October 2, 2006

The Biggest Loser

He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
Matthew 10:39

I recently watched the NBC network television show, The Biggest Loser, a reality television show in which overweight contestants compete for a grand prize of $250,000 for the greatest amount of weight lost during the competition.

These contestants want to and need to, improve their physical health because of their extremely unhealthy weight. One contestant, who is a nurse, demonstrated in her application video that if she were called to respond to a “Code Blue” for an emergency situation and had to climb two or three flights of stairs to respond to the call, she was so out of breath that the hospital might have to order a “Code Blue” for her. Clearly, her ability to respond to a life or death situation is hindered by her heavy and unhealthy weight.

Each of these contestants competes for more than just the opportunity to win $250,000; they are competing against a threat to their life because of their portly figures. A quarter of a million dollars would certainly motivate anyone to do anything, within legal and moral boundaries of course. To these contestants having type 2 diabetes, developing heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea or having a stroke is what potentially threatens the lives of not only these contestants, but for a number of people in America.

For more information on the above health risks click here.

While an overweight person becomes dissatisfied with the appearance of their physical condition, the reality of the consequences that result from continuing to live in that manner should stir them into action and to begin developing better eating habits and a regular routine of exercise to help lose the excess weight. The decision to commit to losing the excess weight is the beginning of the transformation process to a new and healthier looking person.

We have all seen the photos of people who have lost weight and look amazing. A whole new person exists now that the excess weight has been shed away through a proper diet and exercise. Seeing the joy and new vitality of life that exudes from them is evident and even infectious too.

Just like the contestants on this television program I have mentioned, it is equally important to know the condition of your spiritual health as much as your physical health.

Jesus said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26) Whether the list is extensive or not, there is something that people desire to hold on to more instead of grabbing hold of the gift God has given us in Jesus Christ. Holding on to anything more than Christ, is like trying to hold water with a clenched fist. It falls out right through the hole created by the fist or in between the fingers. It is just impossible to hold water like that.

Sadly though, many people will try tirelessly to hold onto things in their life that they believe will be completely worthwhile when the end of their life nears. Can you recall hearing the saying, “I will have lived a fulfilled life when I…climb Mount Everest, travel the world, become rich and famous, have built a successful multi-billion dollar company.” Have you ever said something like this?

Matthew Henry provides a compelling commentary regarding what Jesus said above, “Thousands lose their souls for the most trifling gain, or the most worthless indulgence, nay, often from mere sloth and negligence. Whatever is the object for which men forsake Christ, that is the price at which Satan buys their souls. Yet one soul is worth more than all the world. This is Christ's judgment upon the matter; he knew the price of souls, for he redeemed them; nor would he underrate the world, for he made it. The dying transgressor cannot purchase one hour's respite to seek mercy for his perishing soul. Let us then learn rightly to value our souls, and Christ as the only Saviour of them.” (Bold emphasis mine. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible.)

Is there an object in your life for which you have abandoned Jesus Christ? Then that is the price you will continually pay, maybe even more, for Satan to keep you in his possession.
  • If alcohol is the object for which you abandon Jesus Christ, then Satan has become your bartender.
  • If the fulfillment of casual sex or pornography is the object for which you abandon Jesus Christ, then Satan has become your pimp.
  • If the desire to have more money and material possessions in your life is the object for which you abandon Jesus Christ, then Satan has become your financial advisor.
  • If unforgiveness is the object for which you abandon Jesus Christ, then Satan will become your companion in selfishness.
  • If self-righteousness is the object for which you abandon Jesus Christ, then Satan has become your biggest promoter in advertising “It’s all about you.”

But if the cross of Jesus Christ has become personal in your life and the object for which sin is abandoned, by giving your life to Jesus Christ to avoid the judgment of God and eternity in hell, you have earned the right to be called one of His children because you have received His Son Jesus Christ and believed in his name. Heaven is your eternal home and great will be your reward.

As the excess weight is a heavy load to bear, getting rid of it makes living a healthier lifestyle that much more enjoyable. Likewise, the Bible says that we should “strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress.” (Hebrews 12:1) Is there a weight that you have carried far too long that has hindered your progress toward God? The answer is unequivocally, yes while using the Ten Commandments as our measure.

For no one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God's law, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying it. Romans 3:20, New Living Translation.

Losing weight is not an easy process and it certainly takes time, effort and a commitment to improving one’s physical condition. Likewise, it is not easy to begin living the Christian life when we have lived in an unhealthy spiritual condition that has affected our physical life that ultimately affects our eternal life as well. Our old habits, behavior and thinking will change little by little, just like beginning a new diet and exercise program. Results from the change will be gradual and more comfortable to adjust to over time.

What good is it really to hold on to anything that keeps us from having a closer, more intimate relationship with God? Is there any object in life that is so great that exceeds the goodness of God? Is there any object that equals in value to what Christ has done to forgive you of your sins?

Jesus said, ”whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) Will you choose to lose your life, the things of this world that will not enable you to receive God’s forgiveness or His promise of eternal life in heaven, to save your life by finding it in Jesus Christ?

Commit today, right now at this moment, to make Jesus Christ the object of your life.

“For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2

God is ready to help you right now to begin a new life in Christ. To learn how He will help you, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep the faith Kurt. I am sure your words inspire many...