Many of us are disciplined when it comes to spiritual practices like reading our Bible or going to church, but we may not have that same discipline when it comes to caring for our physical health. Others are careful about eating habits, but ignore caring for the soul. But our spiritual health and physical well-being are intimately connected— and each can strengthen the other.
This week’s Bible Study introduces you to the new book and study, The Daniel Plan. The Daniel Plan is built on five essentials of faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. It is far more than a diet plan, but rather a program aimed at helping individuals develop an overall healthier lifestyle physically, mentally and spiritually. The title of The Daniel Plan was derived from the book of Daniel in the Bible, which gives the account of the prophet Daniel.
This free Session 1 of The Daniel Plan study deals with the first of the five essentials: faith, and its impact on our overall health. We invite you to watch this complimentary Sesson 1 video on your own, or even better – with a friend or small group (because community is the secret sauce to The Daniel Plan).
Watch the Video of The Daniel Plan Study – Session 1
The prophet Daniel is a model in many ways of an individual who was strong in body, mind, heart and spirit and found his power, purpose and strength in devotion to God. In the first chapter of Daniel, the prophet challenges the king’s official guard to a health contest in which some young men would eat the king’s diet of rich food while Daniel and his three friends eat healthy fare including vegetables and water. For this reason, the Daniel Plan food essential is built on eating healthier, fresher and more natural foods.
In additional chapters, Daniel proves his strength further, showing he was fit to serve, whenever, wherever, under extreme difficulty, and in any and all circumstances. Daniel was recognized early for his potential and was chosen as a young boy to serve the king of Babylon. He diligently trained physically, intellectually, relationally, and spiritually with the purpose to be the best he could possibly be. This is an example of a healthy lifestyle under the Daniel Plan.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
1. Life is a battle, because everything in the world is ____________
Read: Romans 7:15-17; Romans 7:18-19; Romans 7:23-25
2. Romans chapter 8 gives us six wonderful benefits of __________ in God’s Spirit.
Read: Romans 8:1-2
- All change starts with ________________.
- The second thing that helps us to change is the ________________.
Read: Romans 8:6; Romans 8:9; Romans 8:12; Romans 8:24-26
- We do this by ___________________.
Read: Romans 8:28a
- God will work all for _________________.
Read Romans 8:31-32
- God wants you to _________________ in your life.
- God’s _____________ will never stop.
3. ______________ is the foundation of The Daniel Plan because faith is the foundation of every part of our lives.
- True faith motivates us to do God’s will.
- God’s Word provides important tools for overcoming obstacles in our lives.
4. Grace removes the burden of trying to ____________ a body that won’t last, and yet grace is the reason to honor it, every day that it does.
- It’s not about the mirror; it’s about the one we’re trying to mirror.
5. Our health is about ____________.
- That’s the focus of The Daniel Plan: harnessing God’s Word, spending time with it every day, and setting the tone for an abundant life.
Therefore honor God with your bodies. – 1 Corinthians 6:20b (NIV)
1. Pastor Rick talked about Paul’s struggle against his sinful nature, which he writes honestly about in Romans 7. Which of the five Essentials (Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, or Friends) comes to mind when you read Romans 7: knowing what to do but not doing it?
2. Many of us wrestle with shame— feeling condemned or not good enough. If the Bible says that we have no condemnation, what does that mean to you personally?
3. Jimmy talked about the truth that grace means we don’t have to be perfect. Have you ever wrestled with perfectionism? If so, how has that impacted your relationships with God and others?
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight; keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. – Proverbs 4:20-22 (NIV)
Faith Next Steps
1. Pair up with one other person. This will be your spiritual and encouragement partner for the study, your new Daniel Plan buddy. We have learned that people who do The Daniel Plan with another person or a group lose 50 percent more weight! Commit to checking in with each other throughout the week. Even a short text of encouragement is a loving way to let your buddy know you care. Now each of you answer this question: What are you hoping God will do during the next six weeks of this study? After sharing, pray briefly for each other.
2. Based on your conversation and prayer, select one of the verses from this week’s study that you think would be particularly encouraging to your partner. Share that verse with them by writing it on a card for them, or texting it to them. Call or text each other at least once during the week, and pray for each other during the week.
3. Pick a Bible verse from any part of today’s lesson. Write it down, and then read it every day. Try memorizing it and sharing with the group next time. Consider taking on this challenge: memorizing one verse each week during the six weeks of the study.
If you enjoyed this first session of The Daniel Plan and would like to continue the study, we encourage you to purchase the study guide and all 6 sessions on DVD. You may also want to pick up a copy of the hardcover book, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life, as you go through this study. This week’s companion reading to the study is the chapters 1–3: How It All Began, The Essentials, and Faith.
Prayer for Today
Father, thank you so much for what you’re going to do in our lives. Thank you in advance for giving us the desire to become healthier. We want to get well. We trust that by living out the biblical principles of The Daniel Plan, we will feel better, have more energy, and, Lord willing, live a healthier and longer life. Increase our faith so that we might be a better witness for your glory. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Share some of your answers to the discussion questions on our blog! We’d love to hear from you!