Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections


Ephesians 5:1-2

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgToday I want to challenge me – and if you would like to read along and even join me – you are more than welcome to do so. My personal challenge has to do with being more of a mercy person – a person that shows grace. I am not by nature a mercy person – so this will be a challenge.

I remember listening to 105.7 the Fan a few years ago and they were taking about Ed Reed not being at camp for the Ravens (sound familiar? – this year with Joe Flacco) and others who didn’t show up for the volunteer camps earlier that summer. They were saying that the team was one play away from going to the Super Bowl the previous year. They made the comment that you would think – the players – especially the leaders on the team – would be at all of the camps trying to find that little extra that could get them back to the Super Bowl in the season coming up. They went on to say that if for no other reason than to be a good example for the younger players – the veteran leaders should be there! If the players really cared about the team as a whole – they would be there – even if they didn’t think they needed to be there!

While listening to that broadcast – I remembering that I started to think about my life and what I was doing to be a better Christian. I asked the question of myself at that time and I ask it again now – what could I do – more – that would reflect God – more – in my life? How could I be a better witness – a better example – a better imitator of God? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I mean – I try to walk close to Christ – I strive to build my relationship with Jesus – but the question remained in my mind and sank to my heart – and has returned again this morning. It wouldn’t go away. It remains with me even some years later. I will think on it more today.

Carolyn and I have talked about the next season of our lives (I turn 60 next spring). The children all have their education – they are starting their families and/or developing their careers. So what is next for us? We talked about taking trips – using more of our income to help others – spoiling our grandchildren – beginning to think about retirement – how to save more for the future and to help others.

Over the next few weeks – as summer unfolds and I begin a second year of ministry at First UMC of Laurel – I find myself asking the question – what is next for me? I was going to take another mission trip to Haiti with a friend this summer – but that didn’t work out. So I continue to ask myself the question – what could I do – more – that would reflect God – more – in my life?

Doing what I regularly do – what I normally do – what seems natural to me – is not enough. I do those things almost without thinking. I want to do more.

One way that I could reflect God more is allowing God to work in me – through me – and in spite of me – in an area of my life that doesn’t naturally reflect Christ (and there are many). I choose grace and mercy. I am not a mercy person by nature – and God is a God of mercy and grace. God is a God of justice and righteousness and holiness and more – but – God is also full of grace and mercy. I am not! Any grace and mercy in me is from God – not from me.

My challenge this summer is to concentrate on how I can be a better imitator of Christ in the area of grace and mercy. I will strive to think of others and serving the Lord without regard to me – or my comfort. Who will join me? Join me or not – I am on this journey – may God be glorified! That is my hope and prayer! God bless each and everyone who reads this post!  What more could you do – could we do – for God?  How can we better reflect God to a lost world?

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


June 25, 2014 - Posted by | Daily Devotion | , , , , , ,

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