Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Come Near to God!

James 4:8

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

IMG_0301Just a few more days and our Pre-Lenten Revival for 2015 will commence. The revival starts Sunday morning – at both our 8:15 & 11:00 am service. The revival will continue on Sunday evening at 7 pm and each night through Wednesday night – Ash Wednesday – at 7 pm. This year we will conclude the revival on Sunday – February 22nd. Plan now to attend. Plan now to invite someone to our awesome worship. It is a great time to invite folks that already attend another church on Sunday mornings but might like to visit your church. Invite someone today and each day this week.

All week the devotional thoughts will center on revival. I can remember – from my childhood days – attending sawdust camp meetings and revivals – all over tri-state area. Although there won’t be any sawdust – we are praying for a great movement of the Holy Spirit on our church family. I pray that many will come to know Jesus and many will be revived in their faith.

Today’s passage – from James 4:8 – reads – Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Here it is in partial context. James 4:7–10 – Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

During the revival we will be concentrating on humbling ourselves before God – honoring Him with our prayers and our desire to seek after Him. One part of this passage that stands out is that true repentance requires grieving – mourning (sorrow) – and tears or crying out to God. Repentance should never be seen as a ritual or a quick fix. Repentance should require much of us for sure.

Drawing near to God requires that we move away from sin. We cannot continue in a life of sin and draw near to God. The idea is that we sin less as we approach God’s holiness. The gap will always be covered by His grace – but still – we should be striving to be more and more like the Master each day.  As we seek after Him – we will be drawn into His presence – and we will sin less – as we approach His holiness.

During revival we will breaking down 2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. If we truly seek forgiveness – we must seek after Christ will all our minds – souls – and body. We are called to love God with our all – Luke 10:27 – He answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

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

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February 10, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , ,

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