Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God’s Love

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

profileI’ve been married for 33 plus years.  I have experienced real love from my wife as she has loved me through the good times and the bad times.  We have three children and we have loved them through the good times and the bad times.

As much as we try to love those whom we love with everything we have – our love is not the best love going.  The best love is the love that God offers us.  Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Continue reading

October 30, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Holy Spirit Power!

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. NIV84

profileJesus was about to ascend to the Father and He was giving last-minute instructions to His disciples – His followers.  Obviously they were entering uncharted territory.  They had always – up to His crucifixion – had Jesus with them and they had enjoyed having Him back during this period between His resurrection and His ascension.  But Jesus was leaving them again and giving them last-minute words of encouragement.

Here is today’s passage in partial context.  Acts 1:3-9 – 3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. NIV84 Continue reading

October 14, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Outreach, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Attitude of Christ

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

profileIt is not normal to think of others – for most people.  Thinking about numero uno – number one – is where most people focus.  They are focused on what makes them feel better or good.

Today’s passage gives us a different view.  Here it is in partial context.  Philippians 2:1-11 – 1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Continue reading

September 3, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Greater Is He

1 John 4:4

. . . because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

profileAs a youth I liked to win.  OK – I still like to win.  I play golf most Saturday mornings with a few friends and we get a little competition going from time to time.  No money involved – but recently one friend broke into the 80’s for the first time in a long time and beat me – also in the 80’s – for the first time ever I think.  I wasn’t too happy.  I was happy for him – nice game – just not happy that he beat me!

When I was a younger person – elementary school to be exact – I remember playing kickball at recess and even then we tried to win.  We tried to get our friends – who were good players – on our team as we picked up sides.

Tiger Woods doesn’t like losing.  He is not a good sport when he loses – at least not when he hits bad shots (cameras are on him all the time).  He lost at the British Open but he won last weekend.  He seems to be on one week and not the next.  He has won a number of tournaments this year – but he isn’t playing with much consistency.  He isn’t the Tiger that put fear into the hearts of his fellow competitors – like he did a number of years ago. Continue reading

August 8, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Theology | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Seeking His Face, While Desiring His Grace

Romans 3:11

…there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

RevRayTake a moment and think about how you would write your own obituary?  OK – as a pastor I think about this because I read so many and share funerals with people.  What would your children say about you when you are gone?  Mine would say dad married up for sure.  I hope they would say dad never had trouble expressing his love for us.  Another thing I hope they would say is that dad was a man who loved Jesus and strived to follow His teachings.  I hope they remember some of my sayings like seeking His face, while desiring His graceChristianity boils down to attitude and maybe this one happiness is circumstantially driven while joy is spiritually derived.

Whatever they remember – and I do hope there are some life lessons in there somewhere – I must confess that anything good anyone sees in me is all God and not me.  In today’s passage we read there is no one who understand, no one who seeks God.  None of us strive to seek God on our own – it is the work of the Holy Spirit working in us.  Of course we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s work – because the Holy Spirit goes after every heart.  But that is basically it – I submitted to God’s work in me, through me, and in spite of me – another saying I hope they remember. Continue reading

June 20, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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