Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Not Counting Sins

2 Corinthians 5:19

that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

I love the love chapter in the Bible – the one many read at weddings. Here is the portion of that chapter most often read. 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 – 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Part of that reading says – it (love) keeps no record of wrongs. I remind couples – when I use this passage that forgiveness must be a part of their marriage – because we all fail and we all make mistakes. There has never been the perfect marriage or the perfect marriage partner(s).

Today’s passage speaks about God not counting our sins against us. God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. Have we ever experienced that in life – apart from our relationship with Christ? If we have – we have been blessed to experience Christ-like love. Relationships can be repaired – no matter how damaged – if we can express Christ-like love to one another. Continue reading

September 13, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Real Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13:8a

Love never fails.

RayMcDIn the last few years of my ministry – maybe even most years of my ministry – I have preached on marriage. Marriage is used in the Bible several times to express the relationship we are to have with Christ. Today I want to touch on a Scripture that is a portion of what is often read at weddings. This phrase is a portion of 1 Corinthians 13:8. They are such powerful words – Love never fails. In what is commonly called the Love Chapter – often read at weddings as I wrote earlier – we get a glimpse of God’s love. Let’s read a broader section of this chapter. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a – 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8a Love never fails.

Our love – in marriage – and in our everyday life – should model God’s perfect love. Paul wrote this in the midst of a teaching about the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). He was writing about the awesome power of God’s gifting for the church. Before his teaching about the gifts he writes: 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 – 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. Continue reading

February 28, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marriage: Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13:8a

Love never fails.

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I’ve been preaching on Marriage for a few weeks now.  Today I want to touch on a Scripture that is a portion of what is often read at weddings.  This phrase is a portion of 1 Corinthians 13:8.  They are such powerful words.  Love never fails.  In what is commonly called the Love Chapter – often read at weddings as I wrote earlier – we get a glimpse of God’s love.  Let’s read a broader section of this chapter.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8a – 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8a Love never fails.

Our love should model God’s perfect love. Paul wrote this in the midst of a teaching about the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12).  He was writing about the awesome power of God’s gifting for the church.  Before his teaching about the gifts he writes: 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 – 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. Continue reading

April 24, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Love

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgIf there is one thing I’m naturally good at – it is knowing what is fair. I have an inner sense – an ability – to know what is fair and what is not fair. I can remember telling other children – that making rules up as the game went along – is not fair (like hits over the right field fence in the backyard are outs – only because they all hit right-handed and I hit left-handed – you’ll have to understand a little baseball to get that one.)

When we were children – I remember coming up with the idea – not an original idea I’m sure – when we were splitting an apple or piece of pie – for one to cut and the other one getting to choose which piece they wanted.

Andy Stanley once said that he told his children as they were growing up that life isn’t fair – that fairness ended in the Garden of Eden. Theologically – he was correct. Fairness – theologically – is that we would all be headed to hell on our own merit. We’re told in Scripture that we all have sinned. Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We’re told in Scripture that what we have earned from our sin is death – yet the gift that God gives us – undeservingly – is life – even eternal life. Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Continue reading

November 7, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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