Monday, September 5, 2011

What do a Tooth Brush and a Bible have in common?

As I walk along the journey I am on to a Healthier Me, I find myself cruising websites for health information. Since there is heart disease in my family I want to look into ways to incorporate better heart health in my new lifestyle. So, and I admit I had already heard this but wanted to know more, I looked at the health benefits of proper teeth brushing and how to do it properly.

Amazingly, people with high amounts of bacteria in their mouths that lead to gum diseases often are found with hardened arteries. Hardened arteries result in higher blood pressure, less constriction/expansion of your arteries, and possible stoke, to name a few problems. Wow! Just by taking the time to brush your teeth you can help your heart!

So, how long does it take to brush your teeth? If, you spend the recommended 2 minutes brushing twice a day and another 2 minutes once a day to floss, that is a total of 6 minutes. You’ll have better looking teeth, better breath, and a healthier heart.

Much like not brushing our teeth causes hardening of the arteries, which is part of our circulatory system pumped by the heart, not reading our Bibles on a daily basis causes a hardening of our hearts.

Think of Pharaoh in those first several chapters of Exodus. He refused to hear God’s message. He would be tempted to have a change of heart, but then his heart hardened; it turned back to what he wanted. Look at what all it took to change his heart enough to let the people go.

1.       The water turned to blood. Imagine turning on the water in your home and it was all blood. No baths, no clean dishes, no cooking, no laundry, no swimming in the pool, and you can’t even go to the store and buy water because ALL the water has turned to blood. The bloody water lasted for 7 days!

2.       Then here come the frogs. I would drop dead of a heart attack. Pharaoh did give in, but once God had taken the frogs away he changed his mind/hardened his heart.

3.       Lice. Have you ever had to get rid of lice? Imagine the massive infestation. All over the animals and the people. MISERY! Pharaoh would not change his mind. His heart remained hard.

4.       Then flies swarmed in. I bet that was one miserable existence swatting pesky flies! Yet Pharaoh still would not change his mind. His heart remained hard or he was stubborn.

5.       Then he caused disease to fall upon the animals. This would be akin to all the cars breaking down and many of our food sources being corrupted. Imagine the noise of animals in pain. Yet, Pharaoh would not change his heart. He would not let the will of God in.

6.       Then there came boils. I had a boil once in high school. Imagine a zit on MAJOR steroids. It hurt so badly! Yet, even when the Egyptian people were covered with them, Pharaoh too, he still refused to listen to and obey God’s commands.

7.       Hail. It was a terrible hail storm. It destroyed all vegetation and it struck down the animals and people in the fields. Did Pharaoh change is mind? NO. His heart stayed hard.

8.       Then the locusts came. Whatever was left of the crops or vegetation that could be gleaned from the wreckage of the hail was destroyed by the locusts. Pharaoh still remained with his hard heart.

9.       Then darkness came. It was like an ominous warning of the last plague. Three days with no light. As Christians we know the light is God. It was still not enough. Pharaoh would not let God in his heart.

10.   Then the sad day of the death of the first born in each Egyptian family. Pharaoh finally allowed the people to go as God requested, but only after a terribly high price had been paid.

Even after all of this, Pharaoh once again changed his mind after the people where on their way, and his actions resulted in a mortal blow to the Egyptian nation. His change of mind caused the death of many of their men in the Red Sea as they chased the Israelites to return them to captivity.

So how does this lesson from the Bible tie in with brushing our teeth?

I look at it like this, if I want God to be #1 in my heart, I have to let HIM in. He doesn’t slip in without me knowing it. He doesn’t come in without being invited. I won’t know what to do in order for Him to be able to stay in my heart. So I must take the time to properly read my Bible each day to keep God in my heart and the world out. The world’s ways of thinking are what make my heart hard.

God wants to be in our hearts. He wants us to have healthy hearts, both spiritually and physically. So, if you are struggling with things in life you need to do some self-examination.

I love the phrase, “Make the main THING the MAIN thing.” If God fills your heart it is so much easier to turn away from temptations in life.

If I don’t brush my teeth then I will have mostly likely have tooth and gum problems, and possibly have hardening of my arteries. Without proper devotion to Bible study, then my spiritual heart will be hardened to the will of God. Both can lead to death.

As always, I thank you for your support. I hope you have great success with all of your goals for the day. If you do make a mistake, fall off the wagon, eat a bag of cookies, or fail in any way don’t quit. Just take inventory. Stop and think. Repent if necessary. Pray for strength. Reach out to someone who knows your struggles and can help you over the bump in the road.

God’s blessings to you all! Leah

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