Build the Altar as Stewards of our Bodies

With the vital areas of healthy and wholeness before us, we had two of our own share their journey, and struggles, in becoming as healthy as God wants them to be. Dawson and Anna Hunter are uncommon people who have ventured through the common struggles shared by us all, as newlyweds, in the workforce, new parents, and now settling into life.

They also returned this weekend from a retreat with 200 national leaders on Team World Vision, looking ahead to the Global 6K for Water (May 6th), and each of us are invited to participate.

We begin with some theology on where does God dwell and how our bodies (and whole lives, together) became the temple of God. From this vantage point — the true truth that God wants to dwell with His people — we see the wisdom of considering what inputs (food, learning) and outputs (exercise and daily commitments) help shape a God-centered life that empowers us to serve others well.

Message title: Build the Altar as Stewards of our Bodies
Second Week of Build the Altar
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 4:1-12; Romans 12:1, et al
Speakers: Dawson & Anna Hunter
Date: 1/15/17

Listen or download:

“The man who would truly know God must give time to Him.”
—A.W. Tozer


Why Our Bodies Matter – Dawson

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (NIV: honor God with your bodies)

1 Corinthians 3:16 (ESV) Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

  • What does it mean to be the temple of the Holy Spirit?
    • Biblical Narrative
      • Garden of Eden
      • Tabernacle & Temple
      • Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice, tearing the veil in two
      • Heaven
    • Our bodies are worthy of honor because:
      • They were created by God and he said they are good.
      • They have been sanctified by Christ for the Lord.

Romans 12:1 ESV I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

What We Eat Matters – Anna

  • Dietary choices contribute to the altar in two ways:
    • Nourishing our bodies in the best possible way to best serve God and others
      • 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NLT) You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.
        • Our food choices should be based on selecting foods that are most beneficial for our bodies; that is, foods that compliment God’s exquisite design
        • The foods we eat directly impact the hormonal, physiological and metabolic processes that contribute to how we feel, utilize energy and prevent disease
        • Examples: healthy eating in our household
          • Limit sugar and starches
          • Don’t worry about fat
          • Eat whole foods (as opposed to processed)
          • Variety of fruits and veggies to get adequate vitamins & minerals
          • Eat larger meals less often (no snacks)
    • Dealing with unhealthy attitudes and ties to food
      • Why is it so hard to stay away from foods that are not beneficial or even harmful?
        • Hyper-palatable foods (particularly sugar-laden foods) elicit hormonal responses similar to drugs; some foods can literally be addicting
        • No coincidence; the Enemy often convinces us to seek the gift and not the Giver for quick-fixes and immediate satisfaction
      • Truth: God is the only one who can truly satisfy us
        • Jesus is very clear about how he feels about food:
          • John 4:34 (ESV) Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
      • How we address this in our household
        • We remove the foods that we tend to turn to for pick-me-ups/mindless eating altogether
        • We practice frequent periods of fasting from foods that have become strongholds (Oh-I-could-never-live-without-that mentality; not necessarily always junk food)
        • We strive to let God direct this area of our lives as much as any other area

What We Do Matters – Dawson

My story as it relates to Physical Exercise.

  • Two years ago (exactly) Jeff emailed me a plan.
    • I didn’t respond until April.
    • Didn’t run until 11 months after that (6K for Water – no training)
    • Only started running regularly this last August.  🙁
  • Didn’t start, because by default, I do nothing.  Inertia keeps me on my couch.
  • Why exercise?
    • Because I’m not a farmer
    • It exposes weakness AND overcomes it
    • It develops discipline (physical, time management, focus)
      • Illustration: Reagan ice-skating & bike riding — “I can’t!” — growth comes through struggle.
    • Increases mental and spiritual health
    • Creates a meditative space.  A quietness away from screens and entertainment.
    • Tears down the idol of laziness and sloth, comfort and selfishness
    • Increases capacity to:
      • Serve family & others
      • Have energy to play with kids & be productive in other areas
  • Scripture:
    • 1 Corinthians 9:25 (ESV) Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
    • 1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV) But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
      • I pummel my body and make it a slave
    • 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV) Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Questions from Pastor Jeff:

  • How has having a plan and planning ahead helped?
  • Can someone just choose one or the other: exercise lots OR eat healthy?
  • How does whole-life health and fitness “fit” with your kids and life commitments, and how do these habits and values in effect enable you to be better in marriage, parenting, working, etc.?
  • Can you tell us about the World Vision 6K for water?

Team World Vision 6K for Water »

What:World Vision’s Global 6K for Water is a one day event where people from all over the world unite on the same day for the same cause – clean water

    Nearly 1,000 children under 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene. That’s why World Vision is providing a new person with clean water every 30 seconds as part of our full solution to poverty. Clean water frees children from deadly disease, liberates women and children from a life spent gathering dirty water, and opens the door to education, a promising future, and a full life, the kind of life God intends.

When:    May 6, 2017 @ 9am

Where: Clackamette Park (where the Clackamas meets the Willamette) Just north of 205 off of McLoughlin


    • Imagine being without water for 3 days.  (story)
    • Now imagine having to walk 6km (3.7mi) every day, twice a day, carrying 40lbs on the return trip.
  • What would life be like for you?
      • No school. No free time.  No other opportunities
      • Danger on the road.  Robbery.  Kidnapping.  Rape.
        • Story from conference.
  • What if you could change someone’s life?
    • Would you trade two weeks of water, for a lifetime supply for someone else?
    • How about $50.  Why not two people?  Why not ask your friends?
    • What if we could change 10,000 children’s lives?
  • World Vision does water projects well:
    • WV wells last a long time (20 years, opposed to 1-3 years; independently tested)
    • 95% of WV employees are native to the countries they build their wells.
    • Every dollar donated in this project goes to the project (no overhead)

Do this:

  • Register to Run »
  • Give generously and sacrificially.  Take time to weigh the cost and the value.
  • Ask your friends to join you.  Ask them to run.  Share the vision.
  • Ask your friends to give generously.  Cast the vision.  If you can’t ask someone else, why are you giving in the first place?
  • Train.
  • Run.  Put yourself in a child’s shoes.  Experience the pain of their struggle, and the joy of serving them.

Audio for this teaching may be played above, and is included in the RENEW Church podcastsubscribe in iTunes here, or access the church podcast feed directly here.

This year each of us are invited on an adventure to build an altar to God each new day, to look up and love our Creator first. What will be your plan to develop a new rhythm of seeking God each day? » Find some help here.

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