Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Satan Is Real and Needs to be Rejected

 Revelation 2:13

I know where you live — where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city — where Satan lives.

This is a reworked devotional – produced on Tuesday for Thursday so I won’t need to write a new one while I’m at Annual Conference. I will do the same for Friday.

Have we ever felt surrounded on every turn by folks that seem to be doing the work of the Devil? I mean – we can think of cities like Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible or cities like San Francisco – New York City – Chicago – Washington, DC and other havens of sin – but sin lives wherever men and women’s hearts are turned away from Jesus and turned toward Satan. Satan may live in our workplace – in our own family or in our own life at times. We may think (tongue in cheek) we are married to Satan him/herself – but in reality Satan is Satan and those who succumb to his trickery are his instruments – and they live everywhere.

We do not have to be a child molester or mass murderer to be a tool of Satan! We don’t have to be named Hitler or Attila the Hun to be a tool of Satan. Our journey may take us into the presence of many who are being used of Satan – daily. We may be used of Satan from time to time as well. Even people who present themselves as sheep can really be wolves in sheep’s clothing. Matthew 7:15 – Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Continue reading

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May 30, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Turn From Addictions

James 4:7

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Some of us have addictive personalities or makeups. Our constitution is not strong enough – at times – to withstand the attraction of what we desire. We can be manipulated by things or persons to do things we wouldn’t ordinarily do if it weren’t for that which we become addicted.

For some of us it is hard to resist things we desire. For some – alcohol or drugs become substances that can control our lives. We try to fight the attraction – but often we are too weak to stand opposed to our desires. We try to dry out – we try rehab – we try going cold turkey – and for some it works – but for many of us – it doesn’t. Drugs and alcohol can control our lives and even take our life.

For some of us it is hard to resist things we desire. For some – food is an addiction. I know we must eat to survive – but for some of us – we eat beyond survival. For some – we are addicted to food. There is an old saying – eat to live – don’t live to eat. Over eating can not only control our lives – it can even take our life Continue reading

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Day of Evil

Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

IMG_0301There are a number of theological or religious concepts that are debatable.  Like how much water should be used for baptism?  In the United Methodist Church we celebrate baptism by sprinkling, pouring or immersion.  We believe the amount of water is not as important as the transformed heart for Jesus.  I’m sure there are many other debatable concepts.

One concept that doesn’t seem debatable to me is that the evil one – Satan – is real and intends us no good.  Peter puts it this way:  1 Peter 5:8 – Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

We’ve referred to the story of Job in several sermons and here is a verse from that story – talking about Satan roaming the earth: Job 2:2 – And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Continue reading

June 16, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When the Day of Evil Comes

Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

There are a number of theological or religious concepts that are debatable.  Like how much water should be used for baptism?  In the United Methodist Church we celebrate baptism by sprinkling, pouring or immersion.  We believe the amount of water is not as important as the transformed heart for Jesus.  I’m sure there are many other debatable concepts.

One concept that doesn’t seem debatable to me is that the evil one – Satan – is real and intends us no good.  Peter puts it this way:  1 Peter 5:8 – Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

We referred to the story of Job recently in a sermon and here is a verse from that story – talking about Satan roaming the earth: Job 2:2 – And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”

For those of us who believe the Bible to be truthful – there is an evil one – a devil named Satan.  This is not a debatable subject.  The truth of the Bible tells us that the devil is roaming the earth looking for someone to devour to attack and destroy.  Yet – God doesn’t leave us without protection.

We are told to resist the devil and he will flee: James 4:7 – Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Resisting the devil involves surrender to God!

We are warned that the world – the devil’s domain – will hate us if we follow Jesus: John 15:18 – If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. We are going to be attacked!  There is no question about this fact!

But we are not left defenseless.  We are told we can resist temptation – one of the devil’s tools: 1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

In today’s passage we are told that we can stand up to the devil.  In Ephesians 6 we are given a list of offensive and defensive weapons at our disposal.  We are given armor to defeat the attacks of the evil one: Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

To merely accept Jesus and walk each day without preparing for the battle seems foolish to me.  The passage says when the day of evil comes – not if it comes.  Are we prepared?  Do we prepare daily for the spiritual battle we face?  Even though the war has been won – the battle still rages each and every day!

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

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November 21, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Devil Is Out There!

1 Peter 5:8

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

I was in a prayer group this week and we actually talked about evil spirits/demons and the devil’s activity.  I know – some of my friends and colleagues might not believe in an ACTUAL being of evil – but I do.  I believe that the devil is real and that a third of the angels – cast from heaven – are the devil’s minion.  I believe because the Bible says so and because I have had to deal with demons before in my life and ministry.

Here are some passages that instruct us – like today’s passage – about the devil and the devil’s minion or followers.  It seems like an overwhelming witness – and these are just a few of the passages we could read revealing the REAL existence of the devil.

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

Matthew 25:41 – Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’

John 8:44 – You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Ephesians 4:26-27 – 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1 John 3:8-10 – 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

Revelation 12:9 – The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Today’s passage reminds us that the devil is out there – we are called to be alert and prepared.  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Every morning – sisters and brothers – prepare for the battle.  Even though the war was won on the cross of Calvary – the battle rages every day.  Put on the full armor of God and be prepared for anything – Ephesians 6:13 – Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  God will – if we turn to Him daily – protect us from the devil – Ephesians 6:16 – In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Pray for God’s deliverance for you and your loved ones each day.  Put on the full armor and be protected from the evil one – the devil. Have victory each day – even as we await the final victory already won for us and given to us as a free gift.

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

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November 9, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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