Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Forgive As God Forgives

Matthew 6:12

and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. NLT

Life ChangeIf you’re anything like me – sometimes the Bible says things that cause me to pause. Stuff like loving my enemies or turning the other cheek or if you deny me before men I will deny you before My Father in heaven or today’s passage – and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. In many translations the word debt is used or in the common Lord’s Prayer used by many – forgive us our trespasses. Many of us do not understand the meaning as clearly as using the word sin. We are actually asking God to forgive us our sins/debts/trespasses in the same manner in which we forgive others their sin/debt/trespasses against us. This is amazing to me. In the manner that I am gracious – in the way that I forgive – Lord – forgive me.

This seems so amazing to me because many of us – myself included – are not always that gracious. We hold grudges – we are vengeful – we are resentful – we have a hard time forgiving the past. Today I simply challenge us to search our hearts and find the areas where unforgiveness lives in us. I challenge us to be a more grace filled person – a person who is ever ready for new beginnings. Continue reading

February 1, 2019 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 | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Praises 11

1 Timothy 1:15-17

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Christmas at Holker Hall 2009During the month of December I have asked some members and friends of our church to write a paragraph or so describing some of the things that bring them joy this Christmas season in their relationship with Jesus and First Church? They were asked where they see Jesus in their church family? They were asked what draws them to First Church. The reason for this is to stir up some joy and excitement this Christmas Season. I told them I would share their thoughts anonymously – but I am keeping their e-mails for sure. I will try to post a comment a day for December so obviously I need 31 comments. The posts will go up around noon each day.

Christmas time is the best time. I love the music and the TV specials. I love spending time with family. The star at the top of our tree always reminds me of the Christ Child.

Christmas at First Church is always special to me. I love being part of the family at First Church. We have a heart for others. Everyone is welcome. Our diversity is such a God thing to me. We come from so many different places, but at First Church we are all one big family. We help others all year-round at First Church but especially at Christmas time. I look forward to this time of the year. I love my church family since my family is so far away.

I love the special services we have, especially the 11 pm Christmas Eve service. The blend of carols, holy communion, and the singing of Silent Night while lighting candles always brings a warm feeling to me. It would not be Christmas for me if I couldn’t attend that service.

I see Jesus in the faces of others at First Church and in our hearts to serve. I’m so glad to have found this church.

I praise the Lord for the testimony. I hope that it brings those who read it great joy. Merry Christmas to one and all.

December 11, 2016 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgive Us – As We Forgive Others

Matthew 6:12

and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. NLT

IMG_0301If you’re anything like me – sometimes the Bible says things that cause me to pause.  Stuff like loving my enemies or turning the other cheek or if you deny me before men I will deny you before My Father in heaven or today’s passage and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.  In many translations the word debt is used or in the common Lord’s Prayer used by many – forgive us our trespasses.  Many of us do not understand the meaning as clearly as using the word sin.  We are actually asking God to forgive us our sins/debts/trespasses in the same manner in which we forgive others their sin/debt/trespasses against us.  This is amazing to me.  In the manner that I am gracious – in the way that I forgive – Lord – forgive me.

This seems so amazing to me because many of us – myself included – are not always that gracious.  We hold grudges – we are vengeful – we are resentful – we have a hard time forgiving the past.  Today I simply challenge us to search our hearts and find the areas where unforgiveness lives in us.  I challenge us to be a more grace filled person – a person who is ever ready for new beginnings. Continue reading

May 14, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgive Us Lord – As We Forgive Others

Matthew 6:12

and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. NLT

RevRayIf you’re anything like me – sometimes the Bible says things that cause me to pause.  Stuff like loving my enemies or turning the other cheek or if you deny me before men I will deny you before My Father in heaven or today’s passage and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.  In many translations the word debt is used.  Many of us do not understand the meaning as clearly as using the word sin.  We are actually asking God to forgive us our sins/debts in the manner in which we forgive others their sin/debt against us.  This is amazing to me.  In the manner that I am gracious – in the way that I forgive – Lord – forgive me.

This seems so amazing to me because many of us – myself included – are not always that gracious.  We hold grudges – we are vengeful – we have a hard time forgiving the past.  Today I simply challenge us to search our hearts and find the areas where unforgiveness lives in us.  I challenge us to be a more grace filled person – a person who is ever ready for new beginnings. Continue reading

July 19, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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