Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

I’m So Confused

Matthew 16:25

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Life ChangeI remember when I was much younger – during the 60’s – a time when young people would leave home – and travel across the county – to find themselves. Some ended up living in communes – some went to massive outdoor concerts – some experimented with drugs – and free (no commitment) relationships – some did all of the above and more. Each generation seems to search for their niche in life – for their identity – finding themselves. The world is ever-changing – some – like the greatest generation as they are called – grew up during wartime and grew up quickly with great responsibilities. Some have so much given to them – it seems – that some feel entitled to life and it’s blessings – with little responsibility. Some have ideals that seem out of this world to others – like the socialism some are suggesting for our nation these days.

Have you found yourself (were you even looking)? Do you know your purpose in life? Do you know God’s plan for you and your life? I was talking to a young man the other day. He was so confused. He seemed lost. He had tried on several occasions to take his own life. He had experienced such pain in his life – he couldn’t see what reason there was to continue to live. He had given up on God and on ever finding meaning in his life. I must confess – I’m a bit confused these days – politically and religiously. I’m wondering – is the end near? Is Christ’s return coming very soon? Continue reading

March 14, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Our Self

Matthew 16:25

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

IMG_0301I remember when I was much younger – during the 60’s – a time when young people would leave home – and travel across the county – to find themselves. Some ended up living in communes – some went to massive outdoor concerts – some experimented with drugs – and free (no commitment) relationships – some did all of the above and more. Each generation seems to search for their niche in life – for their identity – finding themselves.  The world is ever changing – some – like the greatest generation as they are called – grew up during wartime and grew up quickly with great responsibilities. Some have so much given to them – it seems – that some feel entitled to life and it’s blessings – with little responsibility.

Have you found yourself (were you even looking)? Do you know your purpose in life? Do you know God’s plan for you and your life? I was talking to a young man the other day. He was so confused. He seemed lost. He had tried on several occasions to take his own life. He had experienced such pain in his life – he couldn’t see what reason there was to continue to live. He had given up on God and on ever finding meaning in his life. Continue reading

August 21, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Losing Our Life for Jesus’ Sake

Matthew 16:25

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

profileChristmas is just around the corner – are you tired of reading that yet?  I hope not because there are several more devotional thoughts coming out before Christmas!  Christmas is a time of great joy as we wrote yesterday – because of Jesus – the babe in the manger – who became the man on the cross!

Today we move away from the Christmas passages and move to one that talks about losing our lives for Christ’s sake.  Jesus was teaching His disciples and Peter decided He didn’t like what Jesus was saying about His earthly future.  Peter didn’t like what he was hearing.  This was that famous passage where Jesus tells Peter to get behind Him.  Here is today’s passage in partial context.  Matthew 16:23-28 – 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Continue reading

December 18, 2013 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Living for Jesus!

Matthew 16:25

25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

Living for Jesus requires a denial of self.  It requires that we think not of ourselves but rather about Jesus and often about others.  The Disciples were a bit self-absorbed when Jesus began to talk to them about the plan for Him to suffer and die.

Matthew 16:21-25 – 21From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” 24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

Peter wasn’t Satan – but rather Peter was allowing Satan to take his eyes off of being selfless and serving God’s plan.  Satan will do this in our lives in subtle and not so subtle ways for sure.

Think about your daily walk with Jesus.  Are you living for Jesus fully or only as it fits your schedule – your plans – your desires?

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

April 30, 2010 Posted by | Daily Devotion | , , | 1 Comment

   

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