Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Focus on God – Live Out Our Faith

2 Corinthians 4:18

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Life ChangeI love this passage. It so speaks to focusing on the eternal rather than the temporal. Focusing on the things of God and the promises of God rather than on what we can see with our eyes – understand with our minds – or hold in our hands. Unfortunately – many of us often focus on what we can see rather than what has been promised.

An example of this is Abraham and Sarah. They were promised by God that they would have many descendants – but late in life they couldn’t see the promise fulfilled so they took things into their own hands. Sarah gave Abraham her maidservant Hagar to bear him children because she was barren (Genesis 16). Of course God wasn’t late in fulfilling His promise – God gave Abraham and Sarah a child – Isaac – and he did become the father of a great nation – the Hebrews. Hagar’s son did as well. His name was Ishmael – and he became the father of Muslims. Continue reading

March 25, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Love Endures Forever

Psalm 136:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.

RayMcDWe often debate what is good in our lives. For instance – if you asked me a year ago what was good – I might say – lemon meringue pie – or peanut butter moose track ice cream. These days I can’t have either and have had to turn them down (I’m trying to lose some weight for a variety of reason). Some might say – my marriage is good – or my children are good – or my favorite team is good.

School is getting ready to start back up and maybe you think your school’s football team is good or their soccer team or volleyball team. You might think your entire school is good. It might be your school’s band that you think is good. Some of us might even say our school is good. What or who do you think is good?

The ultimate good – according to Scripture and the personal experience from many of us – is the love of God. All things we consider good are temporal – they do not last. But the love of God endures forever. Continue reading

August 28, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 35 of Lent 2018

Philippians 3:10-11

10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Today is day 35 of the 40 Days of our Lenten reading plan (looks like the plan will have 47 days because the Sundays didn’t count). I hope you have stayed with us. I veered off of the online plan and am finishing the plan myself. Today’s passage is about digging deeper into our faith – our trust of Jesus.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny yourself – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we want to read what Paul had to say about getting to know Christ better. He was so into getting to know Jesus that he sought to suffer for Jesus and even die for Jesus. He wanted to experience all that knowing Jesus entailed. Continue reading

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Joy of the Lord

Hebrews 12:1-2

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

RevRayToday we will finish a three day look at Hebrews 12:1-2.  Tuesday we wrote a post titled – Throw Off Everything that Hinders.  Yesterday we wrote one titled – Keep Your Eyes on Jesus.  Today we will finish looking at Hebrews 12:1-2 by addressing the remaining words – who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I titled today’s devotional thought The Joy of the Lord because the first words we deal with today says – who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame.  I have a hard time considering what Jesus went through a joyous time.  I have a saying I often share – it goes like this – happiness is circumstantially driven while joy is spiritually derived.  When I think of the cross and what Jesus endured – it is the circumstances I am looking at first – the flogging – the ridicule – the humiliation – the agony of the cross.  Those circumstances absolutely do not line up with happiness.  No one would describe what Jesus endured as a good day – a happy day – a day one would love to repeat time and again! Continue reading

April 18, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: