Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God – Teach Us to Forgive

Matthew 18:21-22

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

June 2019In our Tuesday Bible Studies (10:30 am and 7 pm) – we just read about Stephen and his stoning. As he was dying at the hands of the Jews from the Sanhedrin – he cried out for God to forgive those who were killing him. Acts 7:60 – Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. This is very reminiscent of our Lord on the Cross of Calvary. Luke 23:32–34 – 32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

How many times have we forgiven someone for the same thing? Do we have a limit to our forgiveness? Does this saying work for us – fool me once – shame on you – shame me twice – shame on me? How many times will we forgive someone? And is there a limit to what we will forgive? Continue reading

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July 31, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Vision, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overcome Evil with Good

Romans 12:21

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

RayBlogEvil is all around us. I write this not to scare us but to warn us. Evil has as its origin the heart of and deeds of Satan. Satan has a heart to hurt and harm – a heart to draw people away from Jesus and away from truth. Satan and his demons are a force to be reckoned with in the spiritual and physical world we live in today. They can dwell in the hearts and minds of people all around us. It was the devil that tempted Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11 – even quoting (albeit misquoting) scripture. Paul writes this warning in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 – Avoid every kind of evil. Paul writes today’s passage in Romans 12:21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Evil is all around us and we must – through Jesus – learn to defeat it at every turn.

Speaking to the Jews of His day – Jesus said the following. He was trying to teach them truth but instead of believing Him they allowed evil – Satan – to harden their hearts. John 8:42-44 – 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 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.

Continue reading

February 13, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A God of Second Chances

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

I want to thank God today – that God is a God of second chances. He died on the Cross of Calvary to give me – to give you – to give all who ask – a second chance.

We are all in need of second chances in our lives. Recently I talked to someone who had ruined their life with drugs and alcohol. They are so thankful for a God of second chances – as they strive to rebuild their lives and the trust of those around them. Another person I talked with had cheated in their marriage – numerous times – and felt like they had ruined everything – only to be given a second chance – by God and their spouse. A God of second chances is what amazing grace is all about my friends. Forgiving those who have harmed us is what God did on the Cross of Calvary.

Luke 23:32-34 – 32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals — one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

We all deserve judgement. We all deserve hell. We all deserve to be thrown to the wolves. But God is a God of second chances.

Romans 3:21-24 – 21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

And because God is a God of second chances – His followers MUST be as well. We must forgive one another. We must allow for second chances.

Colossians 3:12-14 – 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Who among us has not sinned? Who among us has not done another wrong or made a mistake? Listen to this song about second chances.

Wasn’t that an awesome song? Carlos Whittaker nailed it – didn’t he? We have a God of second chances. Rejoice with me today that we have a God of second chances. Where do you need a second chance in your life? Do you need to confess something to God? Do you need to confess something to your spouse? To a friend? To a co-worker? To begin to walk in your second chance?

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

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June 1, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey | , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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