Our bodies were made for the glorification of God, not the gratification of self.
"Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:20-21).
Christian means "little Christ." In other words, we are to be Christlike. Our leader, Jesus Christ, was in such great physical condition that He could walk 40 miles (to the region of Tyre and Sidon; see Matthew 15:21). He walked not in Reeboks but in leather sandals.
And now, so many of His followers on this planet are unhealthy and overweight—sedentary couch potatoes. This concerns me, and it ought to concern you. God wants us to address this condition not only in our own bodies, but in our churches as well.
Colossians 1:16 says that, "All things were created through Him and for Him." That means everything in heaven, everything on earth, everything visible and everything invisible. He set up thrones, dominions, rulers and authorities. Everything that exists has been created through Him and for Him—even our bodies. God is the creator and controller of our bodies!
The word body is found 179 times in the Bible. I started studying those passages. Approximately one-third of them talk about the future body we will receive in heaven. It will be perfect and will not be affected by what we eat or don't eat. We will have a heavenly body.
But today we are still living in an earthly body.
I started studying the remaining Scripture references to the body. Out of my study, God showed me the four keys to a better body. Those keys are:
1. Dedication—honoring God with your body
2. Inspiration—motivating yourself for change
3. Eating and exercise—managing your habits
4. Team—building your circle of support
Then God helped me apply those keys, and I started losing weight.
God is our creator. He has given us life. As Christians, we reject the idea of evolution and believe that God created us. I believe that most Christians are strong on the creator aspect of God's character.
However, we are weak in the aspect of God also being our controller. We must honor Him as both the creator and controller of our bodies. It is not enough for us to honor Him just as the creator of our bodies. This is sinful behavior.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."
Our bodies are God's temple. He paid the price for our sins. We must glorify God with our bodies!
Again, I ask you: Are you glorifying God with your body?
Steve Reynolds, the "anti-fat pastor," has served as senior pastor of Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, Va., since 1982. He launched a weight-loss campaign in his church and community after he lost more than 100 pounds. His story has been featured in local, national and international media, including Fox News, CNN, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.