Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Jesus Was Tempted But Was Without Sin

Hebrews 2:18

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

I love to discuss theology. I love to talk about doctrine and beliefs. Good thing – since that is my calling and career. I bet there aren’t too many who love these things.

One of the theological discussions I enjoy surrounds the thought of Jesus’ temptations. It is clear through Scripture that Jesus was temped. Today’s passage says – Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

That Jesus was tempted is not really in question. What seems to be in question is whether Jesus could or could not sin when tempted. Is a temptation a temptation if there is no possible way you could yield to the temptation and sin? That is a significant question.

Whether Jesus could sin or not is cloaked in His nature. Jesus’ nature as the second Adam – was different than our nature for sure. 1 Corinthians 15:45–49 – 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. Continue reading

March 15, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Satan Is Real and Will Try To Defeat Us

Matthew 4:10

Jesus said to him, Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

RayMcDIn another week we will begin a new sermon series titled New Believers. It will include a number of basic beliefs and doctrines of the church. It will be a good review of the basics for those of us more mature in the faith while it will be a basic lesson plan for new believers. Recently we had 31 people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and I thought a basic plan was needed.

In the series we will cover such topics as Temptations Still Strike, Hypocrisy Impacts All, The World Embroils, False Claims – Prosperity, and The Whole Gospel. The series will begin on February 12th and run through March 12th. If you live in the area – join us! If not – listen online when the messages are uploaded to our website – www.fumcl.org.

Before we read today’s passage and begin the new sermon series – here is a truth we must all understand – Satan is real! Satan is our to steal our joy and our peace. If possible – Satan is out to steal our walk with Jesus. Today’s passage is from the story about Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness. Temptations are real and every day – even constant. We can find today’s story in Matthew chapter 4.  Here is a wider view of today’s passage. Continue reading

February 2, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Escape Route

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

IMG_0435-0This is an amazing passage. It is a promise that should bring us much peace and joy. At the same time it should hit us between the eyes as well. There is no excuse for sin. We are promised a way out – a way to deal with – every temptation that comes our way. That is Good News and also challenging news.

Here is a definition of temptation from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th Edition) – 1: the act of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to evil: enticement – 2: something tempting: a cause or occasion of enticement.

I’ve often said you couldn’t tempt me with a plate of liver. I would need to be extremely hungry to eat liver. Now a bowl of ice cream is very tempting to me. What is it that tempts you? As those temptations arise – are we looking for God’s escape routes? Continue reading

June 15, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hide God’s Word in Our Hearts

Psalm 119:11

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

82015 RayHave you ever played memory games? I remember playing Concentration – I enjoyed that game. I also remember playing other type games that were considered brain games – like finding the hidden pictures in Highlight magazine or finding what was different about two pictures.

Do you remember when we use to memorize dozens of phone numbers? This was before cell phones where we simply name the person and the phone calls them. I could rattle off dozens and dozens of numbers.

Did you ever memorize Scripture? I had a friend that memorized the whole book of James. Continue reading

October 27, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Day of Evil

Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

IMG_0301There are a number of theological or religious concepts that are debatable.  Like how much water should be used for baptism?  In the United Methodist Church we celebrate baptism by sprinkling, pouring or immersion.  We believe the amount of water is not as important as the transformed heart for Jesus.  I’m sure there are many other debatable concepts.

One concept that doesn’t seem debatable to me is that the evil one – Satan – is real and intends us no good.  Peter puts it this way:  1 Peter 5:8 – Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

We’ve referred to the story of Job in several sermons and here is a verse from that story – talking about Satan roaming the earth: Job 2:2 – And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Continue reading

June 16, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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