Working to Live
1: What I am going to tell you in this lesson is extremely important. It can, perhaps, save your life. It can certainly add years of better living to your life. But, first of all, I want to ask you some questions. Do you spend most of your time in quiet occupation such as working in an office, or sitting in classes? Do you spend most of the day in rather vigorous work such as farming, or some other kind of work that is quite strenuous?
2: Life has been compared to a barrel of water. As the barrel sits in the sun, the water gradually evaporates with the passing of time. This is normal and is a good illustration of the way life gradually runs out during the normal span of time. However, often, young people in particular, look at life and say to themselves: "Here is my supply of health. It is limitless! It is marvelous! Eat anytime! Smoke as much as I like! Drink any time! Sleep anytime! Forget exercise!" Such an attitude can sometimes be carried on even into the twenties and thirties before it is discovered that every bad health habit is like drilling a hole in the barrel. Health runs out before it should!
3: For example, it may surprise you to know that 77% of the soldiers aged 19-25 years who were killed in Korea were found to have hardening of the arteries! Why? Because they were drilling holes in their barrel of life. True, the body has an amazing ability to take abuse and yet keep on going; but there comes a day when the supply of energy seems to be less. An organ or system begins to cry out in pain, or may even stop functioning properly. Since organs and systems depend upon one another, when one suffers, so do others. The result is poor health, a break down or even premature death. Many people have lost their health trying to make money, and then had to spend that wealth attempting to regain their health broken by abusive living.
4: Now, the very, very important Health Insurance which I want to emphasize in this study is your need for regular exercise. Friends, I say without any exaggeration that this can make the difference for you between life and death, especially an early death. Your body is designed for activity. There are 639 muscles and over 100 joints which can be kept in healthy condition only if you exercise enough. The hospitals of the world are filled with people whose bodies have "rusted" out through lack of exercise. Let us look at some of the things science has proved regarding this matter of exercise!
5: 1. The most important muscle in your body is the great muscle which contracts and relaxes between 60:70 times a minute, 24 hours a day throughout your life time, and upon which your life depends, your heart. Like every other muscle in your body, it needs the benefits that only regular exercise can give. If you find yourself out of breath when you have to climb a few stairs, run a hundred feet, or climb a hill, your heart is in poor condition. You need to start an exercise program NOW.
6: 2. Exercise also improves your circulation. More oxygen and nourishment reach your body cells, and the waste matter from the cells is carried off more quickly through good circulation of the blood throughout the body.
7: 3. One of the first organs to feel the benefits and also the lack of exercise is your brain. Your mental powers are sharpened as more oxygen gets to your brain. Your nerves are calm and steady. And you are able to stand the stress and strain of life much better if you take regular exercise. Your whole personality improves.
8: 4. Exercise makes you take deep breaths of fresh air and exhale more deeply also. Your whole respiratory system is strengthened. Disease has a much harder time getting started in your lungs as well as the rest of your body if you exercise as you should.
9: 5. Your digestive tract all the way from you lips and tongue through to the end of your intestines depends on muscles in order to take care of the food you eat. Efficient digestion and elimination are greatly aided by exercise.
10: 6. Exercise gives you a more youthful appearance. Remember, your body with all its organs, is held in place by muscles! Inactive muscles sag and lose their tone. You can feel tired and exhausted, when the real problem is muscles which are not doing their appointed job due to lack of exercise. We have all experienced the feeling of weakness after being in bed for only a day or two. Why? Primarily because the muscles were not getting their accustomed exercise.
11: A healthy muscle is one that is used regularly and vigorously. Healthy muscles have twenty times as much blood passing through them as does the inactive. No wonder, they are more firm and able to help you stand and sit well, hold your abdomen in, and hold your head erect. So, whether you are 9 or 99, you need regular and vigorous exercise. The more you are under stress and strain, the more you are in need of exercise.
12: Perhaps, you are wondering just what kind of exercise I am talking about. After all, there are so many activities to choose from: walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, etc. Well, you may be surprised to know that the exercise that gets the highest rating as the all round exercise for all ages is WALKING! Start out by walking for ten minutes in one direction, and then ten minutes back again: No, not strolling! That does you very little good. It must be brisk walking! The kind that makes you breathe deeply and swing your arms. Though you may not be able to do it at first and should work up to it gradually, you should be able to walk about 1/2 mile (1 kilometer) in 10 minutes before long. Then extend your walking time until you are walking from 30-45 minutes every day preferably in the morning! And enjoy your walk! Exercise that you enjoy does you more good than exercise you do not enjoy.
13: Now, here is a word of warning. If you have not been very active, do not suddenly become involved in strenuous exercise. Starting off with exercise such as volleyball or tennis is a fine way to get sore muscles as well as to invite a heart attack. This is why I suggest walking. And I suggest that you start tomorrow morning! Consider the case of an 84-year-old lady who just a little over a year ago was having serious heart trouble. She had to take nitroglycerine continually. Then she started a walking program, gradually increasing her distance, time and speed. Now, she is briskly walking more than a mile every morning, and it has been months since she has needed to take a nitroglycerine pill!
14: If you live only 2 to 3 miles from your work, WALK! Do not ride a car or taxi. If you live too far to walk, then get out of the car or taxi at least a mile or two before your destination, or else walk 2 miles before you take the car. Every chance you get, WALK. Soon, you will not be panting any more when you have to climb stairs or do heavy work.
15: Some of you mothers think that because you do your own work and chase your children once in a while, that is exercise enough. It has been scientifically proven that exercise must get your blood circulating faster and your breathing to become deeper for at least 3:5 minutes at one stretch if it is to really benefit you. You rarely do anything really strenuous for that long in your routine household duties.
16: So friends, I urge, strongly urge you to start a regular exercise program, for your very life depends on it. God wants you to live a long useful, happy and healthful life. Exercise is one of the finest ways to insure health, and give strong resistance to disease.
17: God wants you to live a long and useful life. Exercise, in the form of work, recreation and other useful activities, will aid the body in being strong to resist germs and illness. You also need to be strong to resist sin which is so prevalent in our society. God has the answer now in His power, which is unlimited for you.
18: What is that spiritual exercise that helps us to resist sin? It is called the Law of God. There are Ten Commandments in this law. The whole law has just one root, which is Love. Then as it grows, it branches out into two divisions. The first one shows our obligations to our Maker and the second one shows our obligations to our neighbours. Our obligations to God are again divided into four parts and our obligations to our neighbours into six parts making a complete whole of 10 rules or commandments of life.
19: If we truly love God, we shall fulfill the first four obligations; and they are:
1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not bow down to images of any kind, or thou shalt not worship images.
3. Thou shalt not take God's name in vain.
4. Remember His day, the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy.
20: The next section which shows our obligations to our fellow men is as follows:
5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness; in other words, thou shalt not tell lies.
10. Thou shall not covet.
21: By doing these, we get spiritual exercise; we become spiritually strong. But we must remember this can be done only with the help of God. We must seek for God's guidance to help us keep these rules in our lives. And, when Jesus comes, we will be ready to enter into His kingdom.
22: Just as health laws are for our physical good, these moral laws are for our spiritual good. We are happy when we do them and suffer when we break them. All true health laws, physical laws, and moral laws are established by God. Anyone breaking these will be doing himself an injury, and must bear the consequences. A good citizen will keep the law of the land. Likewise, in order to be citizens of God's kingdom, we should keep the law of His kingdom. No lawlessness can be tolerated there. Heaven is all peace and joy and happiness, so we have to practice these rules here and God will help us. If we break them, we sin, and the wages of sin is death.
23: Sometime or another, we have broken God's law and so the death sentence has been passed on us. The sting of sin is death. There is nothing we can do about it that will save us. This is where Jesus steps into the picture and says, Confess your sins to Me and I will forgive and cleanse you of your sins. All our past sins are taken away and we begin to walk a new life of obedience to His law. This is done by the grace of God. And because Jesus has saved us from our sins, by His grace; we, are doubly careful to keep His commandments in His strength. This was the purpose of the sacrifice of Jesus which was to pay the penalty of our sins caused by the breaking of His commandments.
24: Now, in and through His blood, we are saved from the power of sin over us, and so we walk in the newness of life. We are careful in keeping all the commandments not because we want to be saved; but because we are already saved from breaking them. What a wonderful provision! What love! May the Lord grant that we may be fit citizens of His coming kingdom. Then, when He comes, we can hear from His mouth these blessed words, Revelation 22:14 "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."