Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Are You Hindering the Light? – by Babette Phillips

As I sat under the tree praying one morning recently, the sun danced between the leaves.  Sometimes I would move into the light trying to get the warmth of the morning sun, sometimes I moved away trying to get it out of my eyes.  When I pondered what I should write about this month the Lord reminded me that He was the Light and at times I was hindering Him from shining in my life.  I was allowing the wind to blow oh so gently enough to hide me momentarily in the darkness and yet when I needed to feel the warmth of the sun I would eagerly move towards the light again.  Was that what God intended for me – to move in and out of the Light?  We all know the right answer is, NO, God intended for us to run to the light and stay there.  1 John 5-7 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness we lie and do not live by the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son, purifies us from all sin.

I don’t know about you but I want that, to walk with God in the light and be purified from my sin.  So how do we do that, how do we stay in God’s light?  That answer can only be found in the book of directions God left us The Bible.  In searching the word I find there are over 200 scriptures that indicate God wants us to obey Him… I know you are thinking easier said than done and God agrees – that is why he gave us armor.  (Ephesians 6:10-18) You know if you are given armor there is going to be a fight at some point and since we are told to place it on DAILY that is a good indication that we are fighting daily.  I forget that once in a while, you know how it goes – you are having a few great days, you have time to read your Bible – everyone around you is wonderful and then one day you think everything is going so good you can sleep in just a little bit and you only need to read a verse today to sustain you.  Then the next day you sleep a little longer and just pray in the car….Well folks you just started a fast and it was not physical food or ordained by God.   So how do we stay in the light, how do we distinguish what darkness is?   Many of us love going back to our childhood home for a visit, living in the past; do we think our stories are better back then?  Maybe because it was sin and the world loves to hear about our sin, it was pleasurable and that is what the darkness is…

Ephesians 5:8-14 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of the light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.  This is why it is said: “Wake up, O Sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you

If we know playing in the darkness is disobedient to God why do we loving hiding from the light once in a while?  If God’s power is as mighty as the Bible explains why do we continue to love telling BC stories instead of the glory stories of how Jesus saved my soul?  And why is it when we take that trip back to our childhood home we find that it is not where we want to be and are grateful when we get back in the Light.   When will we tarry for just an hour and stay awake in order for Christ to shine on us.

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September 22, 2010 Posted by | Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , | Leave a comment

We Are Tempted By Our Own Evil Desires

James 1:13-15

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Today we will continue to look at the above passage zeroing in on but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

We’ve already read that our righteousness is like filthy rages.  Isaiah 64:6 – All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

I remember a comedian from my youth – Flip Wilson – who had a character (Geraldine) who had a line that she repeated often – The Devil made me do it! The good news today is that the devil can’t make us doing anything.  The bad news is that it is our own evil desires that cause us to yield to temptations and fall to sin.

Remember – God has promised us a way out of every temptation – 1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Remember – God has not only promised we can avoid sin – God has given us protection – the armor of God – Ephesians 6:10-18 – 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

I know these are repeat Scriptures – but they need to be driven home.  We do not need to sin – we are not forced to sin – we sin because we put something before God in our lives.

We are called to love Jesus more than anything – Mark 12:30 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

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

Tomorrow we will finish the study of James 1:13-15 by looking at Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

August 12, 2010 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

God Does Not Tempt Us

James 1:13-15

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Today we will continue to look at James 1:13-15.  Today we will look at – no one should say, “God is tempting me.”.

We will be tempted.  We saw that in yesterday’s devotion.  I see that often on my blog page on occasion.  People are tempted to push their ideas and agenda as if they have all the answers or have the only answer that a reasonable person could hold.  Recently I asked the question – Gay Marriage – Should the Christian Church Take a Stand – on Either Side?  Although there were some thoughtful responses, there were also responses I had to erase because they were filled with hate.  Even some I posted were not as love filled as they should be.  Shouldn’t we be able to discuss a subject, even one that is personal or that we are passionate about without name calling and hate filled responses?

We will be tempted.  Yet when we are tempted, we should not say that God has tempted us.  Adam tried it when he said to God – The man said, “The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12

As a matter of fact – God does everything in His power to keep us from being tempted and from falling to the temptation.  God gives us the armor of God to thwart all of the devils attempts to attack us.

Ephesians 6:10-18 – 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

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

Tomorrow we will continue the study of James 1:13-15 by looking at For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

August 10, 2010 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , | Leave a comment

   

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