It Starts with a Square

Sunday On Monday: Health Goals

BY Regan Hewitt

Main and Mulberry presents Sunday On Monday, a new series with Grace Hill Church’s Pastor Jason Stockdale. On each episode, Stockdale joins Anna Bell to share a brief word of faith, encouragement and hope. Each morning’s reflection reminds us of what’s really important. During this episode, Stockdale discusses the relationship between faith and physical health – listen here or read the interview below. Listen to all past episodes of Sunday On Monday here.

Sunday On Monday

May 3, 2021

Anna Bell: Hey guys. Good morning and thank you for joining us for this episode of Sunday on Monday. I’m your host, Anna Bell, and I’m so glad to be with Jason Stockdale, the lead pastor over at Grace Hill Church in Carvel, Tennessee. Jason, good morning.

Jason Stockdale: Good morning, Anna Bell, how are you today? 

AB: I’m doing really good, I’ve got my cup of coffee and I’m ready to start the week off on a really good note. What about you? 

JS: Great. Exactly the same. Exactly the same.

AB: I’m anxious to hear what message you have for us today.

JS: Yeah, you know we’re gonna start a new series today called Health Goals, so I’m looking forward to the next three weeks talking about this.

AB: Awesome, let’s get started.

JS: You know for the better part of the last 10 years, I’ve struggled in the area of my physical health specifically, my big struggle is as it relates to food. I turn too often to food for comfort, it is so many times my crutch for the stress that I carry in my life, and I’ve had for, like I said, the better part of the last 10 years, an ongoing battle with my physical health in that area. See if this sounds familiar, I’ve been promising myself, I’m going to start tomorrow, or the famous… Maybe the better one here is, “Okay, on Monday, I’m gonna take my physical health seriously and yet, tomorrow comes and goes, Monday comes and goes. And I have felt the shame and embarrassment of failing again and again. And you know after a year like 2020, most of us have probably had some impact on our physical health, either for the good or for the bad, so for the next few weeks, we’re gonna chat about our physical health, and I wanna be real clear, this is what it is not, this conversation will not be an effort to change what you eat. I’m not gonna tell you to exercise more, and I’m not even gonna tell you to embrace some new fad diet.

JS: What it is, is this, I hope to be able to give you a new why, a new reason, a better reason to pursue physical health. And so what we wanna do is we wanna start with a biblical understanding that could hopefully lead to new motivation for pursuing physical health. So I wanna give us a definition. Just a working definition for physical health and take it from a biblical perspective. So here’s our definition, we’re gonna work with the next few weeks. Biblical physical health is this, the stewardship of the physical body that God has given us that in turn allows us to flourish for kingdom work, loving ourselves, our family, neighbors, community, and church well for the length of time, God has us on this Earth. So today, we wanna start with this idea, this simple idea, but it is so profound is this, is that God cares for our physical health from the very first pages of scripture, we see the heartbeat of God towards his creation from the beginning, you are created in the image of God, no matter what your BMI is right now, no matter if you count your macros, carbs or calories, no matter.

JS: You are made in the image of God, and if you’ve been made in the image of God, then God cares about you, he cares about every aspect of your life, including physical health, and in the very first pages of scripture in Genesis chapter one, we see this God also said, “Look, I’ve given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth, and every tree whose fruit contains seed, this will be food for you, for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth, everything having the breath of life in it, I have given every plant for food.” God says, “I made you. Now, I’m gonna provide food, nourishment, health for you.” Why? You guessed it, because God cares about our physical health. In the New Testament, there is so much that speaks to this, but I wanna give you a few instances, one of the most important teachings of Jesus was his teaching on how to pray.

JS: Think about the Lord’s Prayer. Give us this day our daily bread. He’s essentially saying, to pray for what we need for today, right there embedded in the way Jesus taught us how to pray was to ask God for what we needed in our daily lives to nourish our bodies. Think about this metaphor of God that runs through all of scripture, it’s the imagery of a shepherd. Now, I have four goats, 10 chickens and a pot bellied pig named Petunia, and one of the biggest tasks of being a shepherd to those animals is this caring for their physical health, feeding them, watering them, making sure they are clean and healthy, and if I care about the physical health of my animals, how much more does God care about the physical health of yours? Well, Jesus gives us a clue into this, Matthew 6:26, he says this, “Consider the birds of the sky, they don’t sow or reap or gather in the barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is reminding his audience and he reminds us today, God cares, God takes care of the birds of the sky, he feeds him and he created you and wants to take care of you, God cares about our physical health, and you may say, “Well, what about all the pain, the hurt, the disease that’s in the world, if God cares about physical health, why do we have that in this world?” And that’s a great question.

JS: And we’re gonna talk about that very thing next week on Sunday, on Monday. So I wanna remind you as we close, God cares about your physical health.

AB: Thank you, Jason, for helping us really understand more about biblical physical health. Will you close us in prayer? 

JS: Would love to. Father, I thank you so much for creating us, thank you for providing for us. I pray for all of those today who are wanting to take steps to pursue a physical health to care for their bodies, I pray that you would give them wisdom on how to do that, I pray you would put the right people in their path. I pray for people who are carrying burdens because of their physical health is broken, and we’re gonna talk about that next week, I pray that you would comfort them and that you would care for them in their brokenness. We love you and we thank you. Give us a great week this week in Jesus’ name, Amen.

AB: Amen. We hope you enjoyed today’s message, I’m Anna Bell, and we’ll see you next Monday for Main and Mulberry’s Sunday on Monday. Take care.

July/August 2021 Tour Collierville Magazine