Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

IMG_0301As the Baltimore riot has unfolded the last few days – the media has made a point of focusing – it seems – on those who were doing destruction. Burning buildings – burning vehicles – vandalized businesses – rock and bottle throwing crowds. As the police commander said – when asked about using force – did folks want 14-15-16 year old bodies lining the streets?

Some officers were injured for sure – broken bones and other injuries. Probably millions of dollars worth of damage was done. The restraint of the officers was amazing – they should be commended. The mother caught on film dragging her son home – went viral – and she has become a national hero – an example I wish other parents had followed.

Several young men and women placed their safety on the line as they fought fires and tried to contain those who would do them harm. I knew several police officers that were on the scene. I know of several pastors who walked the streets – trying to calm folks down. I so wanted to be there – walking with them. I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t go. Not sure if I would have been a help – but I knew some brothers on the line and I would have loved to have supported them.

Tuesday morning – some of the scenes that finally got some publicity – through Facebook if no where else – were the folks – mainly from Baltimore – coming out to clean up their city. Scenes like a small young man offering police officers water bottles while they stood in the heat in line. Scenes like the officer who fixed the bike of a young lad – and many others.

I know there are police officers – all over the nation (and around the world for sure) – who have the wrong attitude and are racists and whatever other label we want to place on them. But many – even most – really care and would put their life – their safety – on the line to protect ALL citizens – if asked to do so. All lives matter to most of them.

I know that all of Baltimore isn’t like the few hundred youth and outsiders who rioted and looted and destroyed the city the last few days. I know that many living in Baltimore simply want what most of us want – to live – feel safe – raise a family – and be productive in our society.

Today’s passage reminds us that our lives – as Christians – are supposed to be lived for Jesus. If we fail to do something for Jesus because we fear for our life – maybe we should re-examine things. We have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus and owe our lives to Him. Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

In the next few weeks – I will be asking our church family – which is just a few miles outside of the city of Baltimore – to sacrifice time and money to support those who are trying to dig out of the rubble left by a few misguided folks. We (the US government) sent ten’s of millions of dollars to Nepal to help them rebuild after the devastation there I heard. How much are we willing to give and do for those who are impacted by the destructive behavior of a few in a major city – right near where we live?

I know the argument could be made that some of those who brought about this destruction live there and brought this on themselves. But so many who live there had little or nothing to do with this behavior and destruction. Can we look beyond race – culture – economics – even religious beliefs and more – and help folks out? After all – our lives and even our things – are not ours – they belong to the One who bought and paid for them with His blood.

Again – I recommend listening to this song by Chris Tomlin in worship this Sunday – and praying for Baltimore.  God is still the God of this City!

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

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April 29, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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