TEXT: Philippians 3:17-21
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
This is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but if you listen and take heed, this particular series can not only change your life spiritually, but it can save your life physically.
According to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, “The annual cost of lost productivity due to obesity is approximately $73.1 billion.”
In this passage, Paul lists four attributes of those who are gluttons physically and spiritually. We have covered the first three which are: (1) they are headed for destruction; (2) they treat their belly, their personal physical desires, like a god; and (3) they glory in that which they should be ashamed of. The fourth attribute is that their minds are set on earthly things. In other words, they are only concerned with temporal satisfaction. They want food because it is satisfying to the body at the moment.
People who have a mind set on earthly things are only concerned with what this world has to offer them. And, food is one of the great pleasures of life. But, if one is ruled by his desire for food, he is not laying up treasure in Heaven where it will last forever. One who is obsessed with food is not investing time, money, and resources into the kingdom of Heaven. Let’s change focus. Just as we would tell the man who is obsessed with getting money to invest his funds in the Lord’s work, or the one who has many material possessions to give to those who have few in the name of Jesus, why not turn our love of food into something that benefits the kingdom of Heaven by giving to those who lack food in the name of Jesus.
A first or second century Christian writer known only as “The Shepherd” penned the following in his document known as “The Pilgrim’s Progress of the Early Church”: “Some through the abundance of their food [consumption] produce bodily ailments, and thus damage their bodies. Meanwhile other people are damaging their bodies because they don’t have enough nourishment, and their bodies waste away. This intemperance in eating is harmful to you who have abundance and do not share it with those who are needy. Give heed to the judgment that is to come! You who are well-to-do, seek out the hungry [while there is opportunity].” Let’s turn our focus on earthly things into an investment in heavenly things. Millions around the world go hungry each day. We can show spiritual maturity and true repentance for our sin of gluttony by giving the money we spend on food we don’t need to help provide food for those who don’t have in Jesus’ name.
PRACTICAL STEP: We talked yesterday about ceasing our intake of refined foods. The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle by Mike Anderson provides the following reason why: “Because refined foods have no fiber, they spike your blood sugar, cause insulin surges, stimulate your appetite, accelerate the conversion of calories into body fat and promote many diseases. From your body’s perspective, eating refined foods is, for all practical purposes, the same thing as eating refined sugar right out of the box. From a weight loss perspective, refined foods do not fill you up, so you’ll soon be hungry after eating them, which means you’ll have to eat even more calories to feel full.”
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.