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

Living at Peace is Not Easy

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

I was born in the 50’s and remember a lot about the 60’s and 70’s.  I remember the peace movement surrounding the Vietnam war and the Civil Rights movement.  I remember the protests on college campuses all over America.  Unfortunately – some of those asking for peace didn’t give it very well as the veterans from Vietnam cam home.  These young people – many who wanted nothing but peace so they could come home – were not welcomed home with much peace!  It seems that peace is not as easy as we might think.

Think for a moment.  Is there someone you have a hard time dealing with these days?  Someone you have a hard time being at peace with these days?  Is someone giving you a hard time?  Maybe it is your X-spouse who is giving you trouble with your divorce settlement or with their child support.  Maybe it is someone at school who seems to enjoy being a bully.  Maybe it is someone at work who always seems to pick at you.  Maybe it is someone who just won’t leave good enough alone.  Is there anyone like that in your life?  Reading today’s passage you might say/ask – and God wants us to live at peace with these persons?

Throughout Scripture we are told to live at peace with one another.  It is hard to avoid this teaching if we simply search some of the Epistles for instance.  Romans 14:19 – Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  Hebrews 12:14 – Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  Ephesians 4:3 – Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

As we approach Christmas – a time to remember the greatest gift ever given – a time to celebrate the love of God – who is it in your life that you need to try and make peace with today?  Is there someone you are holding a grudge against?  Is there someone who has hurt you in the past and you cannot seem to get over it?  Is there someone in your life that deserves your anger and bitterness – yet – because of God’s grace working in you – you will overlook what is deserved and extend grace and peace?  I’m thinking of some people in my life.  How about you?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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December 12, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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