(1.11.diet and health)
Today Dr. Luke will talk to you about the relationship between Health and Diet. This is important as we all eat and what we eat affects us in different ways. Dr. Luke will start by telling us a story about a person who has health and diet questions.
Chun Lin was a 47 year old lady who lived in a rural area of one of China’s most populated provinces. She had two children, one a son and the other a daughter. She worked at a local factory as did her husband. Chun Lin and her husband both liked to cook. They often used to laugh as they said this and then would ask their friends to look at them as they both knew they were a little overweight. But that was because they loved to cook and they and their friends loved to eat their very good cooking.
However, both Chun Lin and her husband both knew they should try to loose weight. The problem was they did not know how and really did not want to as that would mean not eating so much. That would be very hard. What should they do they both wondered? As they contemplated this question they thought of a friend of theirs who was a doctor and who specialized in nutrition. They decided to give him a call. The doctor suggested they come to see him at the local hospital as that is where he had most of his information about diet and health.
When they arrived at the hospital the doctor told them that he could not believe that they had come to see him. After they had given him a call he was thinking about how good their cooking was. It would be a sad day indeed if he could not have anymore of their great cooking. However he understood their question and concerns.
The doctor told them that what they ate affected them in two different ways. First, is what they ate over time affected them then what they ate that day affected them that day. Thus there was the chronic affects of food then there were the acute effects of food. For example if a person only ate one big meal a day at supper then they would probably feel sleepy soon after the supper ended. Thus they would not be able to get much work done after supper. Second, if the same person then ate a lot for three meals a day then they probably would slowly gain weight over time.
The doctor told them that most people do not really start to gain weight until they are 30 years of age. The reason is that the way their bodies handle food changes at that point in life. They do not need as much food. Second, by thirty years of age most people are not exercising as much as they did when they are younger. Chun Lin told the doctor she new many women her age who were tall like her and did not gain as much weight but she also knew a lot of short women who seemed to more easily gain weight. The doctor told her that certainly people who are taller can eat more food than those who are shorter. However, the bottom line is to eat and exercise so that you will not gain weight. Most people slowly eat too much over time and get into bad habits of not eating well. Chun Lin and her husband knew that was what they often did.
The doctor said that after 30 years of age it was especially important for a person to eat less and exercise more.
The doctor went onto tell Chun Lin and her husband that the two biggest mistakes people make were eating too much and then eating too much fat or food with fat in them. Fat as compared with foods like vegetables and meats with protein and breads with starches make people gain too much weight too quickly. The doctor said that is a problem for Chinese as they often use a lot of oil in their cooking which is fat. Chun Lin and her husband knew that they often used a lot of fat in their cooking and should watch this. The second biggest problem was not exercising enough, especially as people grow older.
The doctor gave Chun Li n and her husband many more suggestions and some material to read. They took this home to read and the doctor suggested they if they have more questions they could call him back or see him at some future time.
As they were Chun Lin and her husband laughed and asked the doctor if he and his wife wanted to come to eat at their house. The doctor was glad and said yes as he loved their cooking.
While at their home that night the doctor told Chun Lin and her husband that he knew of something more important than food to help their lives. They thought, what could be more important than food. The doctor went onto tell them about a person named Jesus Christ. The doctor continued by showing them a place in the Bible which was a direct quote of Jesus Christ which said, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6.35-40).’
Chun Lin’s doctor friend said all of this referred to Jesus Christ. The never being hungry and thirsty refers to the life which Jesus gives us both now and after we die, that is eternal life. If we look to him and believe in him he will give us eternal life. Chun Lin and her husband asked how Jesus could do this. How just by believing in him can a person have eternal life? Chun Lin’s doctor friend what was more amazing was that if today a person believed in Jesus Christ as their savior that new life would start today and not after a person died.
Chun Lin’s doctor friend showed then another place in the Bible where Jesus again stated, ‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-just as the Father knows me and I know the Father- and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life- only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again (John 10. `4-`8).’
Chun Lin and her husband asked their doctor friend how Jesus could lay down his life and then take it up again. He responded that this was about Jesus dying for our sins and then rising from the dead. Though he was killed by men it really was by his own choice. He came to die for our sins.
Another place in the Bible which their doctor friend showed them said, ‘Men of Israel, listen to me: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him (Acts 2.22-24).’ This showed that Jesus came to the earth to die and then after that to overcome death.
The doctor went back to talking about food with Chun Lin and her husband. He told them that to loose weight effectively and keep it off a person should try and loose through diet and weight loose about 2.5 kg a month. This is a steady change and gives lifestyle changes. People must alter the fundamental way they eat and exercise until they have a normal weight and then continue these basic changes of eating and exercising.
Chun Lin’s doctor friend went onto tell her and her husband that the effects of eating too much and being overweight are a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, arthritis (because the excess weight puts too much pressure on the joints, especially the knee and hip joints). Some people are even depressed because of their excess weight. Once a person gets many of these diseases then the cost of their healthcare goes up and they must visit the doctor more often. Chun Lin’s doctor friend told them that he sees daily many Chinese patients with these problems from being overweight.
The doctor went onto tell Chun and her husband that sin in our life is like this. We think we are in control until one day it is too late. For example a person who eats to much, exercises too little and gets overweight all of a sudden has diabetes. However the problem developed overtime. We think we are in control of our sin problem but we are not. In fact the doctor told Chun Lin and her husband the Bible shows the exact opposite. He again showed them a place which said, ‘for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3.23).’ However, there is a price to pay for our sins and that price is death. That price is death towards God now so we do not enjoy his love and purpose in life now and eternal death and separation from God after we die. Again he pointed to another place which showed this very point and read, ‘for the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6.23).’
However, as he showed them in the passages in the gospel of John before, Jesus Christ had already paid our penalty in our place. Again, he showed him a place in the Bible which said, ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5.21).’ Jesus became our sin. He did this by dying on the cross for our sins.
Chun Lin and her husband we amazed anyone would die for them much less if they did wrong. They did know they did wrong. More than this their doctor friend told them was the following place in the Bible which said, ‘but because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 3.4,5).’ Chun Lin and her husband asked the doctor how they could come to know this love and life. The doctor responded only by faith, by believing in what God had done through Jesus Christ.
He continued from this same place in the book of Ephesians in the Bible, ‘for it is by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is a gift from God so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2.8, 9).’ All we need to do is believe that Jesus Christ has already come to the earth to die for our sins by dying on the Cross and then three days later he rose from the grave to show us his victory over sin and death. If we believe this we will have that new life now and for eternity.
Chun Lin’s doctor friend showed them another place in the bible which said, ‘if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead you will be saved (Romans 10.9).’ Chun Lin’s doctor friend asked her and her husband if they wanted this new life and they did. To obtain this new life the doctor asked them both to repeat this prayer after him and believe and mean it.
‘Dear Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner and have done wrong before you. I know that I need you as my savior. I believe that you died on the cross for my sin and that after you died you rose from the grave three days later. I ask you to come into my life to be my Savior and Lord of my life. Thank you for doing this for me. Amen.’
Chun Lin and her husband prayed this pray and were given a new life now and forevermore by Jesus Christ. They were also given the power through Jesus Christ for a better control on their appetites and to exercise better.
You too can have this new life in Jesus Christ if you pray and mean the same prayer Chun Lin and her husband did.