Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

I May Not Always Be Right – But I’m Never Wrong

Ephesians 4:3

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Life ChangeI may not always be right – but I’m never wrong. I saw somewhere that this attitude is attributed to Garfield the Cat.

Some think this way in their own theological processes. Whether Calvinist – Wesleyan – Arminian – or whatever – none of us has a lock on understanding God completely. Debates over theological positions have occurred since Adam and Eve I guess – as the serpent tried to persuade Eve to eat the fruit – because “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5 Of course we know the serpent to be wrong and even lined up with Satan – if not Satan himself – in the form of a serpent. It is not always that easy.

At times it is not as clear as the Genesis story. There are passages that – when taken in context – can support a number of views in what I will call minor beliefs or non-essential things. Things like the amount of water used at baptism – the form used at baptism – or even the age one is baptized are not salvation questions – important of course – but not essential to one’s salvation. Continue reading

June 6, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sin Is Crouching At Our Door

Genesis 4:7

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.

As I write this devotional thought I’m listening to Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

Doing the right thing is not always easy – is it? Most of us know the right thing to do – in most circumstances – but at times we fail to do the right thing. We struggle with doing the right thing – it doesn’t seem to come naturally to many of us.

Most of us won’t kill someone – literally – but we at times kill them figuratively with gossip or hurtful/abusive talk. Today’s passage comes from the story of Cain and Able. It is a sad story for sure – brother taking the life of another brother.

One of my friends and colleagues who serves a church in Baltimore reminds us constantly of the number of murders in Baltimore – typically equally or greater than the number of days in the year. These are brothers and sisters – killing brothers and sisters – boys and girls – even the elderly. Continue reading

September 27, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bone Of Our Bones

Genesis 2:23-24

23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

RayMcDGod has a plan for marriage. This is one of the plans found in the Bible. When God was creating the universe He created man and woman. When the woman (Eve) was created and brought to man (Adam) – Adam exclaimed this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.

One of the things I get from this passage is that a husband should see his wife as part of him – bone of his bones. The wedding vows talk about the two becoming one and that nothing is to divide them. Husbands should consider their wives to be part of them – part of their very self.

You know – I was once very fit. I was lean and mean. I could run all day – I could bench press more than I weighed. But part of me – my hunger – and my lack of will power in this area – began to eat away at the shape I had and gave me the shape I have now. It is part of me that created in me something I do not desire. I cannot just get rid of me – I need to work on me to make me better. I need to overcome that part of me that has ruined my shape (although round is a shape). Continue reading

October 25, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He Did Not Sin!

Hebrews 4:15

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. NLT

82015 RayHe Did Not Sin is the title of today’s devotional. When John the Baptist was baptizing in the river – Jesus came to him. John 1:29 – The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” NIV The Lamb of God – the Lamb without blemish – the Sacrificial Lamb.

The Lamb of God – Jesus Christ – was the only one found in all of creation worthy to open the scroll. Revelation 5:1–8 – 1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. NIV Continue reading

September 7, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marriage: What is God’s Plan for Marriage?

Genesis 2:23-24

23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

IMG_0301God has a plan for marriage.  Today we begin a series – again – not consecutive blog posts in a row – but a series on marriage.  We need to study what God says about marriage.  Especially is this day and age when some are trying to redefine marriage.  God’s plan for marriage can be found in the Bible – not in the laws of the land.  When God was creating the universe He created man and woman.  When the woman (Eve) was created and brought to man (Adam) – he exclaimed this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.

One of the things I get from this passage is that a husband should see his wife as part of him – bone of his bone – flesh of his flesh.  The wedding vows talk about the two becoming one and that nothing is to divide them.  Husbands should consider their wives to be part of them – part of their very self.  They are partners and connected in ways that God has designed.

Continue reading

March 23, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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