(Note: The below excerpt is the final chapter of The “Plan A” Diet: Combining Whole Food, Plant-Based Nutrition with the Timeless Wisdom of Scripture. Click here for book information)
Humans are like a passing breath; their time on earth is like a shadow that passes over us durint the day and soon is gone. (Psalm 144:4, VOICE)
Congratulations for having read this book! You’re obviously interested in your health and willing to pursue some type of action. Bravo, my friend. I encourage you to continue on the journey by fully adopting The “Plan A” Diet and experiencing for yourself the benefits it offers. I’ll be praying for your success, and I’m available to you online.
There are two final thoughts I’d like to share. If we were sitting across the table from each other enjoying a cup of tea and discussing things of great importance, these are the sentiments I would urge you to deeply consider.
Life is short. Scripture includes many reminders that our lives are like withering grass, fading wildflowers, a passing breath, or a vanishing vapor. James 4:14 compares our lives to a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Since we’re here today and gone tomorrow, what do you want your short life on earth to look like? An enjoyable life comprised of well-being and the ability to function and think clearly, or a life bogged down with preventable health issues, discomfort, and the side effects of medication?
My guess is you chose the former because it’s hard to imagine who wouldn’t. But honestly, how important is it to you? Are you ready to make your health a priority? Are you willing to spend the initial investment of time needed to change your diet? Your dietary choices truly could be the difference between life and premature death, but only you can answer if it’s worth the extra effort, my friend. Please don’t be one of the thousands who tempt fate by living unhealthy lifestyles until their bodies finally break or shut down. Becoming overweight and developing chronic diseases is not a normal rite of passage into old age. It’s an indication at any age that your internal system is out of whack.
If you know deep down that this makes sense, but you’ve been waiting to get started, what’s holding you back? What’s stopping you from taking the first steps? Examine your motivations for wanting to change—they are KEY to your success. Write them down and be specific. If and when you get into a rut or your motivations wane, pull out your list and refocus on why your food choices are important.
You are worth doing this! Your health, your quality of life, your family, and your freedom in later years are all worth it. And if you’re a Christian, honoring the Lord by maintaining the gift of your body is definitely worth it. Remember that the challenges of living out your years with a disability are much greater than the challenges of changing your diet.
Scripture not only reminds us that life is short, it says that in spite of all of our planning, we have no idea what will happen tomorrow (James 4:13–15, NIV). We are never guaranteed one more day on earth. With that somber reality in mind, I urge you to consider the claims made by a Jewish man who lived in Israel over 2,000 years ago. He taught in synagogues and ministered to the locals while attracting a following of thousands. Eyewitnesses recorded at least 37 of the miracles that He performed during his three-year ministry. Of course I’m referring to Jesus.
The exclusive and politically incorrect claims made by Jesus eventually led to His earthly death. Among them were His claim to be the Son of God,[i] a deity with the authority to directly forgive sins,[ii] and His claim that the only way to eternal life in heaven was through faith in Him.[iii],[iv],[v],[vi] Such claims incited the Jewish religious leaders to charge Jesus with blasphemy and demand He be killed by the Roman government. Jesus rose from the dead three days after His execution (just as He foretold), and made live appearances to over 500 believers throughout the next forty days.[vii]
Now, if you’re a betting person, perhaps the mathematical odds that Jesus is who He said He is will inspire you to seriously consider His claims. The Bible, a collection of books and letters written over a 1500-year span by about forty authors from varied backgrounds, contains hundreds of prophecies written before Jesus’ birth—all of which He fulfilled. College professor Peter Stoner calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the major prophecies about the Savior/Messiah, with estimates being carefully worked out by roughly 600 students from twelve different classes.
After discussing each prophecy at length and eliminating those which could possibly indicate a conspiracy by men, they made their estimates conservative enough until there was finally unanimous agreement even among the skeptics. Other scientists and skeptics were invited to make the estimates even more conservative. Finally, an American Scientific Affiliation committee examined the final numbers to verify that the calculations were accurate and dependable.
Ready for the results? The odds that one man could fulfill just EIGHT prophecies were conservatively estimated to be one in 10ˆ17. That’s one in 10 to the 17th power (the number 1 with 17 zeroes). To illustrate this further, Professor Stoner gave the example of placing 10ˆ17 silver dollars across the state of Texas. They’ll cover the entire state two feet deep (that’s thigh-high on me personally. Imagine just your city being covered with that many coins, let alone an entire state!). Now mark one of those silver dollars with an “x” and stir the whole mass thoroughly. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up the one silver dollar that’s marked. That’s the same chance the prophets would’ve had writing eight prophecies that came true in any one man.,[viii],[ix] And that’s just for eight prophecies out of hundreds. Jesus is the real deal, and you can take His claims to the bank. The Bible clearly spells out future prophecies about Jesus that are yet to be fulfilled. I pray you’ll want to know about them because the next one could happen any day.
What are your spiritual convictions? Do you believe God exists? Do you believe there are many ways to heaven? Maybe you’re one of many people who have a vague awareness of God and may even attend church now and then out of a sense of obligation. Or perhaps you believe you are heaven-bound because you’re a good person—always kind to others, donating money to charity, and doing volunteer work. Dear one, good deeds, while commendable, don’t ensure your salvation. None of us—regardless of our reputation, achievement, or personal generosity—could ever be “good enough” to get into heaven on our own.
But here’s the best news you’ll ever hear: God offers you eternal life in heaven for free. It isn’t something you can purchase or earn through good works; it’s a free gift to you that came at a high cost to God—the life of His Son, Jesus. God willingly paid that price because He loves you that much! Scripture says we are all sinners by nature,[x] and sin is what separates us from God. It’s only when the penalty for our sins has been paid that we can enter into God’s holy kingdom—but that’s a feat none of us can accomplish on our own.
Only God can pay the penalty. That’s why Jesus came—to cover our penalty by willingly sacrificing Himself on the cross. Jesus took the consequences we deserve so that you and I can be acceptable in God’s sight and one day be rejoined with Him forever. It’s just as Jesus claimed. No one gets to the Father except through Him.[xi]
The only catch is this: A gift doesn’t become ours unless we accept it. We can refuse a gift that someone offers, just as we can refuse (or ignore) God’s gift of salvation. Please don’t refuse His incredible gift which is yours for the taking and will change your life. Accept it by acknowledging that Jesus died to satisfy the rightful penalty for your sins. Embrace this truth in your heart, and place your faith and trust in Him for your salvation. If you “declare that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God brought Him back to life, you will be saved.”[xii]
Below is a prayer you might find helpful to invite Jesus into your life, but there are no magic words. God knows your heart. I can attest this is the best and most important decision you’ll ever make on this side of eternity. And a decision I encourage you not to put off. There’s no guarantee of tomorrow. And there’s no second chance after we die.[xiii]
No matter what you have done in life or how far you’ve strayed, God loves you beyond measure and will forgive every wrong. He longs for a relationship with you. Talk to Him every day in your own words and seek His direction. If you currently don’t attend a church, get plugged into a Bible-based church that upholds God’s Word where you can grow spiritually and connect with other Christians. My friend, life is short, but eternity is forever.
~Prayer of salvation: Dear God, I realize that I’m a sinner and can never reach heaven by my own actions. I ask Your forgiveness of my sins, and I accept Your amazing gift of salvation made possible through the sacrifice of Your Son. I acknowledge that Jesus gave His life on the cross to pay for my sins, and rose from the dead so that I, too, can have eternal life with You. Jesus, come into my heart and be the Lord of my life, my personal Savior, and my friend. I’m placing my faith and trust in You from this day forward, and I thank you in advance for the forgiveness and freedom that comes from knowing You. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I commit to live according to Your will and I long to grow closer to You each and every day. In Your holy name I pray. Amen~
[i] John 9:35–37, TLB
[ii] Mark 2:3-12, NIV
[iii] John 14:6, NIV
[iv] John 11:25, GW
[v] John 17:2–3, GW
[vi] John 3:13–15, NIV
[vii] 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, NIV
[x] Psalm 51:5, HCSB
[xi] John 14:6, NIV
[xii] Romans 10:9, GW
[xiii] Hebrews 9:27, NIV