Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Caste Your Anxiety On Jesus!

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

112015 Ray McDonaldTellySavalasTelly Savalas – of Kojack and lollipop fame – use to say – who loves ya baby.  It was one of his trademark sayings.  He raises a question for us today.  Who loves us?  Who will be there for us through thick and thin?  I mean during the tough times as well as the good time?  When the money stops flowing – when the material things fail – who will still be with us?  When we have failed – sinned – who will stick with us?  When we are near death – who will be by our side?

Recently – during a funeral – I was reading Psalm 23.  In the midst of the 23rd Psalm David writes: he restores my soul (Psalm 23:3).  When people are facing the death of a loved one – they often need to be reminded that even in the storms of life – even when times are tough – God wants to restore our souls.  Even as their loved one has just walked through the valley of the shadow of death, we should fear no evil, for God is with us; His rod and staff, they comfort us (Psalm 23:4 paraphrased).  I helped celebrate at an annual service at a funeral home – reminding people that when all around us falls apart – Jesus is there for us to give us strength and comfort.

Recently in a sermon I mentioned that we need to build our relationship with God while times are good – so that we have a prayer life – a personal walk with Him – when times get tough.  I’m not suggesting that we store up good will with God while times are good so God will be there when we need it.  I am suggesting that a working relationship with God will help us when times are tough.  When the path to God is well worn by constant use we will find our way into God’s presence a lot quicker! Continue reading

December 16, 2015 Posted by | Advent Thought, Bring, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do We Have Anxiety?

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

82015 RayWhat are we anxious about today in our lives?  Are we anxious about a child’s medical concerns or our own medical concerns?  Are we anxious about our job or our finances?  Are we anxious about the days as they unfold before us? Remember Jesus’ teachings on this subject – Matthew 6:34 – Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

From time to time we talk about dark places in our lives – and how life doesn’t always work out the way we planned.  We’ve talked about our hope not being based on temporal things but on the eternal (not the short part of the rope but the long end).  Our hopes are based on the eternal life found in Christ.  He didn’t remain in the grave but rose and He also ascended to the right hand of the Father. Continue reading

November 5, 2015 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Loves Ya Baby?

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Telly Savalas of Kojack and lollipop fame use to say who loves ya baby.  It was one of his trademark sayings.  He raises a question for us today.  Who loves us?  Who will be there for us through thick and thin?  I mean during the tough times as well as the good time?  When the money stops flowing – who will still be with us?  When we have failed – sinned – who will stick with us?  When we are near death – who will be by our side?

I was reading Psalm 23 at a funeral recently.  In the midst of the 23rd Psalm David writes: he restores my soul (Psalms 23:3).  When people are facing the death of a loved one – they often need to be reminded that even in the storms of life – even when times are tough – God wants to restore our souls.  Even as their loved one has just walked through the valley of the shadow of death, we should fear no evil, for God is with us; His rod and staff, they comfort us (Psalm 23:4 paraphrased).

Recently in a sermon I mentioned that we need to build our relationship with God while times are good – so that we have a prayer life – a personal walk with Him – when times get tough.  I’m not suggesting that we store up good will with God while times are good so God will be there when we need it.  I am suggesting that a working relationship with God will help us when times are tough.  When the path to God is well worn by constant use we will find our way into God’s presence a lot quicker!

I must confess that my prayer life isn’t what it ought to be.  Having a pastor admit that shouldn’t be shocking – nor should it give the rest of us a pass.  I think we all allow the world to creep up and gain footholds in our lives – in our schedules.  I think ALL OF US should spend more time with God in prayer and devotion time.  Don’t you?  Most of us are not wearing out the path to God the way we ought!

Peter writes: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you 1 Peter 5:7.  Isn’t that more than we can say about the TV – about some of our family and friends – about our yard and house – about our hobbies and even our work?  God cares about us and we tend to give God leftover time – at least some of us do.  Even when we carve out time for God – it is usually 15-30 minutes – rather than the hours we spend with some of the other things or people I just mentioned.

Peter writes these words: 1 Peter 5:1-10 – 1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

As we read this passage again – what sticks out to us?  What has God called us to do and what has God promised to do?  As mature men and women in the church – as younger believers in the church – as non-believers – what is our calling from God?  Right after today’s passage – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you – comes this warning from God – Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  It makes one think I believe.  It makes me want to deepen my walk with Jesus!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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August 23, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , | Leave a comment

Caste Your Anxious Moments on Jesus

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

What are you anxious about today in your life?  Are you anxious about a child’s medical concerns or your own concerns?  Are you anxious about your job or your finances?  Are you anxious about the days as they unfold before you?  Remember Jesus’ teachings on this subject – Matthew 6:34 – Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Sunday we talked about dark places in our lives – and how life doesn’t always work out the way we planned.  We talked about our hope not being based on temporal things but on the eternal.  They are based on the eternal life found in Christ as He didn’t remain in the grave but rose and he also ascended to the right hand of the Father.

The Psalmist – who was going through some dark moments in his life – wrote these words in the midst of one of his Psalms. Psalms 27:13-14 – 13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Currently I know people who are facing life threatening circumstances.  I know people who have lost their jobs and have little hope of meeting their current bills.  I know of people who are making life changes to their careers – and more.  All of these and more are major events in a person’s life.  What’s going on in your life?

In the midst of Peter’s first letter – first Epistle – he includes today’s passage – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  What a great word for us today.  Here it is in context – as Peter gives instructions to those who lead the church: 1 Peter 5:1-10 – 1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Whatever brings you anxiousness or worry today – caste it on Jesus who promises to help carry our load – giving us His yoke – which is easy.

Matthew 11:28-30 – 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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November 9, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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