A 5-week Every Home Devotional

Week 3

Renewal of Body

As is typical for many of us at the start of a new year, you may be processing new goals and desires for your life this coming year. Goal setting can be a great ritual to help us reflect on the goodness of God in our lives and how much he’s done in and through us the previous year.

The Every Home Oikos word for 2024 is renewal. With this in mind, it would be a great idea to focus on seeking the Lord for his renewal in many areas of our lives at the beginning of this new year. We invite you to join us in this journey of renewal as we take each week in January to focus on a specific renewal theme. We will intentionally seek the Lord for his renewal in our spirits, souls, bodies, relationships, and passion for the lost this year.

Day 1: Overview

As we engage in ministry, we often look to the life of Jesus as our model of how to draw close to the Father and give our lives to loving and serving others. But one thing we often overlook is how Jesus also modeled rest. He always found moments in his ministry to escape the crowds and prioritize stillness. Renewal of our body is dependent on this. Focusing on our absence, release, and refrain from doing can be challenging in a world of to-do lists, multitasking, and burnout. Renewing our body is dependent on intentionally making space for physical rest.

Renewing our bodies isn’t just crucial for today; the state of our physical bodies plays a large part in determining the future of our ministries as well. Rest directly impacts our mental health, immune system, mood, happiness, energy, longevity, etc.

One of the primary ways God built rest into the cadence of the earth was when he established the Sabbath. This is your weekly permission, set from the beginning, to stop what you are doing and to rest. Today, this is becoming harder and harder to practice. Businesses are open on Sundays. Maybe you lead or volunteer at church on Sunday. We work, run errands, plan, and clean, and quickly, the day becomes full.

Another way God built in rest is with night. The sun going down and darkness overcoming the earth is a daily opportunity to slow down, stop working, and, most importantly—sleep.

Renewal is a continual process we must engage in regularly—day by day, week by week. Our bodies depend on it to restore our energy, renew our strength, repair our bodies, and remind us that we are not God. As we begin a new year, take a moment to think and pray about how you can better renew your body in the coming months.

—Danielle Schmidt, Global Division

Day 2: Scripture Meditations

Take time throughout the day to prayerfully meditate on these Scriptures.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Day 3: A Message from Tanner and Beth Peake

Day 4: Personal Reflection Prompts

Take some time today to journal and reflect on these questions.

  1. The Sabbath is an invitation to enter God’s rest. Giving our bodies rest is so vital to the Lord that he included it in the Ten Commandments. If you don’t already, set aside one day a week as a sabbath. Be intentional about what you do and don’t do on that day. Before committing to anything, ask yourself: Will this refresh or drain me? Does this give me life? Is this something I enjoy?
  2. Taking care of your body is a part of renewal. Do something that sows into the health of your physical body today—walking, adding more vegetables to your day, or doing deep breathing exercises.
  3. We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping. Think of ways to help give yourself better quality sleep at night. It could be making the environment more peaceful or not sleeping beside your phone.

Day 5: A Message from Wolfgang Lee, Asia Pacific Continental Director

Renewal of the Body to Reach the Destiny of Our Calling
Being strong at 85 

“Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said” (Joshua 14:10-12).

Anything left alone without renewal will only deteriorate, be it a building or a physical body. More and more, we are learning that there is a difference between our life span (the duration of our life on earth) and health span (the time when we start to experience severe ailments and are no longer strong enough to perform as we should).

Renewal of the body is for an extended period. Being strong physically is not only for the young but for as long as we live. Renewal does not come automatically but intentionally. The renewal of the body starts with a desire, then it takes a lot of discipline (to do what we must and not what we like), and then it will become a delight (something that we enjoy doing). Moses’ and Caleb’s bodies were renewed and remained strong until they were past their 80s (Deuteronomy 34:7).

Renewal of the body is for a life purpose. Being strong is not only to keep us looking good but to enable us to complete what God has called us to do. In assuring Joshua that he is still strong for battle, Caleb has taught us that to be engaged in spiritual ministry is like being involved in a battle and strength from the renewal of the body is not a luxury but a necessity (Joshua 14:11).

Therefore, let us renew our bodies for an extended period and our life purpose.

Prayer for today:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for good health and a strong body. I pray for a desire for the renewal of my body to make me strong for the Lord. Help me to discipline myself to eat, exercise, and rest well so that the renewal of my body will also be a delight to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 6: Prayer Suggestions

Take time throughout the day to offer these prayers to the Lord.

  1. God promises to provide rest when you come to him. Ask the Lord to give you rest today.
  2. A huge part of making space for rest depends on discipline. Discipline is less about willpower and more about surrendering to and trusting the Lord. Ask the Lord to help you prioritize and stick to healthy habits.
  3. Jesus is our healer. It can be hard to renew our bodies if we deal with illness or injury. Ask God for healing in your body today.

Day 7: Meditative Prayer

Take time throughout the day to slow down and quietly pray this prayer.

Jesus, I come to you. Give me rest.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19
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