Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God’s Design for Marriage

Genesis 2:24

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. ESV

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You had to know that we wouldn’t get too far into 2014 before we once again addressed God’s design for marriage.  I will suggest later in this post that the real debate is not over the worlds’ view of marriage verses God’s but rather the view of Biblical Authority.

From the very first book in the Bible we see a truth that has been debated in our society and shamefully in our churches as well.  The question for the church is not what does society say about marriage?  The question for the church should be what does God say about marriage?

Throughout the Bible – God’s inspired – inerrant – infallible word – God’s design is clear.  God’s design is for one woman and one man to unite and become one.  Even when some of God’s people got it wrong in the Bible and took multiple wives – God called them back to His design. Continue reading

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January 3, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Losing Our Life for Jesus’ Sake

Matthew 16:25

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

profileChristmas is just around the corner – are you tired of reading that yet?  I hope not because there are several more devotional thoughts coming out before Christmas!  Christmas is a time of great joy as we wrote yesterday – because of Jesus – the babe in the manger – who became the man on the cross!

Today we move away from the Christmas passages and move to one that talks about losing our lives for Christ’s sake.  Jesus was teaching His disciples and Peter decided He didn’t like what Jesus was saying about His earthly future.  Peter didn’t like what he was hearing.  This was that famous passage where Jesus tells Peter to get behind Him.  Here is today’s passage in partial context.  Matthew 16:23-28 – 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Continue reading

December 18, 2013 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hidden Treasure

Matthew 13:44

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

profileChristmas is coming.  I know – I’ve said that before – but – I will keep saying it – probably right up to Christmas!  It is a wonderful time of the year for many of us.

I was asked the other day – during a 45-minute 2.5-mile walk through a forested trail with hills and rocks – what my vision for our church would look like?  In between trying not to twist my ankle and trying not to have a heart attack – I shared that it wasn’t so much what we did but for me it was the heart in which we did it.  I created a saying some 30 years ago that goes like this – Christianity boils down to ________.  For those how know me or have known my ministry – you know how to fill in the blank.  Christianity boils down to attitude and we have expanded that saying to include the condition and position of our heart. Continue reading

December 9, 2013 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Give Thanks – And Don’t Worry

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. NIV84

profileSuch catch phrase as what, me worry or don’t worry, be happy have graced our airways over the years.  The world knows all about worry and how many of us suffer with it.  On Thanksgiving Morning – while some of us are freezing ourselves on the Turkey Trot to support LARS – what are you worried about or what are you anxious about?

Another translation of this passage reads this way – Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ESV Worry and anxiousness are interchangeable it seems. Continue reading

November 28, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

For I Am Convinced

Romans 8:38

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

profileThe devil is real!  No matter what others may say – the devil is real!  Throughout the scriptures we are told that the devil is real.  If someone doesn’t believe in the devil – they do not believe in the Bible – because the inspired – infallible – inerrant word of God tells us that there is a devil – Satan – the fallen angel.

Here are just a few scriptures that reveal this truth.  I could fill several pages with the teachings of the Bible about Satan/the devil – but I will simply mention a small sampling of them.  Here we go!

Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Continue reading

November 18, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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