Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God Will Be With You Wherever You Go

Joshua 1:9

…the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Today’s passage is something we all want to hear – the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Yet – we may not understand the requirement for such a passage. This passage is from the installation of Joshua as the leader of Israel.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Joshua 1:1–9 – 1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Continue reading

May 12, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Is Always There!

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgGrowing up – it seemed like whenever Lois Lane screamed or was in trouble – Superman was there. I remember reading comics as a child – and watching Superman on TV too – and Superman was always there – or so it seemed

Growing up – it seemed like Mom or Dad were always there – or Grandmother. As a little one – I never had a fear of being alone – someone was always looking out for me. Even playing in the woods or in the yard or in the cemetery (pastor’s kids play in the cemetery) – they were always there! Continue reading

July 15, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , | 1 Comment

Wherever You Go

Joshua 1:9

the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgWe’ve all heard the saying that the only thing we cannot avoid in life is death and taxes. How appropriate that today is the primary elections. Some candidates have been known for raising taxes and some have promised to cut taxes or have been known for cutting taxes in the past. Although that is not the only issue at hand – taking more money from our already taxed pockets does not resonate well with most people.

What are some other things that we cannot seem to avoid? Are there people in our lives that always seem to show up? Some of those folks are treasures – always showing up when we need them – when there is a crisis. Some of those folks are anything but treasures – people you wish you could avoid – no mater the circumstances. Are there people in your life you have tried hard to avoid? Continue reading

June 24, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal | , , | Leave a comment

God Is With Us!

Joshua 1:9

…the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

profileI use to encourage people – and still do – to walk every day as if God were walking with you (try it for a week).   Imagine driving to work with Jesus in the passenger seat. Would you listen to different music? Would you keep your attitude in check better when in heavy traffic or when someone cuts you off on 495 (or whatever road you use)?

Imagine God sitting next to you at work. Would you be more honest in your dealings with clients? Would you work harder? Would you do a better job? Would you treat others better?

Imagine Jesus sitting next to you when you’re on the computer. Would there be sites you wouldn’t visit that you normally visit? What about Jesus sitting with you while you watch TV? Would you watch your favorite shows or would you watch something else – something you hardly ever watch – so that Jesus wouldn’t be offended? Continue reading

May 23, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal | , , , | Leave a comment

The Lord Be With You

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

RayBlogThe Lord be with you – and also with you. A familiar statement and response for many who have attended worship services in many churches. It brings peace to many to know that wherever they go – wherever they may find themselves in the journey of life – God is with us. Don’t get me wrong – God may not always approve of what we are doing or where He may find us – but God is always present. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

I remember feeling God’s presence in 2012 when the tractor-trailer t-boned me on route 3 in Crofton, MD. As the driver clipped my rear and put me into a spin I ended up in front of the tractor-trailer and it t-boned me down route 3 going 50 MPH or more. I felt God’s presence – I even had a quick moment where I believed I was going to meet Him face-to-face. Looking out your driver’s window and seeing the grill of a tractor-trailer will do that to you! I said a quick prayer – Lord – take me or save me! There in my car – thinking I was about to meet my maker – I felt the presence of God – the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

I remember feeling God’s presence when my faith took ill and we sat with him for hours in the hospital and in the nursing home. When he passed I felt God’s presence. I knew that dad was gone but that my Father (God) would never leave me and would always be present.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt God’s presence? We expect God to be with us when we are striving to draw near to Him – a worship service – a convention like Promise KeepersCatalystWomen of Faith – but God will be with us even at times when we least think He would be present.

Having experienced God’s presence in a variety of situations – most recently at the troubling times I faced in the last year – it brings a good measure of peace to me that the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

It brought peace to Joshua and his readers – it brings peace to us today if we open ourselves up to God in our lives – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

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

February 8, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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