Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Advent Starts on Sunday

Matthew 3:1-2

3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Life ChangeAdvent starts on Sunday – just a few days away. As we approach Christmas – we are reminded – often – I hope – that Christmas is all about Jesus coming into the world. Christmas is not about buying and selling things. It is about the greatest gift ever given – Jesus Christ – the babe in the manger that grew to be the man who was the Lamb of God that died on the cross to pay for our sins.

Advent starts on Sunday – just a few days away. What are you hoping for this year? Peace on earth is always a good wish. Maybe peace between the political parties of our nation? Maybe peace on the southern border of our nation? Maybe that people would get it and love their neighbors?

Advent starts on Sunday – just a few days away. What will we do leading up to Christmas this year? Will we anticipate the coming of Christ into our lives – once again? In Tuesdays Bible study we talked about the difference between people who claim to be a Christian and those who have had a born-again experience. I don’t mean that unless you have had a radical change in your life you aren’t a Christian. Many Christians have grown up in faith and feel that they always believed. But – even those people need a point in time – a time when they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior – and not just a faith they learned from their parents. Being born-again means being saved. Being saved is not something that you can gain through osmosis – it is a personal decision to follow Jesus. Continue reading

November 28, 2018 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is True Confession?

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.

profileI remember this scene from my childhood.  I was watching the TV – probably a Western – sports or something – and my brother wanted to watch something else – probably Batman (his favorite show at the time).  We got into an argument over what to watch and my father happened to be home.  He came in and turned the TV off and said until we could tell each other we were sorry for fighting with each other and make nice we couldn’t watch the TV for the rest of the evening.

Of course we played the part – but don’t remember really being sorry – I just wanted to watch TV – even Batman!  Dad might have had his suspicions but went along with our apology and let us watch TV.  He couldn’t see into our hearts – so he had to go by the outward signs.

Unfortunately for us – God can see into our hearts.  Today’s passage is a great joy to hear – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  But – dear readers – what is involved in this confession?  What is true confession? Continue reading

August 20, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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