he walked?
Do we live as he lived? In Adam, all died, even so, in Christ shall we all be made alive,

We are to follow in his steps. We are to do what He would do, in every situation.


[Bread and water don’t sound appetizing,
but it will after listening to your new Health Coach]

Nobleton Community Church
February 4, 2024
text: Isaiah 55:1-9; John 6:35; John 4: 13-15
Reverend Paul V Lehmann

Listen to the audio here

Many health insurance providers are now supplying patients with opportunities for some personal “health coaching.” Isaiah offers the same kind of spiritual health advice to the people of God.
It’s no secret that we are becoming a nation full of unhealthy people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third (35.7%) of Americans are obese. Carrying an unhealthy weight leads to all kinds of related conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer — in other words, most of the leading causes of death. In 2008, the medical costs related to obesity in the United States were estimated at $147 billion, or $1,492 more per obese person than a person of normal weight. And yet, despite the constant warnings in the media and the pleading of doctors, obesity rates continue to rise. In 2000, no state had an obesity prevalence over 30 percent, while in 2010, 12 states exceeded that threshold. It’s fairly clear that people aren’t generally good at doing what’s best for their own health.
Some health insurance companies have decided to take another approach, however. Rather than merely continuing to pay the mounting costs, these companies in partnership with doctors and nurses are attempting to help people manage their health, not only through massive doses of information but also through the personal attention of a “health coach.”
The truth is, of course, that it’s hard for us to make changes in our lives strictly by our own willpower. The spirit may be willing, after all, but the flesh is weak. Twinkies taste better than tofu, and sometimes we need a partner to remind us to not eat more than one or two cookies, or take an extra piece of pie.
Health coaches aren’t exactly like football or basketball coaches with all the yelling, whistles, and drills for endurance, but their technique can be no less effective. Years ago, II coached two basketball teams because I had two of my grandkids on them. Joseph and Zachariah.  When I coach, I don’t like to give the boys drills just for the sake of a drill, but ones that can translate for them into game situations. That way everything they are learning is applicable when they are playing another team. It is the same way with our spiritual conditioning and practice.
All we need is someone to remind us that we don’t have to live this way and that better and healthier lives are ahead if we’re willing to put in the hard work of taking charge of our own health
John Wooden, legendary coach of UCLA’s men’s basketball team from 1945 to 1975, is well-remembered for his pithy sayings that inspired his players to excel off the court as well as on. More than many coaches, Wooden saw his responsibility as developing more than just muscles, coordination, and game-day strategy. He saw himself as molding the whole person. Here are a few John Wooden gems:
“Failure is not fatal but failure to change might be.”
“Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be thankful. Conceit is self-given; be careful.”
“Don’t beat yourself. That’s the worst kind of defeat you’ll ever suffer.”
“Learn as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die tomorrow.”
We can then see how this helps us in our daily walk when we are faced with real-life problems. It just takes someone like a coach to help us.
As we’re going to see, that someone is God.
Having a partner on the way is always better, since, as the writer of Ecclesiastes puts it, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help” (4:9-10). Then at the end of verse 12, we read; “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” referring to the extra help of God. Just as we must include God in marriages, we shouldn’t hesitate to ask Him to help us (like a health coach) to eat right.
The presence of a health coach, even if he or she is only on the other end of a phone line, can make a huge difference in the life of someone who’s struggling physically.
One recent study by The New England Journal of Medicine revealed that patients with health coaches were able to lose five times more weight than those who tried to lose it on their own. You want to make changes in your health? Get a coach!
How does the “health coach” idea work? Here’s an example at least at one health insurance Company: Each year, the patient fills out an online health assessment based on an annual physical, including blood work. The company provides an incentive for people to get the exam and fill out the assessment by lowering deductibles for those who do so. The patient fills out the online form using the data from the exam. Any red flag numbers that come up are brought to the patient’s attention and he or she is then offered the services of a “health coach,” usually a registered nurse, who will be in contact with the patient by phone to help the patient manage the problem and make changes.
The health coach talks with the patient to understand his or her condition and then helps the patient set goals for living a healthier lifestyle and/or managing a chronic disease like asthma or diabetes or a host of other conditions. The health coach checks in with the patient on a regular basis, offering tips and encouragement for maintaining better health through things like nutrition counseling, weight-loss strategies, how to take medication effectively and advising about appropriate exercises. The patient isn’t required to have a health coach or listen to his or her advice, but for those who want to find a way out of their current health situation, the coaches are a valuable resource.
What’s true for our bodies also seems to hold true for our spiritual lives, which makes sense because, as the Bible teaches us, the two are linked. Health coaching for the soul is as helpful and necessary as the coaching one might get from an insurance company, except in the case of spiritual coaching we’re not trying to cut down, but rather trying to fill up on God’s spirit and provision for our lives.
Water is important in this week’s text:
God speaks to the exiled people of Judah through the prophet Isaiah in a way that sounds a lot like a health coach calling a suffering patient. God is advising them on strategies that will restore their spiritual health and relationships with God as he prepares to lead them back from exile in Babylon. The people have long been dehydrated and starving as a consequence of their sin and banishment to a foreign land. Now God gives them some nutrition counseling about how to be nourished again.
“Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,” the Coach begins. In chapter 8, God tells Isaiah that one of the reasons that the people’s health is so bad is that they refused to drink “the waters of Shiloah” (8:5) — a reference to a canal along the eastern slope of Jerusalem that some scholars have connected to the Pool of Siloam (John 9:7). These waters seem to represent the sustaining strength of God for his people, but they rejected it and chose to run thirsty. As a result, all they would receive is the “mighty flood” of foreign invasion instead (8:7). And yet, as God promised to Noah during another catastrophic flood, God would still sustain and be with them (54:9-10). God now invites his thirsty people to “come to the waters” and drink deeply, once again, of God’s love for them.
Spiritual dryness can become a chronic condition for the people of God if they do not come to the “living water” and drink deeply on a regular basis (John 4:10).  Jesus told the Samaritan woman that he would give her this living water. She was all for this, because she thought he was talking about water for her physical body, and this sounded like a good deal. She wouldn’t get thirsty again, and wouldn’t have to keep coming to the well to draw water anymore. She totally missed his comment about whoever drinks of this water—that is the water from a well like this one will be thirsty again, but the water that He would give her would become in her a spring of water, welling up to eternal life. Somehow she missed the fact that He was talking about spiritual water.
As any health coach will tell you, drinking at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day will benefit you a great deal. Actually, it is recommended that men drink 125 ounces a day, and women 91 ounces.
Regular and sustained disciplines of prayer and engagement with God’s word will also sustain the thirsty soul. God invites us, as he invited the people of Judah, to come and drink deeply and be refreshed by his love and his promises.
Then, not only is water important, but also our Diet:
The Health Coach then goes on to talk about diet. Obesity is most prevalent among the poor because unhealthy, processed foods are cheaper and easier to prepare. Maybe you are like me, and think when you hear reports on the News about all these people who are obese,— that’s not me. I’m not obese. I don’t weigh 300 or 400 pounds. When you look at the weight charts, it is annoying how they calculate what you should weigh. For someone like me who is 6’ tall, they used to say I should weigh 168 lbs. Twice in my life since high school, I have weighed that, and I look like I just came out of a concentration camp. Maybe because I have a “large frame” –I look thin at 190 lbs. It is interesting that they have now changed the chart so that the accepted weight for a man 6’ tall is now 199 pounds. (I guess because Americans are getting bigger, and it is more accepted to be big).  Now granted I have 38 lbs to lose to get to that. Anyway, my problem Jeannene keeps reminding me, is my diet. Also of course I must exercise and walk. I must change my diet and get serious about eating healthy or nothing will change.
Now spiritually speaking, God urges people to get off the fast, cheap and easy spiritual diet and instead come to the free and abundant banquet he offers through his grace. This isn’t food you have to work to be able to afford, but rather the gift of a gracious host (55:1). Indeed, the Health Coach identifies the problem with the people’s health: They are spending their money on cheap, undernourished alternatives. Also, they are working hard to sustain a spiritual diet that won’t satisfy them (55: verse 2).
Historically speaking, the Assyrian invasion (a precursor to the Babylonians,) led the people to hard times when there was plenty of milk and honey, but little else (7:22-24). Spiritually speaking, in chapter 55, they were nearly starving on the diet of slavery in Babylon when the Health Coach says to them, “Listen carefully to me and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food” (55:2). That “food” is the richness of God’s own word and promise based on God’s covenant with David (55:3). As rain comes to the earth and brings forth seeds that lead to bread, so God’s word goes out and sustains his people if only they will come and eat. It’s a word that is never “empty” but always accomplishes God’s purpose
Bread, if it is the right kind, can be healthy too:
God urges us to change our diets, too. So much of our diet, both physically and spiritually, comes packaged as sugary-sweet and enticing fat grams and calories, whether it’s on the shelf at the grocery store, or the virtual store. We grow fatter, dumber and sadder the more we consume the junk of our culture. God, the ultimate Health Coach, urges us instead to fill up on bread that sustains — The Bread of Life, as Jesus called himself in John 6, the manna from God that is there to nourish us daily. That bread enables us not only to be healthy but to help others as well as assist spiritual health coaches. Jesus once said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work” (John 4:34). We should embrace the same diet!
If we’re going to make that change, however, we know that we will do better if we don’t try to make it on our own. We need our fellow Christians to help us in community, and we need to embrace God’s offer to coach us through prayer as we make the change:
“Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near …” (55:6).
God is, after all, the expert whose “thoughts are not [our] thoughts, nor are [our] ways [his] ways” (55:8). If we’re going to be healthy Christians, we need a Coach who knows the best way to make us whole!
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more