Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God Can Heal Our Hurting Nation and Denomination

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

It is no secret – I like golf. Golf just doesn’t always like me. I enjoy playing golf and the friends I play with from time-to-time. Some say – golf is a good walk in the outdoors – spoiled. Not me – I love the nature in golf – but I also like the game itself. I plan to improve my game this year (like every year) – with my weight loss I plan to get back to walking the course too. I usually play better when I walk the course – and the weight loss (44 pounds from my max) should help. I’d like to play in the 70’s (not the temperature folks) this summer on a regular basis. Last summer I didn’t hit the 70’s at all and played mostly in the mid 80’s. We shall see! I shot an 81 – last week.

I do what some think the most boring thing imaginable – I watch golf on TV (I’d rather be playing – but I do enjoy a good match on TV from time-to-time). When you watch golf – many times in the crowd around a tee-box – you see someone with a sign that simply says John 3:16. The assumption is that most people know what that verse says – or maybe it will cause them to go and look it up. It is part of this morning’s passage. John 3:16-17 – 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

This verse is probably one of the all-time favorites for most people. It speaks of God’s love for the whole world – and how He came to save us from our sin. Just imagine – Jesus came and died for all people – if they would simply turn their hearts toward Him. That is so powerful. Christ died for the sins of the whole world – now that’s powerful. 1 John 2:2 – He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. Although He died to pay for all sin – not everyone will be saved. To be saved – one must receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Our nation is hurting. Democrats – Socialists – Fascists – Progressives – Liberals – Conservatives – Republicans – and others are at odds with one another. The United Methodist Church is hurting. Liberals – progressives – traditionalists – conservatives – evangelicals – and others are at odds with one another. If we would just turn our hearts to Jesus and return to His truth – He will heal our nation and our church. 2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

If we truly seek after Christ and strive to be like Him – with our whole being – minds – souls – and bodies – we will be welcomed by Christ and forgiven when we fail. We are called to love God with our all – Luke 10:27 – He answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.

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

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August 8, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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