Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

112015 Ray McDonaldI seem to be doing more funerals of late – more than normal for sure.  I have recently celebrated four funerals in a five-day period.  It is an honor to help families celebrate the life of a loved one.  Most funerals I celebrate are from folks in our community – folks I have not had a previous chance to minister to or with – and I just try to bring them a measure of comfort for the short time I have with them.  I usually talk with them on the phone and meet them on the day of the service.  I often read the 23rd Psalm.

I love today’s portion of the 23rd Psalm.  One of the great hopes and blessings of our faith is that we do not have to fear death.  I can usually tell people of faith versus people will little or no faith when I share at funerals.  The way we face death is telling.

IMG_0022I am not saying that people of faith do not cry or mourn or grieve.  We all face the loss of a loved one differently.  But there is a hope – a peace – for those of faith – especially when the loved one was also a person of faith.  They realize that death is not the end – but rather a gateway – a doorway – into eternity.  Such a death is what my family is facing right now.  My wife’s father has passed and he was a man who loved Jesus.  He wasn’t always outward about his faith – but he lived it.  He loved his local church family and served well in it.  He helped us raise our three daughters and poured into their lives.

Having God with us brings such peace.  At the end of a number of the Epistles we read something like this:

2 Timothy 4:22 – The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

Or something like this in the midst of teachings about God’s presence in our lives:

Romans 8:31bIf God is for us, who can be against us?

Stay tuned for the upcoming revival on prayer – starting this Sunday – February 7th at our morning services – 8:15 & 11 am.  We will continue the revival Monday through Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) with services at 7 pm in the Sanctuary.  Our Prayer/Fast also begins on Sunday (Sunday night if you desire).

We will all face death – of our loved ones or our own.  We do not have to face it with fear – we can have confidence and assurance that – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

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

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February 4, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. REV RAY,

    THAT WAS JUST W ONDERFUL PF DEATH BLOG

    THANK YOU

    BOBBI DUSTIN

    THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW

    ________________________________

    Like

    Comment by bobbi dustin | February 4, 2016 | Reply

    • Thank you Bobbi – so good to see you on Sundays. I’m glad God is giving you better health.

      Like

      Comment by raymcdonald | February 12, 2016 | Reply


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