God's Gift to YOU -- A New Start!
What is New Start? 2 Corinthians 5:17 says; "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Traditionally we have understood this verse to mean we become a new creature spiritually. This is certainly correct, but if the "old things are passed away," and "all things are become new," doesn't it stand to reason that every area of our lives should be affected by our relationship with Christ? 1 Corinthians 10:31 states: "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." In the minds of many Christians there is a separation made between the spiritual life and the other areas such as: business, finance, physical, and social. God's plan for our lives is that our relationship with Him and our religion will permeate each and every area of our life. God likens our relationship with Him to that of a father and a child.
What kind of relationship would we have with our earthly father if we hid certain areas from him; would he be pleased? Likewise our heavenly Father wants to take part in all facets of our life. It's amazing that with all the universe in His keeping, our God is interested in what we are doing today. He wishes to take part in your life and even help with your problems. There is an interesting promise that is made in Deuteronomy 7:15, but first we need to understand an important principle in Scripture. In 1 Corinthians chapter ten, the apostle Paul gives us this important message. In verses 1-4 he tells of the wonderful miracles that God wrought for the children of Israel when He delivered them from slavery in Egypt. God did show Himself in mighty miracles such as the parting of the Red Sea; the manna or bread which fell from heaven; and the life-giving water which gushed forth from a rock. Even more amazing, these wilderness wanderers were lead by God Himself in the form of a cloud; when the cloud stopped the people stopped when the cloud moved the people moved. Think of it! Just to be able to look up and see the leading of God! Then in verses 5-10, Paul tells of the failures of this people. He says they murmured against God, tempted God, and fell into fornication and even idol worship. You would be tempted to think that someone who had seen such amazing miracles right before their eyes, would certainly not fall into such a state of sin and rebellion.
But wait! For in verse 11, Paul makes an amazing statement: "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." The lessons Paul talks about are given for your admonition and mine! We need to realize two things from this statement: 1) We are being warned that we should not fall into the same state of sin as our forefathers and 2) We are being told that the words of the Old Testament Scriptures are still for us today. All of the stories of the Old Testament were given for the last generation of people on planet earth! A good Bible verse to look at in conjunction with this is 2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteous- ness:" As important as the last words of the book of Revelation are, just so important are the first words of the book of Genesis.
Having stated all this let us look at Deuteronomy 7:11-15 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. What a wonderful promise is this! God is telling us that if we will live our lives for Him; if we will keep His commandments, and live according to His Word, that He will "take away from thee all sickness" and disease. It sounds too good to be true, but we must ask ourselves an important question; Would God promise something that He was unable or unwilling to deliver? Would God ask us to do something that was impossible to do?
Certainly not! Doesn't it sound wonderful? Wouldn't you like to be free from all sickness and the worry, expense, and unhappiness it brings? Then New Start is for you. -- The words New Start are actually an acronym for the eight great principles of good health that God has given us to live by. So simple and yet so profound, God has made our bodies in such a wonderful way that we actually have to sabotage them in order to have bad health!
T RUST IN GOD
The Psalmist David said in Psalms 139:14 "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Disease never comes without a cause. The way is prepared, and disease invited, by disregard of the laws of health. Many suffer in consequence of the transgression of their parents. While they are not responsible for what their parents have done, it is nevertheless their duty to ascertain what are and what are not violations of the laws of health. They should avoid the wrong habits of their parents and, by correct living, place themselves in better conditions. The greater number, however, suffer because of their own wrong course of action. They disregard the principles of health by their habits of eating, drinking, dressing, and working.
NUTRITION Those who understand the laws of health and who are governed by principle, will shun the extremes, both of indulgence and of restriction. Their diet is chosen, not for the mere gratification of appetite, but for the upbuilding of the body. They seek to preserve every power in the best condition for highest service to God and man. The appetite is under the control of reason and conscience, and they are rewarded with health of body and mind. While they do not urge their views offensively upon others, their example is a testimony in favor of right principles. These persons have a wide influence for good. There is real common sense in dietetic reform. The subject should be studied broadly and deeply, and no one should criticize others because their practice is not, in all things, in harmony with his own. Our bodies are built up from the food we eat. There is a constant breaking down of the tissues of the body; every movement of every organ involves waste, and this waste is repaired from our food. Each organ of the body requires its share of nutrition. The brain must be supplied with its portion; the bones, muscles, and nerves demand theirs. It is a wonderful process that transforms the food into blood and
uses this blood to build up the varied parts of the body; but this process is going on continually, supplying with life and strength each nerve, muscle, and tissue. Those foods should be chosen that best supply the elements needed for building up the body. In this choice, appetite is not a safe guide. Through wrong habits of eating, the appetite has become perverted. Often it demands food that impairs health and causes weakness instead of strength. We cannot safely be guided by the customs of society. The disease and suffering that everywhere prevail are largely due to popular errors in regard to diet. In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God's original plan for man's diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. "Behold," He said, "I have given you every herb yielding seed, . . . and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food." Genesis 1:29, A.R.V. Upon leaving Eden to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth under the curse of sin, man received permission to eat also "the herb of the field." Genesis 3:18. Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.
EXERCISE Action is a law of our being. Every organ of the body has its appointed work, upon the performance of which its development and strength depend. The normal action of all the organs gives strength and vigor, while the tendency of disuse is toward decay and death. Bind up an arm, even for a few weeks, then free it from its bands, and you will see that it is weaker than the one you have been using moderately during the same time. Inactivity produces the same effect upon the whole muscular system. Inactivity is a fruitful cause of disease. Exercise quickens and equalizes the circulation of the blood, but in idleness the blood does not circulate freely, and the changes in it, so necessary to life and health, do not take place. The skin, too, becomes inactive. Impurities are not expelled as they would be if the circulation had been quickened by vigorous exercise, the skin kept in a healthy condition, and the lungs fed with plenty of pure, fresh air. This state of the system throws a double burden on the excretory organs, and disease is the result.
WATER In health and in sickness, pure water is one of heaven's choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Drunk freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the system and assists nature to resist disease. The external application of water is one of the easiest and most satisfactory ways of regulating the circulation of the blood. A cold or cool bath is an excellent tonic. Warm baths open the pores and thus aid in the elimination of impurities. Both warm and neutral bath soothe the nerves and equalize the circulation.
SUNLIGHT In building, many make careful provision for their plants and flowers. The greenhouse or window devoted to their use is warm and sunny; for without warmth, air, and sunshine, plants would not live and flourish. If these conditions are necessary to the life of plants, how much more necessary are they for our own health and that of our families and guests! If we would have our homes the abiding place of health and happiness we must place them above the miasma and fog of the lowlands, and give free entrance to heaven's life-giving agencies. Dispense with heavy curtains, open the windows and the blinds, allow no vines, however beautiful, to shade the windows, and permit no trees to stand so near the house as to shut out the sunshine. The sunlight may fade the drapery and the carpets, and tarnish the picture frames; but it will bring a healthy glow to the cheeks of the children.
TEMPERANCE As our first parents lost Eden through the indulgence of appetite, our only hope of regaining Eden is through the firm denial of appetite and passion. Temperance in diet, and control of all the passions, will preserve the intellect so that men may have mental and moral vigor to bring all their propensities under the control of the higher power, and to retain clearness of intellect to discern between right and wrong, between sacred and common things.
AIR In order to have good blood, we must breathe well. Full, deep inspirations of pure air, which fill the lungs with oxygen, purify the blood. They impart to it a bright color and send it, a life-giving current, to every part of the body. A good respiration soothes the nerves; it stimulates the appetite and renders digestion more perfect; and it induces sound, refreshing sleep. The lungs should be allowed the greatest freedom possible. Their capacity is developed by free action; it diminishes if they are cramped and compressed. The lungs are constantly throwing off impurities, and they need to be constantly supplied with fresh air. Impure air does not afford the necessary supply of oxygen, and the blood passes to the brain and other organs without being vitalized.
Hence the necessity of thorough ventilation. To live in close, ill- ventilated rooms, where the air is dead and vitiated, weakens the entire system. It becomes peculiarly sensitive to the influence of cold, and a slight exposure induces disease.
REST Some make themselves sick by overwork. For these, rest, freedom from care, and a spare diet, are essential to restoration of health. To those who are brain weary and nervous because of continual labor and close confinement, a visit to the country, where they can live a simple, carefree life, coming in close contact with the things of nature, will be most helpful. Roaming through the fields and the woods, picking the flowers, listening to the songs of the birds, will do far more that any other agency toward their recovery.
TRUST IN GOD When we are humble and contrite we stand where God can and will manifest Himself to us. He is well pleased when we urge past mercies and blessings as a reason why He should bestow on us greater blessings. He will more than fulfill the expectations of those who trust fully in Him. The Lord Jesus knows just what His children need, how much divine power we will appropriate for the blessing of humanity; and He bestows upon us all that we will employ in blessing others and ennobling our own souls. We must have less trust in what we ourselves can do, and more trust in what the Lord can do for and through us. You are not engaged in your own work; you are doing the work of God. Surrender your will and way to Him. Make not a single reserve, not a single compromise with self. Know what it is to be free in Christ. The mere hearing of sermons week after week, the reading of the Bible through and through, or the explanation of it verse by verse, will not benefit us or those who hear us, unless we bring the truths of the Bible into our individual experience. The understanding, the will, the affections, must be yielded to the control of the word of God. Then through the work of the Holy Spirit the precepts of the word will become the principles of the life.