Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Be Blessed This Good Friday

Psalm 29:2

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

Today is Good Friday. Spend the day remembering that Jesus loved you so much – that He came down from heaven and died on the cross for your/our sins. If you are in the Laurel area – join us this evening for a meaningful service of remembrance as we read through some of the Biblical story of Jesus’ sacrifice. The service begins at 7 pm at First United Methodist Church at 424 Main Street – in Laurel – MD. Here are some passages to get us thinking today.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Continue reading

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April 14, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Does it Cost to Follow Jesus?

Matthew 10:37-38

37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

IMG_0301It is Good Friday. I had a funeral this morning for a long time friend from a previous church and a Good Friday service tonight at the church I presently serve. It is the day that our Lord sacrificed His life for me – for you – for all humanity – He paid for the sins of the world.

One thing I have always preached – there is a cost to follow Jesus. Salvation is free – but to truly follow Christ – there is a cost. That cost is a denial of self and an acceptance of God’s will in our lives. It is that Gethsemane moment where our will and God’s will clash – the cost is denying self and doing God’s will. The free gift of salvation requires a denial of self!

Here is today’s passage in partial context – it will help us understand the cost of following Jesus. Matthew 10:32-39 – 32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.  34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Continue reading

April 3, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Wondrous Love Is This?

An American Folk Hymn

Some of the hymns and songs we sing in worship have such powerful meaning.  One of the hymns we sang recently at the 8:45 service talks about the wondrous love of Christ on the cross.  Here are the lyrics and a YouTube  copy of this song.  Just read the words and listen to the song and think on Christ on the cross and his wondrous love for us!

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul! What wondrous love is this, O my soul! What wondrous love is this That caused the Lord of bliss To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down, When I was sinking down, sinking down, When I was sinking down Beneath God’s righteous frown, Christ laid aside His crown for my soul for my soul, Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing; To God and to the Lamb I will sing; To God and to the Lamb, Who is the great I AM, While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing, While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on; And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on. And when from death I’m free I’ll sing His love for me, And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, And through eternity I’ll sing on.

Join us Friday night for our Good Friday service at 7 pm as we take a look at the cross of Calvary!  We’ll meet in the Sanctuary as we reflect upon songs like this that help us reflect on the cross.

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

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April 21, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , | Leave a comment

   

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