“Living Testimonies!”

By: Rev. J. Loren Russell

Deuteronomy 4:9 NKJV
“Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren…,”

I think most would agree that you can’t adequately take care of someone else if you haven’t cared for yourself first. Many times, we hear of the caretaker’s health failing before the one they are caring for because they neglected self-care. It’s critically important that we take care of ourselves so that we can take advantage of all the gifts and talents we’ve been blessed with.

The thing that challenges us in our attempt to care for ourselves is understanding what is required to be our best selves. When Moses wrote
the book of Deuteronomy, he was sharing with a new generation the things the Lord required of them. In the scripture text, the word “heed”
is translated “care” in the New American Standard 2020 version and says, “Only be careful for yourself and watch over your soul diligently.”

By using the word “careful,” Moses was directing them to live as the embodiment of self-care, then they would be enabled to teach their children and their children’s children.

Often, we find ourselves so busy doing things that we miss or forget who we are in the process. Moses presents his statement as a matter of
fact. He was not making a suggestion but giving a directive; if you are going to care for others, you must care for yourself first.

This message could have easily been directed at current day believers. Like the Children of Israel, our best is revealed by living a lifestyle that glorifies God the Father. Moses challenged his readers, and he challenges us today, by asking in verses seven and eight, “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this
law which I set before you this day?”

I contend that we are at our best when we practice self-care. It reveals who we are and ultimately, who we were created to be. We become living testimonies first by caring for and watching over our own souls diligently.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of the Evangelical Church of God, both in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company/J Loren R Consulting, LLC for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096) and is the producer and host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to ‘Friend’ the Matters of Faith YouTube Channel. Email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at www.smashwords.com/books/view/993177.

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