Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

I Beat My Body

1 Corinthians 9:27

No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

RayBlogThe other evening my wife and I were watching TV and the program we happened to come upon was The Biggest Loser.  We watched in amazement.  Some of the folks on the show were losing 30-40% and more of their body weight in a season of the show.  One guy started the show weighing 400 plus pounds and was down an amazing amount of weight already (after being voted off the show they revealed his final weight and he had lost over 180 pounds).  As a person that is overweight I am amazed.  Now I know they have trainers and special chiefs and they work out several hours a day – but – we could all lose weight (if we need to do so) if we stuck to a good eating pattern and exercised more.  If we beat our bodies we could get them into better shape.

The Ravens just finished a wild run through the NFL playoffs.  It was an amazing story of injured players fighting back to contribute to the team – players pushing themselves beyond any preconceived limits – to win the Super Bowl when no one thought they would even get past the Broncos or the Patriots to get to the Super Bowl.  In the locker room – when the players were celebrating – you could see more clearly (with their shirts off) their awesome physical stature.  Many of them are unique specimens of humanity.  They have spent years pushing their bodies to be the best they can be at their sport.

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February 15, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain

Philippians 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Sunday we preached on; The Cross Has Power.  Two of the Scriptures we used for the message Sunday spoke about the power of the cross and that on the cross Christ died to pay the debt of our sin and thus bought and paid for us.  Paul believed that his life was over – and that his life was now to be lived for Jesus.

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

One of the foundational beliefs of a Christian – one that often is overlooked by many in the church today – is that we have been bought and paid for by Christ and the life we live now is not ours but God’s.  Too often some people in the church today want to fit God into their life – and want to have a fine life at that!  They’ll be a Christian – if being a Christian can fit into the plans they have for their life.  If it requires sacrifice – if it requires doing things we aren’t comfortable with – we want the option to discuss things!

In all three places in Scripture quoted in this devotional – Paul writes about this foundational belief. He wrote about living and dying for Christ – about being crucified and dying with Christ – and about not owing his self any longer.  He wrote that the life we live we are to live for God – and not for ourselves.

Think about this for a moment – maybe even every moment.  When we awaken in the morning – are our first thoughts – how we can serve and glorify God with this new day?  Or do we immediately get into our own thoughts about our work or hobbies or other personal items of the day?  Do we put serving and glorifying God first and foremost or do we sort of hope we can find time to fit God in during our day? (We might not say it that plainly – but how else would we put it to sound better.  We want to do what we want to do – and often try to make sure we fit a little of Jesus into our day!)  Is the first thing we think of the scores from the night before – the traffic or weather heading to work – our busy schedule for the day – or do we take time to not only enter into God’s presence but look to God for our marching orders for the day?

Paul writes: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  Said another way; If I live – I live for Christ – I no longer live for Paul.  I live for Christ – I have been bought and paid for by Jesus – God owns me.  If I die serving God today – I will be in God’s presence.  To live – I live for Christ – to die – I live eternally in the presence of God – today and in the future.

Are we followers of Christ or people who want to fit just enough of Jesus into our lives and HOPE we will somehow squeak in?  If being sold out for Jesus were required to enter in – would we enter in?  Would we be found sold out for Jesus or sold out for self or somewhere in between?  John – the beloved Disciple – while in prison – wrote these words from God to a church in Laodicea – do they fit us today?

Revelation 3:14-16 – 14 To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Too often people in the church – when they run into someone sold out for Jesus – think of these persons as fanatics.  Lord – may I be a fanatic for you today and every day – sold out for You!

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

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July 12, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , | Leave a comment

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