Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13:7-8

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

This summer my wife and I will celebrate 37 years of marriage. How she has stayed with me this long is only a blessing from God for sure. Her love never seems to fail. There is a standard joke among the women in our family. With the passing of my mom – it came out at her funeral. We would often say – Nan loves her man. My mother loved my father something fierce. Nothing could come between her and her man! (I’m not saying they never had disagreements because they did).

Growing up I had such a good example of a mom and dad – a husband and wife. They had an endearing love that held them together – as the saying goes – through thick and thin. They are finally back together in heaven – without the old bodies that hindered their last years. Continue reading

March 9, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Real Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13:8a

Love never fails.

RayMcDIn the last few years of my ministry – maybe even most years of my ministry – I have preached on marriage. Marriage is used in the Bible several times to express the relationship we are to have with Christ. Today I want to touch on a Scripture that is a portion of what is often read at weddings. This phrase is a portion of 1 Corinthians 13:8. They are such powerful words – Love never fails. In what is commonly called the Love Chapter – often read at weddings as I wrote earlier – we get a glimpse of God’s love. Let’s read a broader section of this chapter. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a – 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8a Love never fails.

Our love – in marriage – and in our everyday life – should model God’s perfect love. Paul wrote this in the midst of a teaching about the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). He was writing about the awesome power of God’s gifting for the church. Before his teaching about the gifts he writes: 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 – 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. Continue reading

February 28, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On Christian Marriage

Genesis 2:24

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

RayMcDIt is not unusual for me to teach or preach on marriage – Christian marriage. In our society – there is much confusion surrounding marriage these days – like who should be able to get married. We can find God’s intent for marriage in the second chapter of the Bible. In the very first book of the Bible – Genesis – we read God’s intent for marriage – a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. God’s design – from the beginning of time – was for one man and one woman to marry and become a family.

A number of times over the years in counseling I have run into men and women who have not allowed the new family – the two becoming one – to become primary in their lives. It is OK to love mom – it is OK to love pop – but in order for the new bond – the new family to work – it must become primary. We must in a significant way – leave our mother and father and cleave to one another. Continue reading

January 24, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rules 4 Better Marriages

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

RayMcDThis is an oldie but a goodie. I have written about marriage many times and because I’m away from the office – I pulled this post from the archives and reworked it some to post today. I thought this post might begin some conversations in our homes and enlighten us concerning ways to help our marriages. It is targeted at men for sure but was useful the first time I used it and I bet it will be this time too. Women can learn too!

I found an article online, by Paul Peterson. The article listed six ideas for husbands to improve their marriage. I thought they were pretty good so I will list them and then see if our readers can come up with additional things a husband can do. I’m still trying to find an article that would help women be better wives. Maybe it hasn’t been written yet because they are perfect (LOL).

Here is the list I found:

#1 Date your wife every week.

Just do it. Turn off the TV, say “no” to your buddies, find a babysitter and date that lady! Date her just like you did BEFORE you married her! Continue reading

January 23, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Not Worry

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. NIV84

RayMcDOver the years we have heard loads of catch phrases. Phrases like what – me worry or don’t worry – be happy have graced our airways over the years. The world knows all about worry and how many of us suffer with it. What is it that we are spending time worrying about today? Are we worries about the economy? Are we worried about the elections? Are we worried about where our next meal with come?

Another translation of this passage reads this way – Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ESV Apparently worry and anxiousness are akin.

So what are we anxious about or worried about? Is it our health – let’s give it over to God. Is it our economics or lack thereof – let’s give it over to God. Is it a relationship – like our marriage or a friendship – let’s give it over to God. Is it the election – let’s give it over to God. Is it trouble in some way in our lives – let’s give it over to God. Continue reading

November 17, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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