Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 43 of Lent 2018

Matthew 26:14

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests

Today is day 43 of the 47 Days of Lent reading plan (Sundays don’t count in the 40 days of Lent). I hope you have stayed with us – this is the final week – Holy Week. Today’s passage is about Judas and how he planned to spy on Jesus. Whether he was simply used by Satan – or was evil himself – or was simply trying to force Jesus’ hand to overtake Rome – he waited for an opportunity.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny self – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we continue to look at some passages that will lead us to the cross and to the resurrection. Let us focus on Jesus this week – more than usual. Let us identify with the walk and the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us. Jesus came to earth – voluntarily – to walk to the cross. I cannot imagine how Judas could have turned Jesus over to the chief priests. Continue reading

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March 28, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 42 of Lent 2018

Isaiah 49:1

Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.

Today is day 42 of the 47 Days of Lent reading plan (Sundays don’t count in the 40 days of Lent). I hope you have stayed with us – this is the final week – Holy Week. Today’s passage is another about the Servant of the Lord. This could be about Isaiah – it could be about Jesus – it might even be about us.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny self – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we begin to look at some passages that will lead us to the cross and to the resurrection. Let us focus on Jesus this week – more than usual. Let us identify with the walk and the sacrifice Jesus made for each of us. Jesus came to earth – voluntarily – to walk to the cross. Can we imagine how we would face our last week on earth? How we would face out death – when we had the power to avoid it? Continue reading

March 27, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 36 of Lent 2018

1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Today is day 36 of the 40 Days of our Lenten reading plan (looks like the plan will have 47 days because the Sundays didn’t count). I hope you have stayed with us. I veered off of the online plan and am finishing the plan myself. Today’s passage is about humbling ourselves. This is not easy for many if not most of us. It is what we as Christians are called to do.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny self – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we want to read what Peter had to say about humbling ourselves before God. As I mentioned previously – humbling ourselves is not easy for many. Peter also gives us instructions about other parts of our Christian walk in today’s larger passage. Continue reading

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 5 of Lent 2018

Ephesians 4:22-23

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

Our prayer is that the old self will begin to fade as we walk toward the cross this Lenten season – and that more and more we will look like Jesus. We also pray that our attitudes will be set on Christ and on nothing else. During our walk to the cross this Lent – let us seek His face more clearly and desire His grace more dearly.

In the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com – today is an off day. But – what are off days! Days we can use to catch up! Today I will remind you of the four previous days and give you a chance to catch up in the reading plan if you so desire. Continue reading

February 18, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 3 of Lent 2018

John 12:16

At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

Day 3 of the Lenten reading is a similar story to the one we read on day one. Today I want to look at the above portion of that passage. At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

As we walk to the cross this Lenten season – I want us to think about some of the things we didn’t or still don’t understand about our faith. It might be things like the Virgin Birth – the resurrection – forgiveness of sin. As we think of those things we might not completely understand – intentionally seek out Scriptures and readings that deal with these items. We live post the resurrection – post the glorification of Christ – and the Holy Spirit is available to us as we seek the understand the things of God. Seek to understand more about Jesus this Lenten season! Continue reading

February 16, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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