Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

You Have Heard Is Said…

Matthew 5:21

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago

You’ve heard it said… This past weekend I stirred up a little discussion between a colleague of mine in ministry and a young student of the Bible (not that the colleague isn’t). I posted a meme that said – God is not going to rewrite the Bible for your generation. Stop trying to change Scripture when it’s written to change you.

A discussion or debate or argument ensued. The colleague proposed that Jesus rewrote the Bible – and that we can – through God’s leading I assume – rewrite and/or re-interpret the Bible today – to meet our current circumstance. The young student of the Bible believed the Bible was whole and what Jesus did was draw the people who heard Him back to the original meaning – rather that what they had come to believe. He believed the Bible was inspired by God – and God’s Word for us today and always. (either can correct me if I have express your views wrongly.)

I believe one either believes that the Bible is the inspired Word of God or simply a good collection of books and letters that we can interpret as we see fit. Here’s what the Apostle Paul felt about the Old Testament or as some call it – the old covenant.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 – 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. I – personally believe that God meant this for the New Testament/Covenant as well – but that is my take. Continue reading

August 26, 2019 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving Everyone

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.

June 2019Paul – an Apostle – told a young pastor – Timothy – to preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2) Paul also wrote these words to Timothy – 2 Timothy 3:16–17 – 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. God’s Word is to be obeyed. God’s Word is clear on many topics. God’s Word directs us in many ways in our lives. Amen and Amen!

I’m not a young pastor anymore – nor am I an Apostle – but the Word of God – as I read it – tells me to love one another – not hate on anyone. I see far too much hatred in the world – and at times – sadly – from folks claiming to be Christians. Showing others love is a commandment of God’s Word for God’s people. Church goers – politicians – and others seem to be filled with hate these days rather than love.

We’re told to hate sin – we’re told to love one another. We’re told to love God more than anything or anyone. Matthew 10:37 – Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Continue reading

July 19, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Regular Prayer

1 Thessalonians 1:3

We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

82015 RayAs Paul writes to the church(s) of the Thessalonians he partially opened his letter with this phrase (scripture) – reminding them that they were in his prayers – continually.  It must have been heartwarming for them to read that Paul was praying for them – continually.  I mean – Paul was an Apostle – a planter of churches – a leader of men and women – among the people of God – and he remembered them on a regular basis.  Paul often reminded the people of God of his prayers for them.

I’ve shared before that one of the prayers I remember the most in my life was one my father lifted.  I heard my father praying for me – kneeling at his bed one night – before he went to bed (I had gotten up to use the bathroom).  It blessed me so much.  I remember it to this day. Continue reading

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Serious Are We About Our Faith?

Matthew 5:30

And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

profileHow serious are we about things in our life?  For most of us – if we were more serious – we would be the correct weight for our height and age.  Most of us would rather eat what and when we want rather than be healthy.  Sorry – but that is just the honest truth – isn’t it?  I know – some of us have medical issues – but I’m talking about most of us who are overweight (and don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re in that medical issue list).  How serious are we about things in our life?

I read about a mountain climber who had his arm trapped by a huge boulder one day while climbing by himself.  After days of trying to get his arm loose – he decided that the only way to save his life was to cut off his arm.  He did and lived.  Now that is determination.  Now that is focus and clarity of purpose.  He wanted to live more than he wanted to keep his arm – his right arm at that!  How serious are we about things in our life? Continue reading

August 13, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Seeking After His Face — While Desiring His Grace

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

RevRayAre you more proud of your accomplishments or your failures?  Are you more willing to share your strengths or your weaknesses?  Are you more apt to reveal a positive character trait or a character flaw?  If you’re like most of us – you would side with the positive things mentioned above – the things that would make us look better – putting our best foot forward so to speak.  When we are interviewing for a job – we are taught to accentuate the positive.  Today we are going to see the heart of Christ –the heart of a servant –the heart of Paul.

Paul writes – at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  Paul boasted in his weaknesses because that gave all the credit for what he accomplished to God.  He didn’t want any of the glory – rather he wanted it all pointed at Jesus. Continue reading

July 18, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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