Week of 1.31.2016-2.06.2016
FROM PASTOR RAY
FOR TO ME TO LIVE AS CHRIST
IN A SMALL, DARK,CRAMPED ROMAN PRISON CELL the apostle Paul wrote,"Yes, and I will rejoice."It really is hard to grasp the spirit of rejoicing under those circumstances isn't it? But if you read further, you see why Paul could genuinely say that. For it is just a couple of statements latter that he writes..."For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."(Phil. 1:21) That changes everything!
I've been meditating on that one statement all week-"For to me to live is Christ."I've found it to be terribly convicting as I've asked myself "is that true of me?" As one commentator said, for most of us we get it backwards, and if we were honest might say it like this... "For me to live is gain and to die is Christ."
Prior to 1905 tuberculosis was referred to as "consumption." The reason? Because until Dr. Robert Koch discovered the tubercle bacillus, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize, no one really knew what the disease was. All they knew was that whatever the disease was, it seemed to "consume" its victims causing their bodies to wither more and more as it progressed.
The fact is, much of our living consumes us, because it is more about protecting our life, preserving our life, promoting our life and prospering our life. There's nothing inherently evil in those things, until or unless those things consume us. Now to be clear, Paul was a consumed man; it's just that he was consumed by Christ. And that is why he could write,"For to me to live is Christ."
As I have meditated on Philippians 1:12-26, I've been challenged by Paul's self-abandonment and contemplated the reasons that so many believers struggle to do the same. As a result, I want to share with you some of the common reasons that we have difficulty saying with Paul,"For to me to live is Christ."
First is the matter of "cravings." That is, the surrendering to the pull of the flesh over spiritual desires. It isn't that most believers don't have the desire to live selflessly for Christ; it's just that we have grown accustomed to giving into the cravings of our flesh.
Second, there are the "distractions" of life. These are so numerous I won't try to list them; you probably know what they are in your life. The harm is, they keep us from enjoying and experiencing something that is so vital to our spiritual formation-Solitude with God.
Third, there is this devilish fear that grips us. It causes us to fear what following Christ might cost us in terms of relationships, finances and acceptance or rejection by others.
And finally, I would add feelings of insecurity keep us from really being able to say, "For to me to live is Christ." Insecurity is a by-produce of self-reliance. But Paul had learned what we must learn-Christ is all we need and the more we abandon self and trust in Him, the more secure we'll be.
I want to join Paul in saying-"For to me to live is Christ!"Don't you? Remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor!
For God's Glory Alone,
Pastor Ray Jones
516 STUDENT MINISTRY
D-LIFE GROUPS | TODAY at 6:00 PM
BREAKFAST CLUB | Meet at Atlanta Bread at 6:45AM, and bring some money for breakfast. Get your week started off right with fellowship and Bible study! Transportation to school can be provided with prior notice.
DON'T FORGET TO SIGN-UP FOR D NOW | Deadline to register is January 31!
FLOURISH | A free casual community event for women of the wiregrass.
Join us on Tuesday, February 9 at 7:00 PM. Doors open at 6:30 PM. There will be a worship band, refreshments and a guest speaker. Be sure to invite a friend!
FELLOWSHIP FOR WIDOWS | Thursday, February 11 at 10:00 AM in the Craft Room. Guest Speaker will be: Rebecca Kirkland.
TRUTH SEEKERS MINISTRY
NO KIDS CHURCH ON 5TH SUNDAY | Children 1st-3rd Grades will attend Worship with their parents and use the Worship Feature Guide, entitled "My Notes from Church." You can get a copy at the Welcome Center. Please complete it and turn it back in to receive a treat!
GA MOTHER/DAUGHTER RETREAT | March 11th-12th at Camp Victory. The cost is just $50 for mother and daughter. Deadline to register is February 21st. Turn in registration and money in one of the Children's Ministry dropboxes located by the CM Welcome desk and downstairs in the Mission hall.
WONDERFULLY MADE PRESCHOOL MINISTRYFAMILY FUN DAY | February 26 from 1:00-3:00 PM in the RFC. All 2 year olds through 5th grade are invited to join us for games, inflatables, and refreshments. Contact
Jessica Pedersen or David Oswalt for more information.
RECREATION FITNESS MINISTRYPRIMETIME FOR SENIORS | TOMORROW, February 1st, from 11:00 AM-
1:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Bring your favorite Soup or Chili and join us for a time of fun and fellowship!
RBC MEN'S MINISTRYJOHNNY HUNT MEN'S CONFERENCE Will be held in Chipley, FL on March 11-12. Early registration is just $40 if paid by February 26. Late registration is $50. Register online at: rbcdothan.org/mens
Ridgecrest Baptist Church | Dothan, Alabama | 334.792.9406 | rbcdothan.org