For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about faith and fitness, as it relates to the theme of this year’s Black History Month theme. As much as Black lives matter to God, I believe Black health matters, too. When things matter to God, they ought to matter to God’s people.
John, the Revelator, begins his letter to Gaius by saying “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” My Bible says that this chapter was originally a recommendation letter, but in the greeting of his letter he drops this gem.Third John is the shortest book in the Bible, but this statement is so profound. God’s love letter to God’s people would not be complete without this simple phrase.
Notice that John said that he wanted Gaius to prosper and be in good health, even as his soul prospered. The soul’s prospering is not a question. Based on your relationship with God alone, your soul has no choice but to prosper. The process of salvation means that the prosperity of your soul is secure. But the rest of you still requires work.
That’s where the health comes in. The Lord will take care of our souls. It is our job to take care of our bodies. We have the responsibility to make sure that we are being good stewards. If the job of the church is to be the hands and feet of Jesus, then we ought to make sure, we’re taking good care of our own hands, feet, and all of our other body parts, so that we can use them for God’s glory.
I want for you to prosper. This is a statement of profound love. This is honestly how I feel about all of my people. I want them to prosper, and not just financially. I want them to do well in every facet of their lives. I want them to blessed as they go out and blessed as they come in. I want them, I want us, to have all that God promised.
But I’m not the only one who desires this for the people I love. The LORD tells the prophet Jeremiah that he knows the plans that he has for the nation of Israel, and for us as well. HE wants to give us a hope and a future.
Forgive my nerdiness here, but that sounds a lot like a TV show I used to watch. Live Long and Prosper, Mr. Spock would say. It’s the Vulcan salute, but it’s God’s idea, and it is my prayer for all of us. Take care of yourselves and each other.