Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Let Nothing Be Wasted

John 6:12

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” NIV

profileMy parents were raised during the depression – my grandmother was a parent during the depression.  My grandmother lived with us or next door to us during my childhood years.  Nothing went to waste around our house.

My grandmother was the original pack-rat – so my dad came by his ways honestly.  When grandmother died – we had to clean out her house.  She had magazines and newspapers from before time it seemed – stored neatly in boxes.  Never know when you might need old magazines and newspapers.  She had stuff that most people would never have saved – but because of the depression – she was taught to let nothing be wasted. Continue reading

March 14, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come, Follow Jesus

Matthew 4:19

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

RayBlogRecently our home team – the Baltimore Ravens – won the Super Bowl and became world champs. As a dutiful fan I was at a local sporting goods store on Monday morning to buy my Ravens Super Bowl gear (I bought a hat and a jersey – to be used as birthday presents by family members – lol). I didn’t go to the Super Bowl – but a friend did and I lived vicariously through his Facebook posts and pics. I didn’t go to the parade in Baltimore – but watched on TV. To see the crowds in New Orleans and in Baltimore – many people follow their favorite sports teams and players (my shirt is a Joe Flacco jersey and I have a Ray Rice hat). I follow several players on Twitter and enjoy reading their tweets.

I also follow certain pastors like Andy StanleyCraig GroeschelTony Evans and others on Twitter. I also follow the blog pages of certain pastors and listen to their podcasts. How many followers do we have on our Twitter account or blog pages? It seems like many of us are ready to follow – to be followers or fans of someone or some team. Following has become a part of our society it seems. Some follow certain politicians or political parties or philosophies. Some follow the teachings of a particular theologian camp – calling themselves CalvinistsWesleyansArminianists – or something else. Some believe they follow a more liberal thought pattern – or more conservative or call themselves evangelicals or progressives. Following has become part of the culture we live in today – probably always has been in vogue.

FollowJesusBut following Jesus – now this is something a good number of people say they do but few it seems truly follow after the teaching and lifestyle of Jesus fully. Let’s take a look at the morning’s passage in context. According to Matthew’s timeline Jesus had just finished His calling and tempting experience and was beginning His earthly ministry. He was calling His early disciples. Matthew 4:17-25 – 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. 23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

What stands out to me is that those He called left everything to follow Him. They were commercial fishermen and left their boats – nets – families and friends to follow Jesus. Jesus said “Come, follow me” and at once they left their nets and followed him. He told them if they followed Him He would make them fishers of men.

One question that arises for me today – when we hear Jesus calling us to come follow Him – are we willing to leave everything and follow Him? Too often I believe we are like these who were called to follow Jesus – yet have excuses for not following just now. Luke 9:57-62 – 57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

So what is our excuse when Jesus calls us to follow Him? When we are convinced God wants us to do something – to follow His teachings and example – are we like – sure Lord – I want to follow – but maybe you weren’t aware of whatever we can come up with at the moment? When Jesus calls – we MUST respond and follow.

One more point. When Jesus calls us He always calls us to something more important than what we are currently doing. That importance is not always measured as we measure but it is more important. When the disciples were fishing Jesus called them to follow Him “and I will make you fishers of men.” Fishing for souls is immeasurably more important than fishing for fish! When God calls we need to respond and follow and prepare for the task. Remember God doesn’t call the qualified He qualifies the called. Also one of my sayings takes off on that one – God will not call you to anything He will not equip you to accomplish.

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

February 7, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision, Worship | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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