Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Following Christ’s Example

Luke 2:52

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Many of us are familiar with the story of Jesus at twelve – as He was amazing the teachers in the temple courts with questions and answers. Joseph and Mary couldn’t find Jesus among the relatives in the caravan – so they headed back to Jerusalem to find Him. Luke 2:46–47 – 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

Recently in a Bible study we talked about the divinity and humanity of Jesus. Depending on how you understand that dynamic will reveal where you fall in our ability to follow Christ’s example. For instance – if you believe He was fully divine and only appeared as human – you would have a hard time believing you could follow God’s example. If you believe that He was human on earth and didn’t access His divine power – you would have an easier task of seeing Jesus as an example for us to follow. Continue reading

October 6, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Confidence

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

RevRayMcI try to not be political in my sermons or my writings. Yet today we’re talking about confidence. The two presidential candidate front-runners seem very confident. One wants to make America great again and the other wants to continue the current administration’s programs. They are both very confident that their approach is the right approach.

The voters are caught choosing between a person who wishes to shake up a rigged system (in his words) and a person who wishes to keep the ball rolling – building on the current administration (her words). Both seem confident that their way is the right way. Only time will tell I guess. Continue reading

July 6, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He Did Not Sin!

Hebrews 4:15

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. NLT

82015 RayHe Did Not Sin is the title of today’s devotional. When John the Baptist was baptizing in the river – Jesus came to him. John 1:29 – The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” NIV The Lamb of God – the Lamb without blemish – the Sacrificial Lamb.

The Lamb of God – Jesus Christ – was the only one found in all of creation worthy to open the scroll. Revelation 5:1–8 – 1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. NIV Continue reading

September 7, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Understands Us!

Hebrews 4:15

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. NLT

IMG_0301Yesterday we preached a sermon titled God’s Grace is Sufficient. You can listen to the message on this page – along with other messages from First United Methodist Church.

In part of the message we talked about our weaknesses. We talked about how God’s grace is sufficient to cover over all our sins – if we confess – repent – and turn away from sin and turn toward God.

It always amazes me that Jesus loves us so much that He left heaven to come to earth – to live and die for us. We have a High Priest that loves us so much – He yielded his equality with the Father and lived this human life.

Here is today’s passage in partial context. Hebrews 4:14–16 – 14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. NLT Continue reading

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

   

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