FOR THE NOURISHING AND CHERISHING OF THE BODY
In addition to being cleansed, we also need to be nourished and cherished. Our body must receive nourishment. The ordinary way to nourish our body is for us to eat. To eat is to receive outward nourishment into our body so that it becomes our inner elements. The nourishing in Ephesians 5 is this kind of eating. Our body needs this kind of nourishing. It also needs to be cherished, to be kept warm. If you ask doctors, they will tell you that for most illnesses the body needs to be kept warm. If you are not kept warm, you become cold and stiff, and you may even die. The Greek word for cherish is difficult to translate. It means, on the one hand, to warm, and on the other hand, to soften. When we are cold, we become stiff and hard, and when a person dies, his body becomes stiff and cold. If any kind of hardness develops in any part of your body, that is bad because it might be a tumor. For the body to stay healthy, it must be nourished, and kept warm and soft. If we have a boil, that spot can become hard and cold. The lessons of the cross may cause people to become cold, and the breaking may cause them to become hardened. The more breakings they experience, the more they become hardened. Because you do not have any sores or boils on your body, your body is soft all over. Suppose, however, you are cut with a knife. After half an hour, both sides of the cut will become hardened. Being broken, receiving the cross, and enduring sufferings cannot keep us warm and soft. Today, what is really beneficial to our body is that which can warm and soften it. It is all right for our body to sweat, because we sweat when we are warm. However, do not expose yourself to coldness or you may catch a cold. In order to protect your body, it is better to keep it warm rather than to let it get cold.
Today we need to see these principles of life from the Lord’s Word. When brothers or sisters live together, they should not make their homes seem like funeral homes. All the corpses in the funeral homes are stiff. When people visit a brothers’ house, they should be able to sense the warmth there. They should be able to sense that everyone there is softened. If I come to visit your sisters’ house, and when I step inside, the atmosphere is cold, everyone’s face has an icy look, and nobody dares to say a word, then something is seriously wrong there. If I come to the brothers’ or sisters’ house, and the moment I enter, I can feel the warmth there, and if every one of you is soft when I speak with you, then I will know that the spiritual condition there is proper.
In Greek, the meaning of nourishing and cherishing implies feeding the body so that it is always kept warm and soft. Do not be like a corpse and become cold and rigid. Suppose a person who has been sick for a long time is about to die. When you touch his feet, you will feel that they are cold. After ten minutes the legs will be cold. After another ten minutes the coldness will reach his knees, and fifteen minutes later the coldness will reach his thighs. At that stage you know that he is about to die. As soon as a person dies, their whole body becomes cold. Some brothers and sisters have received the kind of “help” that makes them cold, then makes them hard, and finally causes them to became a stiff corpse. May the Lord have mercy on us and deliver us out of all these situations. The entire church life and all the church meetings should be in a nourishing and cherishing situation.
(The Revelation of the Mystery, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)