Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Rebuke the Devil – He is Real

1 John 3:8

He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

Rays HaircutThe devil is real and not a figment of someone’s imagination. Some churches and pastors try to suggest that the devil is not real – that the devil is merely a personification of evil as a whole. Not sure what Bible they read – if they read the Bible at all – but the Bible tells us over and over that the devil is real. Please do not fall prey to false teachers and false religions. Run as fast as you can from a pastor or church that doesn’t believe that the devil is real!

According to Scripture – the devil tempted Jesus after His baptism.  Matthew 4:1-11 – 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Continue reading

June 11, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Good Character – What Is It?

1 Corinthians 15:33

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Rays HaircutHow would you define character? I believe that the best definition I ever heard for character is this – character is what you do when no one is looking. The things we do when we think no one is looking or when we think no one will find out – define our character. Let me give an example.

What is on your computer you wouldn’t want anyone else to see? Ouch – was that someone’s toe I stepped on right there? I’m not talking about your bank account or things like that – but rather your browser history – or your bookmarked sites – or your emails – or your Facebook account or other social media account. Who have you been in contact with you shouldn’t have been in contact with lately? If someone had access to your computer – would they see things you wouldn’t want them to see? Think about it? How about your cell phone – your pad or other device?

If character is what we would do if no one were watching – is there anything on your personal computer or devices you wouldn’t want anyone to know about? If married – does your spouse have your password for your email? For your Facebook account? To even get onto your computer/pad or cell phone? If not – why not? Are you trying to hide something from them? Continue reading

June 3, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anxiety and Depression

1 Peter 5:7

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

Rays HaircutI know a number of people that battle anxiety and depression. I was reading this passage the other day – and even talked recently to some folks about their anxiety and depression. What are we anxious or depressed about in life? What is it that causes us to have trouble sleeping at night? What do we think about and can’t seem to stop thinking about – moment by moment? What decisions in our lives have caused us the most anxiety or depression?

As I reflect back on my life – I can think of numerous things that caused me anxious or depression moments. I can remember being anxious when I went out for the High School football team and cuts were being posted (I made the team each year by the way)! I can remember being anxious when I asked my future bride to marry me and wondering if she would say yes or no (she said yes – and we will celebrate 40 years of marriage this summer if we hang in there). I remember being anxious when my children were being born – the first because she was the first (she is 37 now) – the twins because they were twins (they are soon to be 32). I can remember times when I was anxious about my job – about my health – about many things. And on this side of those anxious moments – I can testify that being anxious didn’t help the situations one little bit. As a matter of fact – being anxious made some of them more difficult and didn’t help my health any at all. Continue reading

May 22, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Those With Us Are More Than Those Against Us

2 Kings 6:16

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Rays HaircutHere we are – in the midst of a pandemic that threatens the entire world. Many haven’t been to work in nearly two months. Many states are rebelling against the closures. The medical professionals say we should open slowly in some areas and not at all – yet – in other areas. Some governors have opened their states – and some are holding off. The questions remain – if we stay closed much longer – will there be anything to come back to – Or – if we open too early – will we spike the pandemic again? What a terrible situation we are facing.

Here we are – in the midst of a pandemic that threatens our health and our livelihood. If we live through it – which most of us will – will we lose everything waiting to be safe? When is the threat of illness – even death – worth going back to work? We all take risks everyday traveling the roads and dealing with other ills. What a terrible situation we are facing.

Today’s passage is from a story in the Bible – where a man of God and his servant were surrounding on all sides by the enemy. Death seemed imminent. Let’s read the story to get a better idea what they were facing. Continue reading

April 27, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Encouragement Is Very Important

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Rays HaircutEncouragement is very important. There are many persons in the families of our church and community who have known very little encouragement in their lives. They have been raised in families where discouragement was the focus – with very little – if any – love or encouragement. Families where more fuss was made over a grade of B in one class rather than the grades of A in all of the other classes. Families where the small mistake was made to be larger than the overall good job done.

Discouragement in the church is also a tool that the devil uses. Someone does a tremendous job with a program and the first thing someone says is something that didn’t go right. Worship was awesome and a person points out the one thing that didn’t go well – first.

It isn’t that we shouldn’t try to improve one another – we’re actually called to do that in Scripture. What I’m questioning is the attitude and timing. Read Revelation where Christ instructs John to write to the seven churches. In those passages Christ always affirms where He can affirm – encourages – before He gives corrective instruction. Continue reading

April 21, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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