Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Is Precious To Us?

1 Peter 2:7

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,”

What is it we count as precious? Growing up I collected comic books. I had Captain America, Thor, The Avengers, Hulk, Wolverine, Batman, Aqua Man, Superman, Green Hornet, Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four, and more. For some – I had complete original series – in mint condition. I read them all and kept them in a box in the basement of our home. In a sense they were precious to me – precious in the sense that I collected them and kept them.

One day my mom had a yard sale. She was selling all sorts of things. I helped for a while and then I had to go umpire a baseball game. I left for a few hours. I went over to the old Elk’s field in Annapolis for the baseball game. When I returned the sale was just about over and I helped bring things into the house. It was later that evening that I found that I was missing my comic collection. My younger brother had taken them out and sold them in the yard sale. I was furious. Something that was precious to me was taken away – without my permission. I hate to think of what they would be worth today. I’m just glad he didn’t find my box of baseball cards – some of the hang in my office now at work! Continue reading

July 5, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Look At Evangelism

Matthew 28:19

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Those who know me well – know that above all else – I would label myself an evangelical. As a Christian pastor I believe that Jesus is Lord and that there is no other way to salvation except through Him. You could call me a John 14:6 kind of guy. In this passage Jesus tells us what is required to go to heaven. John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Having said that – the passage for today has a lot of meaning. Today’s passage is part of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28 – Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

A number of pastors and church leaders as well as church members read my blog page each day. Are marching orders as pastors – as Christians – is The Great Commission. Because of the way some go about evangelism and the way that some have turned away from evangelism – in some circles evangelism has become a dirty word. It is anything but! Continue reading

June 27, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Is The Way – The Only Way

John 14:6

Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

RayMcDWho do we know that does not attend worship on a regular basis? Maybe we don’t. Maybe it is a child – sibling – parent – uncle – aunt – grandparent – neighbor – best friend – another soccer mom (dad) – a co-worker – a person you work out with – a fellow farmer – and on and on we could go?

If you believe Scripture when it says – John 14:6 – Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me – then you believe that knowing Jesus is essential for salvation and thus being allowed to come into the presence of God the Father – to go to heaven. If you believe Scripture when it says – Romans 10:14 – How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” – then you realize how important coming to worship is for presenting the truth to people.

WHO DO YOU KNOW THAT DOES NOT KNOW JESUS AS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR? Invite them to a special event or some Sunday with you. Each week encourage someone to come with you so that the Gospel might be presented to them, and that they might come to know Jesus. Be persistent. Invite them again and again – if necessary – until they come with you. IT IS ESSENTIAL that we have a heart for the lost and reach out to them NOW. Continue reading

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Greater Joy!

3 John 4

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

112015 Ray McDonaldAs a parent one of my prayers – since my children were young and even before they were conceived – was that they would come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. That prayer came to fruition as they grew and I thank Jesus for the grace shown to my children. There is nothing more important than their salvation. They are all successful in this world. They have done amazing things in life – already. Yet the most important thing is that they know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Are we praying for our children – our grandchildren – and for some of us – our parents and grandparents? Is that the first thing we think of when we think of our loved ones? Is our prayer that they will know Jesus? Is our prayer that they will come into a deep relationship with Jesus? Is our prayer for their salvation? Continue reading

May 10, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus – The Way, Truth, and Life

John 14:6

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

112015 Ray McDonaldOnce in awhile I will write articles about basic Christian beliefs – beliefs that I believe are essential to the faith – essential to be called a Christian.  So basic that I would have a hard time having any meaningful relationship with a pastor or church that didn’t believe them.  There are many denominations that call themselves Christian in the world today – and some are teaching a form of Christianity that is not only not orthodox – but not grounded in the basics of Christianity.

If I were asked for the most basic of beliefs – one of the first ones I would mention is that salvation is through Christ and Christ alone.  There is no other means of grace – no other way to approach the Father – to enter heaven.  Here are two Scriptures that I believe support this belief.

Jesus was preparing the Disciples for His death – His crucifixion – and was trying to explain to them what was going to happen.  Thomas – one of the Disciples asked Jesus the following question.

John 14:5 – “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

John 14:6 – Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Continue reading

April 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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