When we exercise an attitude of gratitude, the resulting hormones called endorphins tend to have a physiological impact upon our lives. Endorphins may be produced in three ways: through our emotions, through sunlight, and through exercise. The importance of attitude is spoken of in Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
From Proverbs 3:5–8, we read: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” When we look at the context of this passage of Scripture, to what is the word it, in verse 8, referring? It is referring to trust. This is the very theme of the text. The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” The navel is the center of the body; the internal organs surround the navel—the stomach, the spleen, the kidneys and the liver.
Studies have proven that when we are at peace, when we have emotional stability and joy, even our digestion functions properly. We do not need antacids when we have an attitude of gratitude.
Verse 8 also mentions bone marrow. Bone marrow, the soft tissue found in the hollow interior of bones, produces new blood cells. So we may conclude that trust facilitates the function of blood cells.
The first line of defense in helping someone is to help him or her have an attitude of gratitude. This means that if he or she has joy in their heart, their immune system function is enhanced. No herb or juice can do that. Only the Spirit of the living God can do that. This is why it is so important to have an intimate relationship with God.
So, today, praise God and give Him glory. God has given us such an awesome, sacred work to perform, to evangelize the world. Let us be inspired to do His work with joy and with thanksgiving.
Three final, great tests have been given for God’s church. The Sabbath is the final, great test. Another test is the Spirit of Prophecy. There is a movement within the Seventh-day Adventist Church at this time to make none effect of these precious truths. A whole generation of Adventists do not understand the sacredness of the Spirit of Prophecy. You may be surprised at the third test. It is the medical missionary work. This is an indispensable aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot neglect this work and expect to receive the seal of the living God.
There is a call to medical missionary work. As we read in Psalm 67:2: “That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.” This text is inclusive of everyone on this planet.
Evangelism is the very heartbeat of God’s church. When I became a member of this precious church, I realized that it had a message to give to all the world. I realized that exercise—activity—is the law of life. If we are not exercising our faith, if we are not witnessing, we will spiritually die. The very circulation of the church depends upon evangelism. An arm confined to a sling and left would die. If you do not use it, you will lose it. Atrophy will result.
When evangelism is dead in a church, the church dies. God has not called us to be pew sitters. I recently talked to a young lady who has been asked to help a minister start a television program. This minister is very busy. He even has said that he has so many activities going on that he does not have any time to engage in evangelism. What type of minister must he be if he does not have time to engage in soul winning? If he is just standing in the pulpit preaching, it is no wonder the church is dying.
Evangelism is the heartbeat! Consider the word evangelism. What do you see in the middle of it? Angel! When we engage in evangelism, we have the holy angels with us. In Revelation 14:6, 7, the Bible says: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,” showing the urgency and sacredness of the message, “having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
The word having means, “possessing.” As we study the Bible, we realize that in Revelation 1 Jesus gives us an understanding of those angels as representing the church. That means the angels are symbolic of people. In verse 6, when it refers to this angel as having, that means this angel possessed something. So, this angel, flying in the midst of heaven, is not set in steel. This angel is pro-active. This angel is engaged and involved. There are lives on the line—our lives, the lives of our families.
Who, What, How
We cannot lead people any closer to Christ than we are to Christ. It is important for us to be experiencing the very power of this gospel, because we cannot give something that we have not experienced ourselves.
When I was growing up in Chicago [Illinois], I lived in an apartment. It is possible to live in an apartment in Chicago with neighbors close next door and never know who they are. You may see them as you come in and go out, but there is no conversation, no engagement, and no intercourse. Are we that way as Christians? Are we ashamed of what God has given us? The world is dying around us, and we have a precious message to give.
The world population today is over six billion people. Over 60 percent of the world’s population is in Asia. Asia is non-Christian, which means that 60 percent of the world’s population is non-Christian. It has been predicted that by the year 2050 there will be 9.8 billion people on the face of the earth; 65 out of every 100 will be in Asia. These people need the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Then, when we talk about medical missionary work, we want to answer three questions: who, what, and how? Who is called to do this work? What is medical missionary work, and how is it to be conducted?
“Every son and daughter of God is called to be a missionary; we are called to the service of God and our fellow men.” The Ministry of Healing, 395. This quote really affected my life many years ago, before I even knew who wrote the book.
When many people think of being a missionary, they think of going to a foreign area such as Africa or Asia. Is that what a missionary is? A missionary is one who has a mission, a purpose. So, a missionary is not just a person who goes overseas; a missionary is one who has a purpose and a mission. Your home community may be a mission field! You may go to some areas in the United States that are concentrated with Adventists or other Christians. That is a mission field.
A missionary is not defined as a person who goes to a foreign field; a missionary is one who has a mission and a purpose. Whatever your occupation—whether you are doctor, lawyer, farmer, mechanic, secretary, or homemaker—you can be a missionary.
“Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; [Even] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Isaiah 43:6, 7. He has formed us for His glory, and He has given two purposes for our lives: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves. (Luke 10:27.) Our purpose for existence is to glorify God and to serve our neighbor. It is not to make money; it is not for status; it is for these two purposes. When we put this into perspective, everything becomes balanced. We do not have to be stressed.
“We are called to the service of God and our fellow men; and to fit us for this service should be the object of our education…
“They are to obtain an education that will help them to stand by the side of Christ in unselfish service.” The Ministry of Healing, 395.
Yes, education and working are important, but those are only tools to fulfill our purpose. The reason we should acquire education is to equip ourselves to be more effective in the service of God. Money also is only a tool to fulfill that purpose; it is not the object.
“Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 43:10. What is a witness? A witness is one who gives evidence, who testifies in a cause, who has personal knowledge of something. A witness is someone who has first-hand experience of a situation or topic. This is what the gospel is all about.
Ellen White wrote: “God can and will use those who have not had a thorough education in the schools of men.” Christian Service, 24.
That means you do not have to have secular education degrees in order to do this work. I suggest, however, that you need three degrees: a B.A., an M.D., and a Ph.D. If you are unfamiliar with these degrees, allow me to explain. They are: B.A.—Born Again; M.D.—Made in the Divine image; and Ph.D.—Praise Him Daily. If you have these three degrees, you will qualify to do the work of God.
“We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work.” Ibid., 135. “Every member”! Does that include you and me? It does not say that you have to be a surgeon, although there is a place for that, or a nurse, although there is a place for that. But every member should be a medical missionary. That means we need to learn what being a medical missionary entails.
“God wants the ministers and the church members to take a decided, active interest in the medical missionary work.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 300. He does not want just lip service, but a decided, active interest. That means action! We are not just going to discuss it; we are going to begin to implement it.
Inspiration says, “One worker who has been trained and educated for the work, who is controlled by the Spirit of Christ, will accomplish far more than ten laborers who go out deficient in knowledge, and weak in the faith. One who works in harmony with the counsel of God, and in unity with the brethren, will be more efficient to do good, than ten will be who do not realize the necessity of depending upon God, and of acting in harmony with the general plan of the work.” Review and Herald, May 29, 1888. If we submit totally to God and allow God to use us, we can each impact the lives of at least ten people. That means you and I, without even traveling around the world, could potentially impact the lives of a thousand people!
Jesus trained 12 men. On the day of Pentecost, there were 120. Do your multiplication—10 x 12! And on that one day, 3,000 souls came into the church. You realize that one woman at the well impacted a whole town. One man, once he got his mind together and God told the fish to spew him out, impacted a whole nation. Then, there were the two from whom Jesus cast out devils. The freed men wanted to follow Jesus, but the residents of the city asked Jesus to leave. He left, but He left behind two missionaries who went about as His witnesses. When Jesus was able to return, the people flocked to Him. (Acts 2; John 4; Jonah 1; Matthew 8:28–34.) Do you see how one person, trained and moved by the Holy Spirit, can impact so many others?
The reason we do not see the impact we have is because most of us are still waiting to be spiritually fed week after week. When we attend church on Sabbath, we should go with praise and testimony, demonstrating the power that God has manifested in our lives throughout the week. God is looking for men and women who will be led by His Spirit.
“As thy days, [so shall] thy strength [be].” Deuteronomy 33:25. The promise of this text keeps me and, I am sure, many others involved in God’s work going. If I were to not engage in missionary work, I believe I would not only spiritually die, but physically die as well. That is the heartbeat; that is the passion; that is the life of the church.
Will you answer the call?
Behind the Scenes
There are those who seem to play seemingly insignificant roles in missionary work. You do not have to be before the people. You do not have to be a public speaker or a preacher. A missionary is not someone who always has to be in front of the television camera.
Do you remember Andrew, Peter’s brother? “One of the two which heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus.” John 1:40–42. After Andrew shared the good news with Peter, little more is recorded about him. Nevertheless, much is written about Peter. On the day of Pentecost, thousands came in as a result of his sermon. If it had not been for Andrew, there would not have been Peter’s witness.
If the secretary, the computer operator, the camera people, the cook, do not do their work, those who are more visible cannot efficiently do their work. Do not despise a small beginning. We all have an important role to play in winning souls. We are not to compare ourselves among ourselves. We each should find our place in God’s work. No matter how humble it may seem to us, God puts a high value upon it.
Medical Missionary Work
What is true medical missionary work? It is restoring the right arm of the gospel. Medical missionary work is such an important element of God’s work, but it has been dying. It needs to be revived.
“And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched [it] out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” Mark 3:1–5. These texts are telling of Jesus going into the synagogue, which represents the church. There in the church He found a man with a withered hand. The church leaders, the Pharisees, watched Jesus to see what action He would take.
Even during the times of Christ there were what are called Sabbath Blue Laws. The church leaders had a specific way in which they wanted everybody to worship, so they were watching Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath.
What is the relationship between healing and the Sabbath? It is restoration. What does the Sabbath symbolize? It represents God’s creative work. It is the seal; it is the birthday of the creation; it is a sign that God is the Creator. When Christ died, He rested in the tomb on the Sabbath. That reinforces the Sabbath as a sign of God’s re-creative and restoration work.
We are made in the image of God, and our bodies are to be the temple of the living God. God desires to put His image in the soul of man. The whole plan of salvation is to restore the image of God in the human soul. God wants to bring us back to the original position that Adam had before sin. Healing is a part of that process. Healing is to preserve; healing is to restore. So, there is an intimate relationship between healing and the Sabbath. You cannot separate the two.
The Pharisees looked at Jesus with contempt, and today the health message is being looked upon with contempt, but you cannot separate the Sabbath from healing.
To be continued . . .
Thomas Jackson is a Health Evangelist and Director of Missionary Education and Evangelistic Training (M.E.E.T.) Ministry in Huntingdon, Tennessee. He may be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at: 731-986-3518.