Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Wage of Sin is Death

James 1:13-15

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

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We have all heard or read the following passage many times I bet – Romans 6:23a – For the wages of sin is death. We earn death when we sin. Our sin earns the wage of death. That smacks me hard – because I have been working since I was very young – cutting grass – officiating sports – working as a Soda Jerk (no puns) – etc. – earning a wage. Apparently – I have been working since before I can remember – to earn death – through my sin! I was born with a sin nature and that nature has been working overtime – and the wage for my sin – is death. To read it as James puts it – sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Today’s main passage is James 1:13-15 and ends with the following – then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

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July 8, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Post From Before Coronavirus

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

This post was originally posted on January 28, 2020. It was pre-coronavirus. It was before the pandemic changed all of our lives. I thought it was an interesting look at life before the pandemic.

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It is no secret – I like golf. The weather has been nice in January and I have gotten out already in 2020. Golf doesn’t always like me. I enjoy playing golf and the friends I play with as well. Some say – golf is a good walk in the outdoors – spoiled. Not me – I love the nature in golf – but I also like the game itself. Two friends and I walked 18 holes a week or so ago. We were dragging coming up 18 (an uphill walk) – but we had fun. Continue reading

July 7, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2020 Needs A Refocus

Proverbs 15:13

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.

20B2484D-93F3-4834-A657-15E51ED76F9ASo – how has your 2020 gone so far? It is early in July – the second half of the year has begun. What have you lost or missed the most? Did you lose your senior year in school? Did you lose a job or your retirement in the market? Are you worried about our country as we deal with a cancel culture – racism – and the upcoming elections?

What – if anything – have you decided to change in your life recently? Has the pandemic given you a new look at life? What have we planned to do differently this fall and into 2021? Setting goals is important – because we all know – if you aim at nothing – you’re bound to hit it! What goals have you – have we – set? My daughter posted this some time back: Don’t downgrade your dreams just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny. Continue reading

July 6, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life – Death – and Life After Death

John 14:1-3

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

20B2484D-93F3-4834-A657-15E51ED76F9ADo you think about life after death much? I made a comment recently that we tend to think more about our mortality – our own death – after our parents have passed – because – all things being equal – there is no more buffer – we are the oldest generation. A member said that really made them think. I think about it. All four of our parents have now passed. We are the next generation. My in-laws lived to 89 & 86. My parents lived to 84 and 89. As their generation passes – I know I will think more about my mortality even more. There are a few from their generation still with us – but directly – we are the next generation.

I think about my mortality as it is – with my job. I face life and death situations often with members and friends – being a pastor. I also get my blood checked and a physical annually and at times the numbers (weight and blood work numbers) – are not that good. I’m thinking about my mortality even more today (and taking more seriously my need to improve my health). Continue reading

June 25, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Attitude Like Christ

Philippians 2:5

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

20B2484D-93F3-4834-A657-15E51ED76F9AThis is one of my favorite passages. I have a number of them for sure. Years ago I took this verse and created a favorite statement. A number of you have heard it before – I’m sure. It goes like this – Christianity Boils Down to Attitude. Some in our church families could finish this saying with me. I would say Christianity boils down to and they would respond with Attitude. Now I know that Christianity is all about God’s grace – that it is all about Christ’s life – death and resurrection. But – as we mentioned many times in teachings and in sermons – Christian maturity is all about the condition and position of the heart. Christian maturity is about doing – about walking out our faith – and this takes an attitude likened to the attitude of Jesus. Continue reading

June 24, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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