Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Deny Self and Draw Near to God

Luke 9:23

 Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

112015 Ray McDonaldDenying self is not easy. Taking away things you enjoy – for a variety of reasons – is not easy. I enjoy a good Diet Pepsi or ten – I love the carbonation and the taste. But I might be addicted so I need to deny myself! Some studies have also shown that they are not good for the body!  It will not be easy – but my last Diet Pepsi was Saturday at noon.

Denying self is not easy. Taking away things you enjoy – for a variety of reasons – is not easy. I’m cutting out desserts and as much sugar and flour as possible. I’m sure it will be hard at first – but in time – I will not miss it at all! And it will be better for my body for sure.

Denying self is not easy. Taking away things you enjoy – for a variety of reasons – is not easy. I like technology and I enjoy social media and some online games (like solitaire). But they can become time consuming and they can take valuable time from each and every day – time I could use to be more productive and to spend with God.  In a previous prayer/fast – I stopped playing Farmville – and have never played it again.

I plan to use the time I gain from cutting things out of my day to spend more time with Jesus! Here are some devotional materials for our 49-day Prayer/Fast.

During the first four weeks I will listen to this teaching series – one session a week – by Matt Chandler – titled Prayer. You can sign up for Right Now Media to access it at – https://www.rightnow.org/Content/Series/1215. There are four sessions – so it will carry us through the first 4 weeks of our Prayer/Fast – or the first 28 days. We will discuss this by e-mail or on the blog page. If you cannot access it – send me an e-mail – if you are from FUMC – and I will register you.

The second resource will be this daily blog. Go here – https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/ – to register for the daily blog. Each day – not just Monday through Friday – I will write some encouraging words and some challenging words as well.

A third resource will be a daily reading on http://www.youversion.com. The study is called Devotions for Lent from the Holy Bible: Mosaic. You can find it in the reading plans section.  I began this study on Sunday but you can join whenever you are able. Again – we can discuss this on e-mail or on the blog page.

I hope this prayer/fast is helpful as we strive to draw closer to Jesus. What will you deny yourself? What will you add to your day? Join me and lets see what God will do in us – through us – and in spite of us! Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

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

Advertisements

February 8, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: