Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Loving God – Loving Others

Luke 18:25

Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

112015 Ray McDonaldLet us think for a moment today of difficult things in our lives – cue the Mission Impossible music.  We wrote once about loving our enemies – about hatred and love.  Loving our enemies has to rank up there as a tough thing to accomplish.  For some of us getting properly and getting enough exercise seems to be difficult.  For some getting to work on time or to church on time seems difficult.  Getting along with the in-laws or our spouse seems hard for some.

Can we think of a few things that we find difficult?  How about getting good grades?  How about waiting till marriage to be intimate with our fiancé or with our dates?  How about going a day without something we love – like fasting from something we have on a regular basis.  What about making ends meet when our income has been reduced or removed?  What about trying to make sense out of this world?

When I was younger – I use to think that the passage for today meant that rich people couldn’t get into heaven – because my grandma sewed and I knew we could never get a camel through the eye of a needle.  I often had a hard time getting thread through the eye of the needle. Continue reading

March 18, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can the Rich Get Into Heaven?

Luke 18:25

Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

RevRayThink for a moment today of difficult things in your life – cue the Mission Impossible music.  We’ve written recently about loving our enemies – about hatred and love.  Loving our enemies has to rank up there as a tough thing to accomplish.  For some of us getting properly and getting enough exercise seems to be difficult.  For some getting to work on time or to church on time seems difficult.  Getting along with the in-laws or our spouse seems hard for some.

Can you think of a few things that you find difficult?  How about getting good grades?  How about waiting till marriage to be intimate with your fiancé or with your dates?  How about going a day without something you love – you know – fasting from something you have on a regular basis.  What about making ends meet with your income has been reduced or removed?  What about trying to make sense out of this world? Continue reading

May 9, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Seeking to Serve Jesus!

Luke 18:22

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

A man came to Jesus and asked: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18) Jesus responded: You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother. (Luke 18:20)

The man said: All these I have kept since I was a boy, (Luke 18:21). Jesus – knowing the man – better than the man knew himself – said: “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Let me read just a few more verses in this story. Luke 18:23-25 – 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The story explains itself – except for us to ask ourselves – what is it that we are reluctant to give up? What stands between us and our relationship with Jesus?

It is easy to give up things you don’t care about – much. I mean – if God asked me to give up liver – or coffee – or something else that I didn’t appreciate or love – it would be pretty easy. But what if God asked me to give up my time – my money – my favorite hobby – myself? Would I be as ready to do these? I’m not suggesting that God doesn’t want us to have things or have a good time. What I am suggesting – and really not me but the Bible – is that NOTHING should be able to come between us and our relationship with Jesus. We should be willing to say – Here I am Lord – use me and use me up if you see fit. Work in me – through me – and in spite of me.

As I head off to Haiti tomorrow morning – giving up nice food – a nice bed – a nice warm shower – and a few other niceties – I pray that NOTHING will come between me and my Jesus. I want to fully devout this time and all time to His glory. Lord – forgive me when I don’t do this – and convict me to repent and turn all I have and all I am to You!

I challenge you to dwell on verses 23-25 today. Do we own our things or do our things own us? As I go to a land with little – leaving a land with much – I pray I will see a deep faith in those I meet that will revive my faith and jump start my faith to deeper trust in Jesus. I pray my things will NOT keep me from a deep walk with Jesus. I covet your prayers.

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

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June 19, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Outreach | | 1 Comment

   

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