Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Are We Willing to Please God?

Daniel 1:8

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

112015 Ray McDonaldSunday – we will preach the final part of a three part sermon series on Discerning the Will of God in an Ever-Changing World.  In that message we will ask the question – What are we willing to do to please God?  I know that might not be your basic question – but it is a real question I think we should wrestle with daily.  In today’s devotional passage – Daniel and his friends were in a tough place.  They were God-fearing young men who wanted to please God – yet they were captured by a foreign nation and placed in their service.  They experienced favor and were in a very good situation – as far as being captive was concerned.

The king gave them the best – because they were the best of the captives.  Daniel 1:5 – The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

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January 14, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Defile Ourselves?

Daniel 1:8-9

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

IMG_0301OK – who is trying to eat a healthy diet these days?  It is not easy – that is a fact jack!  I mean all the good things in life – like ice cream – chips – soda – bacon – Big Macs – pizza – and more – are on someone’s DO NOT EAT list!  Some plans allow you to eat loads of meat – others loads of vegetables – others say you can eat carbs – others say no carbs at all or very little.  Some plans say you will lose weight quickly – if you buy their pre-fabricated and packaged foods or drink their shakes or take their pills.  Trying to eat healthy is not easy – I am trying it right now – a large portion of broccoli and grilled chicken with water to wash it down just doesn’t sound too appetizing.

The story today’s passage comes from is found in the start of the book of Daniel.  Here it is in partial context.  Daniel 1:1-14 – 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god. 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.  5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service. 6 Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. 8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.” 11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. Continue reading

July 14, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 3

Daniel 1:8

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

01032015 RayWhat are we willing to do to please God?  Sunday’s message will be titled Our Plans – Are They Pleasing to God?  I know that might not be your basic question – but it is a real question I think we should wrestle with today and even daily.  What are we willing to do to please God?

Daniel and his friends were in a tough place – a life or death place.  They were God-fearing young men who wanted to please God – yet they were captured by a foreign nation and placed in their service.  They experienced favor and were in a very good situation – as far as being a captive was concerned.  Yet things don’t always stay the same.

The king gave them the best – because they were the best of the captives – young men that God was honoring.  Daniel 1:5 – The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

But Daniel and the others decided that they wanted to please God more than anything.  They were willing to displease the king – and possibly be tortured or even killed doing so.  What amazing faith they showed in their God. Continue reading

January 7, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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