Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

I Will Not Stop Praying – 2020

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.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amI like to play golf. The weather has been great for some time and the fairways are firm and you get lots of roll. I like golf. Golf doesn’t always like me. I take lessons – but – the improvement is minute and often doesn’t last very long. I took a chipping lesson today. I have a tournament next week. I hope I remember what I learned.

I enjoy playing golf and the good friends I play with when we get get out. Some say – golf is a good walk – spoiled. Not me – I love the nature in golf – but I also like the game itself. I plan to improve my game this fall (like every year) – with my continued weight loss – I plan to get back to walking the course some too. I usually play better when I walk the course – and the weight loss (65 plus pounds from my max) should help (my goal is 100 pounds). I’d like to play in the 70’s (not the temperature folks) on a regular basis. This summer I only hit the 70’s ten or so times. Most of the year I played in the 80’s with a few really bad round. We shall see! I’m trying to be more consistent.

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). 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 repent of their sin and 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 – yet not everyone will be saved. To be saved – one must confess their sins – repent of them – and receive Jesus into their life as their Lord and Savior.

Our nation is hurting. I know that is not news to anyone. Democrats – Socialists – Fascists – Progressives – Liberals – Conservatives – Republicans – and others are at odds with one another in the political realm within our nation. Some haven’t gotten over or past the 2016 elections and we’re coming up on the 2020 elections. Instead of looking for what is best for the nation – folks are very partisan. People are try to tear apart their counterparts rather than working together to make our nation a better nation.

The United Methodist Church is hurting. Liberals – progressives – traditionalists – conservatives – evangelicals – and others are at odds with one another. The 2020 General Conference is being set up to be another fight for our denomination. It seems to some on the far left and on the far right – that the time has come to split with one another. Contrary to the view of some – this is not over one issue – but rather a major difference in how we understand the Bible. Our theological views are so different – we seem to have a hard time speaking to each other – let alone working together to transform our lives – the church and the world – after Christ. We can’t even agree – at times – what a disciple looks like. We have differences about who will be saved or even for some – if there is a hell.

I’ve been praying since the 2019 Special General Conference for the 2020 General Conference and I invite our readers to do the same. Pray for our delegates as they prepare for GC2020. I will not stop praying for 2020. Please join me.

I will not stop praying for 2020. It promises to be a significant year. On March 4th I will turn 65. On May 5th – the General Conference of the United Methodist Church will begin.  My wife and I – the Lord willing – will celebrate 40 years of marriage in 2020. The Presidential Election will happen on November 3rd. I’m sure there will be other important dates as well. I will not stop praying for 2020. Please join me.

I believe – as a nation and as a denomination – and even the whole of the church – if we would just turn our hearts to Jesus and return to His truth – God will heal our nation and our church. I’m sure many are familiar with this passage. 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 – our minds – souls – and bodies – we will be welcomed by Christ and forgiven when we fail. We are called to love God with our all. When asked what was the greatest commandment – Jesus responded with this passage – recorded by Luke in his Gospel account. 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.

I will not stop praying for 2020. Please join me.

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

September 26, 2019 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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