Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

2020 – A Year of Decisions

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.

img_0063-2It is no secret – I like golf. The weather has been nice in January and I have gotten out already in 2020. Golf doesn’t always like me. I enjoy playing golf and the friends I play with as well. 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. Two friends and I walked 18 holes a week or so ago. We were dragging coming up 18 (an uphill walk) – but we had fun.

I plan to improve my game this summer (my plan every year) – if I can continue to lose some weight – I plan to get back to walking the course more. I usually play better when I walk the course – and the weight loss – should help. I’d like to play in the 70’s (not the temperature folks) this summer on a regular basis. Last summer I only hit the 70’s a few times. Most of the year I played in the 80’s with a few really bad rounds as well. We shall see!

I also 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 Lord and Savior.

Our nation is hurting. Democrats – Socialists – Fascists – Progressives – Liberals – Conservatives – Republicans – and others are at odds with one another in the political realm. Some haven’t gotten over or past the 2016 elections. They are now battling over 2020 and some are even trying to remove our current President. Instead of looking for what is best for the nation – folks are very partisan – on both sides.

The United Methodist Church is hurting. Liberals – progressives – traditionalists – conservatives – evangelicals – and others are at odds with one another. In May of this year – the next General Conference will happen. I pray the delegates will be open to the Holy Spirit. It sounds like there may be a split of the denomination at hand. We’ll see what happens.

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.

P.S. – Each day in 2020 – as we approach May 5-15 and the General Conference of the UMC – and November 3 and the Presidential Elections – spend 5 minutes praying for the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of the GC delegates and the electorate. Thanks. 2020 will be a year of major decisions.

January 28, 2020 - 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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