Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Hear the Message – Don’t Judge the Messenger

Philippians 3:12-14

12 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. 13 Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward — to Jesus. 14 I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. THE MESSAGE

Not sure how many of our readers have read The Message – a fairly new translation of the Bible.  I remember when the Good News Bible came out – it was very radical – with stick people pictures and cool blue jean covers.  It took the Bible truths and put it in the language of the people.  For that matter – I remember when RSV was being used instead of KJV.  Although a faithfulness to the text is important – the King’s English wasn’t cutting it as interesting reading or understandable reading for a slew of people.  Today we have various translations – The Message is just one of many.  Unfortunately – many people reject the messenger before they hear the message and allow it to touch their hearts.  What if your child could be reached for Jesus by a more modern yet faithful translation of the Bible?  Wouldn’t that be a blessing?

Today’s reading is from Paul as he struggles to share the Gospel.  He is being challenged on various fronts and spends a good deal in some of his Epistles (letters) explaining his call and his position as an Apostle.

In a section of Scripture titled Focused on the Goal in my Bible – we read some of his teaching and some of his struggle.

Philippians 3:12-21 – 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. NIV

I would imagine that many of us get caught up in trying – through love – to give good Godly advice while still struggling ourselves with life at times.  We have not arrived – we are not perfect – yet we are compelled to strive for the goal and to try to help others strive as well.

What love would we express if knew the danger of drug abuse – and waited till we had complete and total victory over drugs before we warned someone else?  What if we waited till porn was not an issue in our lives for at least five years before we warned another sister or brother?  We are not perfect – but in love – we need to help others along life’s journey.  If we are the one being helped – we need to hear the words and take them to heart rather than judge the one presenting them.  Paul had to continually defend his Apostleship because of his past sins.  People judged the messenger rather than hearing the message.  Many missed out on his Godly wisdom because of it.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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March 26, 2012 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , ,


  1. Good message…something to think about for sure! Thank you!


    Comment by Pam Lowry | March 26, 2012 | Reply

  2. I like this approach Pastor Ray. I often think I am not good enough to offer help. Yet if i wait till I arrive I will never help.


    Comment by Mary | March 26, 2012 | Reply

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