Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Loving Our Enemies

Matthew 5:44

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

The family was over on Sunday – at least most of it. It was a neat time. I was in my glory holding first one grandchild and then another. At one time I had three of them sitting with me (on me) watching a movie on the TV (a Troll movie). It was such a blessing.

Loving on your grandchildren is so easy. As a matter of fact – loving on anyone who loves you back is easy. I really enjoying cuddling with the grands and I enjoy showing love to my daughters and to my wife. I often don’t have trouble showing love to others as well – with hugs and kind words. What gets hard is showing love to those I know do not love me.

Are there folks in our lives that we might consider enemies? When I think of the word enemies – I often think of the Germans in WWII or Communists who threaten our way of life or ISIS who threatens world peace with terrorism. Enemies seem to be the worst of the worst. They are mean and contrary to all that is sacred or holy (or so it seems). Continue reading

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February 13, 2018 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking Like Jesus

1 John 4:12

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Some people have said – over the years – that I look like my father. I was named after him too – and God called me into the same field of work. We have so many similarities. Both of us are/were workaholics – working several part-time jobs over the years in addition to our full-time ministry. When people see me – they often see my father. We look so much like one another. I always take it has high praise to be compared to my late father.

In today’s passage we’re told that if we love one another – God lives in us and people will see God in us. 1 John 4:12 – No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. Continue reading

November 13, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving The Unlovable

Romans 13:8

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

RayMcDAs the inauguration unfolded and the support and protests took place – it was not easy to see much love. Republicans and democrats in the same home and in the same church were at odds. There were those who supported the new President and some who opposed him – and they were miles apart in their views. Even those who protested – standing for love and women’s rights – turned away a group of women who happened to be pro-life. Hatred and anger where more plentiful than love. Even in the church – some colleagues protested and some supported and some simply prayed. Continue reading

January 25, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hatred

John 15:18-19

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

RevRayHate is such a strong word.  According to dictionary.com hate is defined as – to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.

Have you ever felt hatred toward someone or something?  In our society we tend to use terms a little lightly – telling a person we love them on the first date or becoming angry with someone and quickly using the term hate to describe how we feel at the moment.

In Matthew we read Jesus teaching about love.  It was way too easy for those who heard His words – love your neighbor – to infer that that meant they could hate their enemies.  So Jesus tries to make Himself and the truth clear with today’s passage – Matthew 5:43 – You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  Jesus knew this is what some were saying and so He addressed it clearly – Matthew 5:44 – But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Continue reading

May 7, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Listening to God is Showing Love to God

1 John 5:3-4

3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

Obedience to God is a sign of our love for God.  It is God’s love language.  God knows we love Him by how obedient we are to Him and His decrees.

Jesus said – If you love me, you will obey my commands. – John 14:15

What commands of God do you have a hard time following?  Do you feel that some are too tough?  Here are a few.

Is God’s command for us to repent hard to obey?  Matthew 4:17 – From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Is God’s command for us to witness burdensome to us?  Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Is God’s call for us to remove all things that hinder us from serving Him hard to accept?  Matthew 5:29-30 – 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Is God’s call to love those who hate us difficult for us? Matthew 5:44 – But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

If we are struggling with being obedient to God in these and other ways – we need to do some soul-searching my friends.  God says in today’s passage that his commands are not burdensome.

It also says that we will overcome the world by being obedient to God – as we walk in faith – we will overcome the world!

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

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September 14, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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