Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Jesus Was Tempted But Was Without Sin

Hebrews 2:18

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

I love to discuss theology. I love to talk about doctrine and beliefs. Good thing – since that is my calling and career. I bet there aren’t too many who love these things.

One of the theological discussions I enjoy surrounds the thought of Jesus’ temptations. It is clear through Scripture that Jesus was temped. Today’s passage says – Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

That Jesus was tempted is not really in question. What seems to be in question is whether Jesus could or could not sin when tempted. Is a temptation a temptation if there is no possible way you could yield to the temptation and sin? That is a significant question.

Whether Jesus could sin or not is cloaked in His nature. Jesus’ nature as the second Adam – was different than our nature for sure. 1 Corinthians 15:45–49 – 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. Continue reading

March 15, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attitude: In General

Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

RayMcDAs we begin a New Year – I felt the need to do a series of blog posts about attitude. I believe we can have all the right programs in a church. We can have friendly faces on Sunday mornings. We can have just the right amount of staff and volunteers. We can have a great facility that is attractive – warm – and welcoming. But I believe if our attitudes are not right – our attitudes will seep through all of the other areas of ministry and eventually they will be seen and will corrupt all that we try to do. We all need to constantly check our attitudes. I’m not sure how long this series will go – but I felt led of God to share it.

You would think that – in the church – good attitudes would abound – maybe even be the rule rather than the exception. Yet in church life – real people are involved and real people have attitudes at times. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years talking about our attitude as Christians. I created a saying some 30 plus years ago that goes like this – Christianity boils down to attitude. Over the year I’ve added a follow-up statement and the saying now reads – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart. God is after our hearts – God desires a cheerful heart – a heart set on Christ. Let’s look at some passages that speak about the heart. Continue reading

January 2, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Doctrine: The Word of God

1 Peter 2:2

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,

IMG_0301Junk Food is not good for us!  There – I said it!  Junk food is simply that – junk.  Yet it usually tastes so good.  What is your favorite junk food?  I love most anything with chocolate and peanuts or peanut butter.  At Easter I am a sucker for the peanut butter covered chocolate eggs.  Junk food is usually sweet – or salty like barbecue potato chips.  If you’re really lucky with your junk food you can get something that is sweet & salty!

But I digress.  I’m also craving something sweet or salty right now!

Junk food usually satisfies for the moment but not for the long-term.  It usually has lots of empty calories and is not ultimately good for you.  It usually has little to no nutritional value. Continue reading

March 24, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What We Need Is God’s Love

1 John 4:7

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.

Pic of Ray 11302014We’re living in a time – not unlike many times in our history – where love is very much needed. Yet we live in a time when love is the furthest thing from the minds and hearts of many. Actually – some are running away from God’s perfect love and running toward the devil’s hatred.

I am appalled by the happenings around our country – as many are – and for a variety of reasons I’m sure. Hatred is running rampant in so many of our communities. Anger is all around us. Peaceful and non-peaceful protests are on the news every night. Something needs to change in our country and now is the time for every good Christian man and woman to stand up and be counted.

It is above my pay grade to know all the answers for sure – so I will not try to decide right and wrong in each case placed before us in the news. I have tried to stay out of the fray when it comes to commenting on the situations the news has blasted all over our TV screens and the internet. Some of my friends and colleagues on social media and from pulpits have been very outspoken – and I respect their right to their opinions. Continue reading

December 5, 2014 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sound Doctrine – Truth

1 Peter 2:2

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgJunk Food is not good for us!  There – I said it!  Junk food is simply that – junk – and I have been trying to stay away from it.  Yet it usually tastes so good – or at least we think so.  What is your favorite junk food?  I love most anything with chocolate and peanuts or peanut butter.  At Easter I am a sucker for peanut butter covered chocolate eggs.  Junk food is usually sweet – or salty and flavored like barbecue potato chips.  If you’re really lucky with your junk food you can get something that is sweet & salty!

But I digress.  I’m also craving something sweet or salty – right now!

Junk food usually satisfies for the moment but not for the long-term.  It usually has lots of empty calories and is not ultimately good for you. Why are we drawn to it – because it soothes for the moment – but it is not good for us? Continue reading

September 4, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: