Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 34 of Lent 2020

Ezekiel 18:21

“But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die.”

Ray 2020Today is day 34 of the 40 Days of our Lenten reading plan. Have you been keeping up? I hope you have stayed with us as we walk toward the Cross of Calvary. I veered off of the online plan and am finishing the plan myself. Today’s passage is about repentance – again. Repentance is so important. We need to confess and repent of our sins. We need to ask God to forgive us.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny self – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we want to read – again – about the need for repentance. Repentance is essential – confessing our sins and turning toward Jesus – turning away from sin.

I hope to SEE you on Zoom next week during our Holy Week services. If you need the logon info – contact me at office@fumcl.org.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Ezekiel 18:5–23 – “Suppose there is a righteous man who does what is just and right. He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife or have sexual relations with a woman during her period. 7 He does not oppress anyone, but returns what he took in pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. 8 He does not lend to them at interest or take a profit from them. He withholds his hand from doing wrong and judges fairly between two parties. 9 He follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws. That man is righteous; he will surely live, declares the Sovereign Lord. 10 “Suppose he has a violent son, who sheds blood or does any of these other things 11 (though the father has done none of them): “He eats at the mountain shrines. He defiles his neighbor’s wife. 12 He oppresses the poor and needy. He commits robbery. He does not return what he took in pledge. He looks to the idols. He does detestable things. 13 He lends at interest and takes a profit. Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he is to be put to death; his blood will be on his own head. 14 “But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things: 15 “He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife. 16 He does not oppress anyone or require a pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. 17 He withholds his hand from mistreating the poor and takes no interest or profit from them. He keeps my laws and follows my decrees. He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. 18 But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people. 19 “Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. 20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them. 21 “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

What a powerful story Ezekiel tells us today. What are some things you received from this reading? Where are you in the story? How have we sinned and how well do we approach God for forgiveness?

During this Lenten season – make it a point to seek after Jesus more and more. Let us strive to remove bad habits and sins from our lives each day. God bless you as you walk with Jesus to the Cross of Calvary! Connect with our Lord on every level possible. I pray our hearts will be turned to Jesus – in repentance. Trust in God.

Walk with me toward the cross. Deny yourself as I deny myself and let us draw near to Christ.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

P.S. – Sunday is Palm Sunday so make plans now to attend our online worship. We will be broadcasting over Zoom and the service will be loaded on YouTube by 10 am Sunday. We will post on the church website – on Facebook (in several places) – and mail out a link to the service.

P.S.S. – Keep praying for our denomination. The General Conference of the United Methodist Church’s meeting in May has been postponed. No date for the conference has been set yet, but they are looking into 2021. The church is in need of our prayers.

April 4, 2020 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, 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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: