Biblical Meditation

I have found that meditating upon God’s Word has been an effective way to keep my life focused on doing His will and not my own.

What do I mean when I say that we should meditate upon God’s Word? Let me first explain what I do not mean. It is not emptying your mind, trying to attain an altered state of consciousness. Rather, it is filling your mind with God’s Word where you study, reflect, and apply what it says to every area of your life.

Just as our bodies need physical food to survive, God’s Word is spiritual food for our soul. The Bible provides us with proper direction (it tells us why we are here and where we are going), proper doctrine (it tells us what we need to know), proper discernment (it tells us how we can know right from wrong), and proper discipline (it tells us how we are to live). – BJ Rudge

Getting Our Attention

by Bill Rudge

Photo by Karen Rudge

With the non-stop stimulation of electronic devices and society’s increasing fixation with the pursuit of pleasures, how can God get our attention? For many, the eternal significance of having a relationship with the Creator is grossly underestimated.

While driving, it is common for people to listen to music or news on the radio. When walking or jogging many listen to their favorite playlists or podcasts. At home they watch movies, play video games, browse the internet, text and catch up on the latest “gossip” or newest trends on social media platforms. And consider how many people have fogged minds from sleep deprivation, poor diets, drug use (legal and illegal), abuse of alcohol, or overwhelmed by the stresses of life, family, and work.

Due to prejudice or hostility, some people alienate themselves from God because they feel He is indifferent to their pain and suffering, or because they condone lifestyles contrary to His Word. Others, with preconceived ideas and beliefs, seek to determine who or what they think God should be. And some pursue New Age spirituality, leading them down any number of paths away from the true and living God of the Bible.

Pain, Suffering, and Judgment

Often, trouble or tragedy is the wake-up call that motivates people to seek God for help. I have ministered to many who previously had little interest in, or time for, God until a life threatening disease, debilitating injury, loss of a loved one, the breakup of a relationship, or some other crisis opened their eyes.

Experience and history teach us that along life’s journey, God uses a variety of ways to get our attention and motivate us to seek Him. Nevertheless, today’s generation is hardening their hearts and moving in a direction that is diametrically opposed to what the Creator intended for us. No wonder it will take the worst judgments ever­—the cataclysmic events described in the Book of Revelation—to get the attention of this world. While many will be brought to repentance, most will continue to resist and rebel. Then, one day they will discover the shocking reality of a God who so loved them that He died for their sins, but having rejected Jesus’ free offer of salvation, He is no longer their Savior but their Judge!
Throughout their lifetime God attempted to get their attention and desired a relationship with them but was repulsed repeatedly. If we die still choosing to ignore or defy God, rejecting His provision of salvation in Jesus Christ, then at the Final Judgment, God will give us what we have chosen—eternal separation from His presence. In contrast, those who receive Christ will inherit all that God has prepared for those who love Him and obey His Word.

One day soon, Jesus Christ will return as the victorious King of kings and Lord of lords. Prophecies foretold in Scripture thousands of years ago are clearly lining up. Those who do not discern the end time “signs of the times” will be easy prey for the deceptive and seductive spirit of this age. They will be lured away from their only true hope—Jesus Christ.

Dreams, Desires, and Aspirations

Take time while you still have the opportunity to put down your phones and contemplate the reality of a Creator, ponder the meaning of life, and consider the eternal consequences of your choices. Questions such as: Where did I come from? Am I here for a reason? What happens after I die? If you truly examine the evidence for the claims of Jesus Christ and the Bible, you will discover undeniable proof just as Peter realized when he declared to Jesus, “You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

God’s glory is displayed through the wonders of creation, and the knowledge of Him is revealed through His inspired Word. Although we are without excuse, He continues to pursue us through life’s circumstances, dreams and visions, and through pain and suffering—all in an endeavor to bring us back into relationship with Him—both here and now, and for all eternity!

Don’t waste your life thinking that if you only had this or accomplished that you would be happy; temporary happiness will always elude you. The only enduring solution is to come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. I made that choice and have never looked elsewhere for fulfillment, peace, and hope. True, there is still a longing in my heart—not for something or someone else, but to know Christ more deeply, to see Him face to face, and to witness all of creation return to God’s original intended glory. When that day finally comes and we are with our Lord and Savior for all eternity, we will witness the ultimate fulfillment of all our dreams, desires, and aspirations.

He Is Seeking You Now

You may feel that God has distanced Himself from His creation, but consider this situation: What would you do if your spouse disregarded you and instead pursued someone else? You would most likely distance yourself from them; the same is true with Christ. God walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve until disobedience and rebellion severed their relationship. Likewise, all of humanity has followed that pattern. We continue to disbelieve, disobey and follow our own path. Today’s generation has distanced itself and mocked the God who created us and our universe. For a time God will give us our space, yet He is always ready to restore our relationship with Him.

Let us no longer remain disinterested in knowing God! Let us stop getting caught up in the frantic pace of life and the cares of this world. Let us not be trapped in the pursuit of pleasure and self-indulgence. Let us not be blinded by false spiritual and philosophical beliefs. Do not let constant distractions, diversions, the endless disturbances of technological advances, chemical dependencies, nutritional deficiencies or fixations, or anything else hinder God from getting your attention!

God graciously responds to our sincere cries of desperation:

In my trouble I cried to the LORD and He answered me (Psalm 120:1).

The LORD is faithful to His promise:

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

Let your heart be as King David’s:

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God (Psalm 42:1-2).

Call out to God for forgiveness, and be assured by the Apostle Peter’s promise:

Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved (Romans 10:13).

The Bible, God’s holy Word, affirms:

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

Test the promise of Isaiah 40:31:

But those who wait on [hope in] the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

As Jesus Himself did, so God desires us to occasionally separate ourselves from the busyness of life to wait on Him in prayer, praise, and to reflect on His Word. Our times of fellowship with God will result in spiritual and physical rejuvenation, mental and emotional renewal, and blessings the psalmist discovered:

Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His Law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).

Do not wait until it is too late to offer God your time and attention. Get to know Jesus Christ while you still have the chance and the choice. Life is short and unpredictable; death is often unexpected. Your eternal destiny is in God’s hands! Right now you have the opportunity to accept His offer of forgiveness and the promise of a restored relationship with your Creator.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Receiving Him as Savior and Lord is the wisest and most courageous decision you will ever make. Living for Him will be the most exciting, challenging, and fulfilling life you can live.

Kill All The Amalekites

When Saul was anointed king over Israel, God told him to kill all the Amalekites, including their women and children, and to destroy everything they had including their animals. But Saul only did part of what God commanded. He disobeyed God, let some of the Amalekites live, and took some of their animals for booty. About 500 years later Haman the Agagite (the royal family of the Amalekites) attempted to have all the Jews killed. By not carrying out God’s seemingly extreme command, King Saul opened a door that almost wiped out the entire Jewish nation [see Book of Esther]. Those who do not know the future should be careful about questioning the Word of God. – Daymond R. Duck and Larry Richards

Making the Bible Come Alive!

By Bill Rudge

If you are a new Christian or just wanting to study the Bible, I recommend starting with the book of John, then reading through the entire New Testament. If you have time for a second Bible study each day, begin with the book of Genesis and continue reading through the Old Testament. Going back and forth from the Old Testament to the New Testament is insightful, and sometimes hard to stop because there are so many interesting accounts! Before reading Scripture, I ask the Lord to open my spiritual eyes and heart. When finished, I ask Him to enable me to apply that which is beneficial to my life.

When I start a new book of the Bible, I like to read the entire book straight through or listen to it on an audio recording to get a summary. Then I go back and reread it chapter by chapter and contemplate its meaning. I meditate on each verse, like a cow chewing its cud, trying to assimilate it into my spiritual lifeblood. During this second reading, I do background research, examine corresponding Scripture references and sometimes use a commentary or other reference material. It might take me a month or more to go through one book of the Bible in this manner. Then I reread the entire book straight through again. This is an effective way to learn and remember Scripture.

By following this procedure, God’s truth and principles have come alive in my mind, my heart and my life. I try to read the Word and pray three times a day (morning, noon, and evening). When I take time for Bible study and prayer, the Lord seems to multiply my time and the day usually goes much better.

As you study Scripture you will discover the attitudes and behaviors the Lord loves as well as those He hates. His Spirit will transform your life to help you overcome that which dishonors Him and give you a desire to embrace that which honors Him. Developing a biblical worldview and lifestyle will prove to be a most beneficial pursuit and the fulfilling priority of your life.

My desire is to give up anything that hinders my quest to know and live for Christ. My passion is to be empowered by His Spirit to live out what He has called me to be and do. Has it been worth it? Absolutely! May the Lord give each of us an even greater revelation of Him through His Word!

Accuracy vs. Relevance

Bill Rudge

Instead of trying to be relevant, make it your priority to accurately proclaim God’s Word. Then you will be both accurate and relevant!

The Church today desperately needs leaders who daily delve into the Bible and spend time in prayer so God’s Spirit can breathe spiritual insight into them. They, in turn, can nourish hungry souls. The Body of Christ thirsts for those who proclaim the pure Word of God under the anointing of His Spirit.

May the priority of every pastor, Christian leader and believer in Christ be to seek out, live out and speak out the incredible treasures and wisdom of God’s Word!

“Choice Time”

Bill Rudge

We all have responsibilities and obligations related to job and family, maintenance on our homes and vehicles, plus unexpected circumstances that require our time and energy.

But what about your “choice time?” “Choice time” is what you do when you have the opportunity to choose. Do you watch television, browse the Internet, play video games or just hang out with friends? Sometimes we need to do certain things to de-stress and enjoy life. However, our priorities and heart commitment are revealed through how we spend our “choice time.”

I encourage you to spend more of your choice time in Bible study, prayer and sharing your faith with those who do not know Christ—all the more as you see the Day of the LORD approaching.

Quotes By Famous People Who Believed the Bible

George Washington – “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God or the Bible.”

Thomas Jefferson – “I have always said, and always will say, that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make us better citizens, better fathers and better husbands.”

Noah Webster – “The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from—vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression slavery, and war—proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

Daniel Webster – “I have read the Bible through many times, and now make it a practice to read it through once every year. It fits a man for life—it prepares him for death. If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible our country will go on prospering.”

Abraham Lincoln – “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has given to man.”

Charles Dickens – “The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world.”

Samuel Morse (inventor of the telegraph) – “The nearer I approach the end of my pilgrimage, the clearer is the evidence of the divine origin of the Bible. The grandeur and sublimity of God’s remedy for fallen man are more appreciated and the future is illuminated with hope and joy.”

Charles H. Spurgeon – “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”

William McKinley – “The more profoundly we study this wonderful Book, and the more closely we observe its divine precepts, the better citizens we will become and the higher will be our destiny as a nation.”

Theodore Roosevelt – “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”

Woodrow Wilson – “There are a good many problems before the American people today, and before me as President, but I expect to find the solution of those problems just in the proportion that I am faithful in the study of the Word of God.”

Calvin Coolidge – “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt – “We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic.”

N. T. Wright – “The Bible is the book of my life. It’s the book I live with, the book I live by, the book I want to die by.”

Herbert Hoover – “The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.”

Dwight Eisenhower – “The Bible is endorsed by the ages. Our civilization is built upon its words. In no other Book is there such a collection of inspired wisdom, reality, and hope.”

Ronald Reagan – “Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face. The Bible can touch hearts, order minds and refresh souls.”

Historian Bill Cooper – “I spent more than 25 years digging into the Table of Nations [in Genesis 10 and 11], looking for a fault, an error, a false statement, or an historical inaccuracy. I found not one.”

The Most Amazing Book in the World

Bill Rudge

The Bible is unique among all books in the world, but it sits closed and silent in many homes. Some consider it outdated and offensive—even dangerous—or only for the uneducated or unenlightened. Yet this Divine Library of 66 books (39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament) is anything but mute, archaic or insignificant—and is dangerous only for those who ignore its instruction and scorn its warnings.

Numerous theologians, historians, doctors and scientists confirm that the Bible is divinely inspired: verified by remarkable historical accuracy, amazing archaeological discoveries, insightful geography, fantastic scientific facts conveyed thousands of years before science learned of them, incredible health and nutritional information, astonishing prophecies concerning Messiah’s first and second comings, undeniable evidence for the resurrection of Christ, eyewitness testimony of those facing persecution and martyrdom—refusing to recant their faith in His resurrection, practical wisdom for living, time-proven morality, perceptive judiciary laws. The Bible genuinely answers life’s questions of who we are, where we came from, where we are going, and solves the dilemmas of evil, sin, suffering, aging and death.

The Bible provides knowledge and wisdom far beyond what the greatest minds could ever conceive. It is a literary masterpiece, with one central theme of redemption, written over a span of 1500 years by more than 40 authors (including shepherds, kings, priests, scholars, and prophets) on three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) and in three languages (Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic).

All Scripture “is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16) – literally “God-breathed.” John MacArthur comments: “Sometimes God told the Bible writers the exact words to say, but more often He used their minds, vocabularies, and experiences to produce His own perfect infallible, inerrant Word.” In other words, a Divine Author inspired the authors and oversaw the entire process while allowing them to maintain their own styles and personalities.

The Bible is truly the most fascinating book in the world. It has held my interest and attention—amazing me for over 50 years. The more I study Scripture, the more I am impressed by its harmony, veracity, wisdom and revelation. Both Testaments bear witness of a promised Messiah—His first coming as our Savior and His return to establish a Millennial and Eternal Kingdom.

Dr. Blythe Robinson, a friend and colleague now gone on to be with the Lord, said:

The Bible’s durability transcends the centuries of attacks upon it. Its transforming power for good over the lives of all who accept it, continues. Few realize that it is the most expensive book in the world. It has cost the lives of untold thousands who gave their lives through the ages to preserve it and pass it on unchanged to us.

The Bible is so easy to understand that a child can grasp God’s promise of salvation, yet so complex that a lifetime of extensive study will not even begin to delve the depths of its timeless revelations or discover the priceless jewels of wisdom contained within.

The truths in Scripture and coming to know the One who inspired it have provided purpose for the searching, hope for the downtrodden and have transformed the lives of countless people throughout history—including mine and hopefully yours. Only a personal relationship with the Creator can truly satisfy a yearning heart as we await the day of our complete redemption and God’s creation being restored to its intended glory.

Norman Geisler and Frank Turek wrote an insightful book entitled, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. I completely concur because it would take more faith for me to not believe in Jesus Christ! The miraculous interventions I have witnessed confirm and validate for me the reality of the God of the Bible. I would have to be biased, weak and foolish to deny the Creator and His Word. Surrendering my life to Christ has proven the wisest, strongest and most courageous decision I ever made.

The Bible’s final authority is demonstrated in the fact that all of humanity will one day be judged by Jesus’ words (John 12:48). Begin today to navigate the depths of the riches of God’s Word. It will provide wisdom and hope throughout the remainder of your life’s journey and prepare you for eternity!

Super Shots

Practice Makes Perfect

There is so much stress and turmoil in the world today that Bill and his grandson, Lucas, decided to make a lighthearted video. Be assured, every shot was actually made (but we won’t tell you how many tries it took).

To check out more videos, please click on the following links:
For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.
For Living Truth For Today (BJ Rudge) YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.
For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website: https://billrudgeministries.wordpress.com/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows/.

God Wants Firstfruits, Not ‘Lastfruits’

Bill Rudge

It was on the third day of my January fast, as I was strategizing when to begin my intense Scripture study and prayer time, that the Lord spoke to my heart. I was also contemplating how to focus even more time on Bible study and prayer each day in the midst of a hectic ministry schedule and with many projects we have been attempting to finish for several years.

Suddenly, and unexpectedly, the Lord spoke to my heart: “I do not want the lastfruits; I want the firstfruits.” It was crystal clear. He was not asking for what was left over after all my deadlines, meetings and helping everyone in need was accomplished. He wants the firstfruits. He desires the “choice portion” of my time each day.

Life has a way of overwhelming us. But it is good to be reminded to quiet our hearts and seek Him each day. As we make Him the priority of our lives, He will teach us what is really most important and reveal to us new and wondrous things by His Word and Spirit.

Achieving Maximal Results from Exercise and Fitness

Compiled by Bill Rudge

Motivation, commitment, determination, discipline and dedication are important elements for a successful fitness program. Your goal should not just be to get in shape, but to keep your body in the best condition possible by making health and fitness a lifetime commitment.

• Before beginning any exercise program, consult your health care provider to determine the best course of action based on your age, level of fitness and health. You may have to use some creativity depending upon your physical limitations.

Start slowly and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workout. Remember, it took time to get out of shape; it will take time to get back into shape. Set goals that are realistic and monitor your progress to keep on track.

• You can join an organized fitness program, get a personal trainer, exercise alone or workout with a partner. Choose activities you enjoy and use variety to keep your workouts fresh. Design a specialized program that fits your schedule, meets your needs and interests and keeps you motivated.

Begin with warm-up and loosening exercises. Then do some gentle stretching, flexibility and balance exercises. Progress into strengthening and muscular endurance exercises which are designed to work every major muscle group (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms) against some type of resistance. The resistance may be in the form of your own body weight as in push-ups, pull-ups, dips, squats and lunges; pushing your head against a soft ball or your fingers to strengthen your neck; using weights, dumbbells, battle ropes, flipping tires or other innovative exercises. The amount of resistance develops strength and the number of repetitions helps muscular endurance. Both are important. Give your body at least 48 hours to rest between strength-training workouts.

Get your body moving: Walk or ride your bike in a park. Aerobic activities like walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming benefit the efficiency of the cardio-respiratory system by actually exercising the heart, blood vessels and lungs—enabling them to supply fuel and oxygen to the muscles. In order to improve and maintain cardio-respiratory fitness, a person should participate in aerobic exercises of moderate intensity for approximately 20 to 30 minutes four to six times a week. My personal style is to do brief stretching or cardio in between sets of resistance exercises so I am constantly moving during the entire workout to maximize time.

Breathe: When lifting weights or doing pull-ups and push-ups for example, inhale during the less strenuous aspect of each repetition and exhale when performing the most difficult aspect. Research suggests that nasal breathing is more effective and better than mouth breathing during exercise. Also, drink lots of purified water.

Health experts recommend drinking purified water before, during and after a workout. I usually conclude workouts with a recovery drink containing water with a variety of nutrients and protein. Your personal water needs throughout the day depend on many factors such as your health, level of activity and climate.

• After any form of exercise, have a cooling down time such as gently stretching or walking slowly so your body can gradually return to its normal pace.

• Consuming more calories than your body uses will result in weight gain. A combination of reducing calorie intake as well as burning excess calories through exercise and increased physical activity is the best way to lose weight, and keep it off. If your weight is satisfactory, then exercise to tone, firm and condition. Realize muscle is denser than fat, therefore, you may initially gain weight on the scale, but you will soon look and feel better. Also, eat a mostly plant-based diet rich in whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.

• Devices and gimmicks that promise instant fitness with little time or effort, are usually a waste of both time and money. Regular, sustained activity, gradually increasing in intensity, is the best way to get and stay in shape.

My fitness routine often consists of getting up early, and after Bible study and prayer, working out for approximately 30 to 60 minutes four to six days a week. The various regimens I have designed include stretching, balance, strengthening and cardiovascular exercises. Throughout the week I will implement a variety of fitness routines using natural resistance, weights, dumbbells, battle rope, rings or obstacle course, as well as incorporating bouncing on a re-bounder, punching a speed bag, kicking a heavy bag, jumping rope, walking, swimming or participating in recreational sports.

Taking proper care of your miraculous body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, will provide numerous health benefits such as having more energy, feeling and looking better, being less prone to injury, dealing with stress more effectively and having a better, more confident attitude. Keeping fit physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually will also enable you to be a more effective witness for Jesus Christ.

Holy Land Pilgrimage ~ April 18-26, 2023

Mount of Olives – view of Jerusalem from Garden of Gethsemane. Photo by Bill Rudge

We invite you to come with us on an unforgettable journey to the land of the Bible. This will be Bill’s 11th trip to the Holy Land, and we have personally customized it for what we believe to be the best tour at the best price—maximizing both time and itinerary.

Several people are already registered but we still have room for some more travelers. Prayerfully consider joining us on our 11th Holy Land Adventure for a life-changing experience. To receive a brochure, including itinerary and registration form, check the appropriate box on the enclosed envelope insert form or contact us at:

brm7@me.com
724-983-1223
Box 108, Sharon, PA 16146

Obstacle Course Entry Teaches Most Important Lesson

Entering the Ultimate Challenge Obstacle and Fitness Course under the pole.

Bill has been privileged to train various sports teams, military personnel, new military recruits and many other youth and adults on our Ultimate Challenge Obstacle & Fitness Course. To enter the obstacle course, participants must bend down and go under a low wooden horizontal pole supported by two vertical posts. Bill tells them to look straight ahead toward the woods—where they see a cross. After everyone has entered the course Bill comments, “There is not a chance you are here by random chance. There is a God who created the heavens and the earth and He created each of you for a special purpose. The only way to come to know the Sovereign Lord of the Universe is to humble yourself before the cross.” They get this most important message before Bill takes them through many rigorous challenges on the obstacle course with several life-lessons.

Ringing the bell after completing the obstacle course.

Unlike Navy SEALs or SWCC (Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen) participants, who only ring the bell when they quit, those on our obstacle course get to ring a loud silver bell when they complete the course—but only if they have done so with courage, determination and a positive attitude!

Several groups are already scheduled for the Obstacle Course this summer.

Motherhood

by Jim Weikal

The Bible has a high regard for mothers. From Eve, who is “the mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20), through Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah, Ruth, Hannah, Elizabeth and, of course, Mary, who after listening to the shepherds, “treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Little did she know that one day she would watch the horrible crucifixion of her Son (John 19:25). After this devastating event, Mary set a Godly example devoting herself to prayer in the upper room with the 11 disciples, other women and Jesus’ brothers (Acts 1:12-14).

Motherhood is very rewarding but with it comes the unknown and that unknown is the future. Mary did not know her Son’s future, but she had a firm foundation even as a teenager to deal with it. She knew the sacred texts, exalted the Lord, rejoiced in God her Savior, recognized His holiness, His mercy and His mighty deeds (Luke 1:46-54).

I encourage all you mothers to face your children’s future with a firm belief that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9, 10). A righteous, saved mother is a powerful and beautiful woman in her family’s life!

Health Quotes

“If you ignore your health, it will go away.” Dr. Stan Harris

“A man whose only goal in life is to seek riches will spend all his waking time finding ways to get more wealth, while neglecting his health. Then later in life he will spend all his wealth to try to gain back his health.” Author Unknown

“You can willingly change your diet and lifestyle now, or one day you will be forced to.” Bill Rudge

“Swallow your pride—it’s non-fattening.” David James

“The best exercise for weight loss is table push-aways.” Author Unknown

“Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it never goes anywhere.” Wanda E. Brunstetter

“The finest form of exercise is to touch the floor regularly with your knees.” Author Unknown

“Many people have difficulty modifying the way they eat. Instead, I recommend they modify the way they shop for food. Keep all junk food, processed food, and tempting foods out of your grocery cart and out of your house. Don’t buy these foods. If you don’t have them readily available, you aren’t going to be as tempted to eat them.” Dr. Don Colbert

“Do you eat fish with high mercury levels, like tuna, King mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, or swordfish? If so, consider switching to the ‘SMASH fish’ (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring). Certain foods enhance detoxification, including: cilantro, the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, arugula, bok choy etc.) avocados, artichokes, beets, garlic, ginger, grapefruit, lemons, olive oil, and seaweed.” Shaklee’s Health Quest

“To neglect the Creator’s instruction of taking one day off a week to rest and rejuvenate is a sure path to physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion.” Author Unknown

Establish BALANCE for Optimal Health

by Bill Rudge

Luke 2:52 tells us that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” He developed a balanced life. As believers we, too, should live a balanced life. God cares about our total well being.

Physically, our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and should be “living sacrifices”—totally committed to the Lord in every aspect for His honor and glory. Mentally, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds—thinking about and dwelling on that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and praiseworthy. Emotionally, we must not allow negative and destructive feelings such as worry, fear, jealousy, bitterness, hate, revenge, greed, impatience and pride to dominate our lives. Instead, they must be replaced with the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Spiritually, we are created in God’s image and are to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, filled with and walking in the Spirit.

…May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

The most important principle of health is to “Fear [reverence] the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7, 8). Seek Him daily—preferably first thing in the morning. Find wisdom and strength for your day and your life in His Word and by His Spirit.

Do Not Neglect the Physical

Many Christians believe that exercise is of little value. They base their opinion, in part, on the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). When I was a new Christian and thought I would have to give up working out after reading 1 Timothy 4:8, a wise minister said to me, “The little that physical exercise does profit is very important, and not to be neglected.” Exercise is like tires on a car—small in comparison to the rest of the vehicle, but crucially important.
From the age of 12 (1965) when I was in the seventh grade, I have been involved in some type of exercise regimen (except for the brief period just mentioned). My current fitness routine often begins about 5:30 a.m., and after Bible study and prayer, I workout 30 to 60 minutes, four to six days a week. I also get exercise from outside work at the ministry center, as well as pushing grandchildren around in wheelbarrows or pulling them in wagons on “adventures” through “secret” trails in nearby fields and woods.

Bodily exercise and nutrition have temporal profit and are not to be neglected, but knowing Jesus Christ and His Word have eternal benefits! Paul counseled Timothy that godliness promises benefits for this present life and for the life to come; so I spend the majority of my time (approximately 40 – 60 hours a week) in Bible study, prayer and ministry and a minority of my time (about 4 – 6 hours a week) exercising and working out. The simple biblical principle that has proven to be of immense value in bringing balance to me is: “Focus on the spiritual while not neglecting the physical.” Since my priority has been making certain my “soul prospers,” the Lord has blessed me in many ways and given me abounding energy to accomplish the vision He placed in my heart. My prosperity is not in material wealth, but in His peace and joy that transcend life’s circumstances.

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (Proverbs 14:30). A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22).

Like an athlete preparing for his next contest, I discipline myself and am constantly training (exercising, eating nutritionally, fasting, praying, studying Scripture and so on) to be a more effective witness for Christ, to better handle the daily stresses of life, to be able to fulfill an oftentimes rigorous ministry schedule, to be prepared for the rigors of my next mission adventure and to participate in physical activities with my grandchildren. My goal is to have the health and vitality to fulfill God’s purpose and finish the race He has called me to run.

You Have a Choice

Since the psalmist declared, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your workmanship is marvelous and how well I know it” (Psalm 139:14), why are so many Christians sick and not walking in health? In many cases it is because we violate biblical principles: we lack self-control; have poor health habits; neglect proper exercise and sleep; have unresolved stress issues; overwork or are lazy; expose ourselves to dangerous chemicals, pollutants or too much sun. We allow negative emotions such as jealousy, anger and bitterness to dominate our lives. Time is the great equalizer; one day we will pay for our poor choices. Just remember, the farther you walk down the road of bad health habits, the longer the walk back towards better health.

Romans chapter 14 and other Scriptures make it clear that we have the freedom to eat whatever we want without endangering our relationship with Jesus Christ or our eternal destiny. Nevertheless, wisdom, spread throughout the pages of the Bible, reveals the importance of avoiding gluttony and other destructive indulgences. The choices we make and the things we do impact the length and quality of our lives:

• How do you handle relationships, financial and job stress?
• What foods do you consume?
• Are you exposed to environmental pollutants?
• Do you exercise or not?
• What is your decision on the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs?
• Do you engage in immoral behavior?
• Do you allow anger, bitterness, despair and feelings of hopelessness to rule your thoughts and emotions or do you choose love, forgiveness, peace and joy?

The fallout from these choices accumulate over time and determine the kind of life you will live, and even when and how you will die.

Considering the toxicity of our bodies, minds and spirits, the fact that we live in relatively good health for as long as we do is a testimony of how wonderfully we are made.

Optimum health is dependent on each person’s circumstances. It is taking whatever your situation and limitations are and seeking, with God’s help, to improve wherever you can. Some of you may have irreversible injuries or genetic disabilities to deal with. However, we still can choose to trust and honor God and seek, as far as possible, to implement His biblical health principles.

Greater Health through Biblical Principles

From personal experience and studying health and fitness for decades, I am convinced that Scripture contains superior principles for obtaining maximal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and the pages of our Bible divulge the ultimate way to gain health in this life, as well as the next! As believers in Christ, we await the blessed hope of the transformation of our physical bodies at the Lord’s return (Romans 8:18-25; 1 Corinthians 15:35-57; Philippians 3:20-21).

Do not settle for imitation or inferior health and healing techniques which could compromise your biblical convictions or seduce you from a pure devotion to Christ. Instead, walk in harmony with, and in obedience to, God’s natural health laws and biblical principles. You will achieve your inherent optimal health, living a better quality of life with increased energy to accomplish His will and be a more effective witness for Jesus Christ! When the world sees how your faith in Christ positively effects every dimension of your life, many will want to know the Christ you represent.

Remember, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). As stewards of the amazing bodies, minds and spirits God has given us, we are responsible to establish balance by seeking to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit!

Excerpted from Reaching Your Maximum Potential in Christ which is being updated and expanded for its fourth printed edition and E-book.

Are You Ready for REVELATION?

The following is a brief visual synopsis of what is ahead according to the book of Revelation. Produced for Bill Rudge Ministries by Rich Miller.

To check out more videos, please click on the following links:
For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.
For Living Truth For Today (BJ Rudge) YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.
For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website: https://billrudgeministries.wordpress.com/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows/.

Q&A: Why is it important Jesus rose from the dead?

Question

Is it really that crucial to believe Jesus rose bodily from the dead?

Answer

Photo by Douglas V. Mastriano

Yes. Jesus’ resurrection is the very foundation of the Christian faith! The Apostle Paul emphasized this point to the church at Corinth where some claimed there was no resurrection of the dead. Paul asserts that without the resurrection there would be no Christian faith:

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain (1 Corinthians 15:13-14).

  1. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus predicted He would die and then three days later rise from the dead (Matthew 12:38-40; Mark 9:9-10; Luke 18:31-33; John 10:17-18). If He made these assertions and they had not come to pass, He would have been a liar or a lunatic—either insane or the greatest deceiver in history.

2. All four Gospels testify to the fact that Jesus rose from the dead (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20). If He had not, the Gospel accounts would have lost credibility and been discarded as historically unreliable documents. They could not be viewed as primary records of the things that happened (Luke 1:3-4), but products of later editing and manipulation on the part of the early church.

3. The central theme and testimony of the early church was the preaching of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22-36; 3:13-18; 4:10-12; 5:29-32; 10:37-43; 13:27-37; 17:2-3; 26:22-23). If the resurrection had not occurred, it would have been impossible for Paul and others to persist in affirming that it had, in fact, occurred—especially in the presence of hostile eyewitnesses.

4. Without the death and resurrection, all Christians would still be in sin and under the judgment of God. Paul highlights this point to the Corinthian believers:

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:16-19).

5. Finally, without the resurrection, no one would have the eschatological (the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind) hope of eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus Christ demonstrates His authority over death. Those who place their faith and trust in Him have the assurance that death has been overcome and will be ultimately conquered at His second coming. As Jesus said to Martha who was grieving the loss of her brother Lazarus:

I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die (John 11:25-26).

The resurrection is the crucial point of Christianity which either validates or discredits the Christian faith. This is why the apostle Paul stressed to the Corinthian believers that their faith would be in vain if Christ had not risen from the dead.

Henry M. Morris and Henry M. Morris III summed it up well in their book Many Infallible Proofs – Evidence for the Christian Faith:

If the resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.

The Christian faith stands firm on the fact of Jesus’ resurrection: The incredible truth that has changed the lives of millions throughout history.