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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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Becoming People of Fully Realized Potential: Our Bodies

We become people of fully realized potential in and through our bodies.

 

I am me.  The human is created by God as a three-part unity; spirit, soul and body.

 

  • Without my spirit, I am not fully me.
  • Without my soul, I am not fully me.
  • Without my body, I am not fully me.

 

For some reason, in God’s human trinity, the Christian’s body is often mistreated, abused and neglected even while special care is given to the soul and spirit.

 

Neither the spirit, soul or body is more important than the other.  Consider 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

 

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Paul’s prayer is two-fold.

 

  1. For God to sanctify you completely, your whole spirit and soul and body.
  2. And for your whole spirit and soul and body to be kept blameless.

 

In 1973 people opposed to God’s total integration of spirit and soul and body won their day in the Supreme Court of the United States with Roe vs. Wade.

 

Essentially, the Court threw out the entirety of Biblical anthropology (a wholistic view of the human being) with the philosophy “that even though the baby in the womb is human, it is not a person under the Fourteenth Amendment.”  Love Thy Body, Nancy Pearcey pre-release.

 

Maybe this two-tiered “human non-person” concept has infiltrated the western Christian world-view?

 

It appears many western Christian’s perspective is a two-tiered, “spirit and soul but non-body” concept.  Apart from thinking like this, how can we explain the gigantic disregard many Christians give to their human body?

 

God speaks directly to the world’s low view of the body by honoring the human body.

 

  • So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
  • For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14
  • I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
  • 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? 1 Corinthians 6:19

 

Becoming a human person of fully realized potential in Christ requires me to embrace, honor and discipline my body.

 

Righteousness and wickedness require a body.  There is no “disembodied” righteousness or wickedness.

 

Our earlier passage, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 is preceded by many things one might find in the body.

 

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,[c] encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always,17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

 

Respect

 

 

Esteem

 

Peace

 

Idle

 

Fainthearted, weak, patient

Do not repay evil but seek to do good

 

Rejoice, Pray, give thanks

 

Do not quench, do not despise, but test

 

Abstain

 

Your fullest potential in Christ includes growing and maintaining bodily discipline and control.

 

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  1 Corinthians 9:24-27

 

In an almost shocking revelation Paul states a lack of personal bodily discipline and control may disqualify me from the imperishable prize.

Even after we have not been disqualified, we will be judged according to “the deeds we have done in the body.”

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

 

May we make this a season of personal bodily discipline and control as we pursue our fullest potential in Christ.

MCA LIFE GROUP HOMEWORK

Listen – My Story

  • What is your favorite aspect of your God created body?
  • In your upbringing, do you recall if the human body was blessed, cursed or ignored? Do you see any lasting impact from that upbringing on your perspectives of the human body?

Learn – Digging Deeper

  • Pease read Jeremiah 1:4, 5. At what point in time was Jeremiah a person?
  • Please read Psalm 139.
    • Does the Psalmist hold to a high or low view of the human body?
    • Consider verse 16. Did the Psalmist have personhood prior to birth?
    • Does the human body have value according to verse 15?
  • What verses come to mind when you think of being more disciplined and in control of your body?

Lift – Prayer

  • Please pray for the many MCA folks who are experiencing difficulties in their bodies.
  • Please pray for each life group member’s highest “bodily discipline” priority.

Life – Taking it Home

  • What do you need to do today to “discipline your body and bring it under control?”
  • Who can you add to your circle of influence to encourage you and for you to encourage to be disciplined and personally controlled in your body?
Posted on 1st June 2019 in Realized Potential, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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How Close is the Persecution?

MCA Church LOVES Burkina Faso, its land, villages, cities, tribes, and people.  With each passing day of increased persecution and martyrdom, I am asked, “How close are the murderous radicals to our churches, outreaches, schools and various other ministry facilities and people?”

In the small likelihood the terrorist murderers are searching the internet, I will not identify our ministries, facilities and people.

Burkina Faso is the size of Colorado and just over five Burkina Faso land masses would fit into Alaska.  It is the seventy-fourth largest country on earth today.

Burkina Faso was so named by the hugely popular former President, the late Thomas Sankara.  Burkina is a Moore word (the language of the Mossi people) and Faso is a Diouala word (the language of the Diouala people).

Burkina means “men of integrity.”  Faso carries the meaning of “the fatherland.”  Burkina Faso is therefore the land of the people of integrity or the land of upright people or the land of honest people.  Without a doubt, Burkina Faso is properly named.  Living there are amazing men and women of kindness, grace and love.

This is, in fact, what the murderous terrorists hate.  They don’t want Muslims, Christians and animists to love each other and show common human peace to one another.

In a small country, just larger than Oregon, any violence and persecution isn’t far away.

One of our larger ministries is only thirty miles from one of the recent attacks.  This large group of wonderful folks have no way of defending themselves, should hatred focus its eyes on them.  “Lord, have mercy.”

Our schools are open and teaching students and all of our congregations are holding their weekend worship gatherings.  With a couple of our ministries being very well known, our people there could be a prime target of the terrorists.

HOWEVER, we Burkinabé are the Apple of His Eye, subjects of His love, recipients of His grace and are covered by His protection.  Nothing gets through to us unless it passes the protective hedge of our covering in Christ.

 

Posted on 29th May 2019 in Burkina Faso, Martyrdom, Persecuted Christians  •  Comments are off for this post
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30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World: Bedouins of the Levant

The history of the term “Levant States” is expansive and prolific.  Maybe the term even precedes the Levant Company of 1581 A.D.  In our day, the Levant are Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Jordan and Cyprus.

It is my understanding that most of the Bedouins have never heard of Jesus or the Good News.  With Christians living in the same region, we pray for connections to develop through which the Gospel may be shared.

Posted on 28th May 2019 in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World  •  Comments are off for this post
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30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World: The Kohistan

In the mountainous region of northern Pakistan live the approximate 600,000 Kohistani.  In addition to meeting Jesus and receiving eternal life in Him, a great need is for affordable and accessible health care.

More workers and research are needed for translating the Bible into the Kohistani language.  For God’s provision and blessing, we pray.

Posted on 28th May 2019 in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World  •  Comments are off for this post
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30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World: Swahili of Zanzibar

For those sharing Christ with the Swahili, we pray for mercy, grace and favor.  May their witness be wise, authentic and effective.

May the powers behind witchcraft be subdued, in Jesus’ name.  May all attempts to hinder the Gospel be abolished.

Numerous muslims from the Philippines are resident in Zanzibar.  For their conversion to Christ and growth into the image of Jesus, we pray.

Posted on 28th May 2019 in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World  •  Comments are off for this post
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A Thankful Father of the Bride

Today, our nineteen year old daughter becomes the wife of her beloved.

Amidst a variety of paternal emotions, thanksgiving rises above all others.  Words seem too limiting to express the appreciation and joy I have for every second of these nearly twenty years.

She is God’s daughter placed in our care to love, nurture, disciple and prepare.  Perfect in every way, she is a source of immense thanksgiving to God.

Her faith, commitment to Christ and Godly righteousness are a glorious reflection of her mother.  The faith that “is also in her mother” multiplies the gratitude.  I am exponentially blessed by the integrity and character of her mother and herself.  My soul is full of appreciation for them both.

Being born the youngest in the family isn’t always an easy path.  Her respect and grace for her sister and both of her brothers is an inspiration and delight.  For her relationships with them, I am most grateful.

If Paula and I were to dream of a God made match for her, he would be the exact fulfillment of the dream; godly, peaceable, gentle, Christ-like, strong and courageous.  For him my soul rejoices in thanksgiving.

 

Danée Mikal Redfearn and Judah David Kesler, today is your day and I am THANKFUL!

 

Posted on 25th May 2019 in Weddings  •  Comments are off for this post
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30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World: The Saho of Eritrea and Ethiopia

God’s word is mostly unavailable in the language of the Saho people.  A few portions of Scripture have been translated into this language, but the majority of the Bible is not yet available.  May the Lord enable rapid translation, publication and broadcasting of His most holy and precious Word.

Lacking peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia, creates a lack of stability for the Saho people to build their lives, families and villages upon.  May the Lord grant peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

 

Posted on 24th May 2019 in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World  •  Comments are off for this post
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30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World: Morocco

Bibles are a treasured possession, often difficult to obtain, in Morocco.  We are praying for the Christians there to have access to the written Word of God and thus being empowered in discipleship and evangelism.

Grief, a common experience in Morocco, is an opportunity to declare the wonders of life eternal.  The confidence we have in Christ is absent from Islam and yet deeply longed for.  May our Brothers and Sisters have God’s special grace to proclaim the eternal life available in Jesus and the confidence that what God has said, He will do.

Posted on 24th May 2019 in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World  •  Comments are off for this post
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30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World: The Muslims in Chicago

With over 500,000 Muslims from a huge variety of ethnic backgrounds living in the Chicago area, we have vibrant ministry opportunities there.

May the Lord grant to the Christians in the area understanding on how to “Bridge the Gap” with the love of Jesus.

In prayer today, an image came to mind.  I saw a devout man in prayer.  He was bowed down in reverence and facing Mecca.  When he tried to rise, his head was somehow riveted to the floor.

A voice behind me proclaimed Psalm 3:3.

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ lift the heads of our Muslim family and friends to ministry of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

 

Posted on 20th May 2019 in 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World  •  Comments are off for this post