Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Jesus Was Tempted But Was Without Sin

Hebrews 2:18

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

I love to discuss theology. I love to talk about doctrine and beliefs. Good thing – since that is my calling and career. I bet there aren’t too many who love these things.

One of the theological discussions I enjoy surrounds the thought of Jesus’ temptations. It is clear through Scripture that Jesus was temped. Today’s passage says – Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

That Jesus was tempted is not really in question. What seems to be in question is whether Jesus could or could not sin when tempted. Is a temptation a temptation if there is no possible way you could yield to the temptation and sin? That is a significant question.

Whether Jesus could sin or not is cloaked in His nature. Jesus’ nature as the second Adam – was different than our nature for sure. 1 Corinthians 15:45–49 – 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. Continue reading

March 15, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Perfect In Christ

Matthew 5:48

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

IMG_0435-0Be perfect! I have a friend who has bowled several 300 games in ten pins. That would be 12 strikes in a row. That is perfect – for one game.

Be perfect! I was playing in a golf tournament with a late friend and he hit a ball on a par three that took two hops and went right into the hole. That was an ace – a hole-in-one – perfect for one hole.

Be perfect! I know a number of musicians – from when I was in band through the young people at our church – who received perfect scores at various events. They were perfect for that one performance – hitting every note and doing so with style!

Be perfect! People spend a lot of time trying to be perfect in something. Maybe you have spent hours trying to get your hair just right or to put together the perfect outfit combination. Have any of my colleagues spent hours on a sermon – trying to find the perfect illustration. I wonder how many of us have tried to be perfect at something in our lives? Continue reading

June 13, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putting God’s Words Into Practice

Matthew 7:24

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

112015 Ray McDonaldMan – those must be some powerful words.  In this day and age where evil and hatred are causing all sorts of reactions from people – even from Christians – we need to adhere to Christ’s Words.

If we follow Matthew’s narrative – it could be referring to the whole of what is called The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5 thru 7.  In that sermon – according to Matthew’s narrative – Jesus taught some amazing things.  Today’s devotion will simply be a review of Christ’s Words!

Matthew 5:3-12 – Jesus shares the Beatitudes

Matthew 5:13-16 – Jesus calls us the salt of the earth and the light of the world

Matthew 5:20 – For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Continue reading

November 20, 2015 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, 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

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice

Matthew 7:24

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Man – those must be some powerful words.  What could Jesus have said?

If we follow Matthew’s narrative – it could be referring to the whole of what is called The Sermon on the MountMatthew 5-7.  In that sermon – according to Matthew’s narrative – Jesus taught some of the following.  Today’s devotion will be simply a review of His Words!

Matthew 5:3-12 – Jesus shares the Beatitudes

Matthew 5:13-16 – Jesus calls us the salt of the earth and the light of the world

Matthew 5:20 – For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:21-47 – Jesus tells us that we are called to a higher calling than what we have heard in the Old Testament – the thou shalt nots – we are called to not even think about sin

Matthew 5:48 – Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 6:1-13 – begins with a statement of being righteous – not for show – as some do – but for real – on the inside – followed by what we call the Lord’s Prayer

Matthew 6:14-15 – 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:16-34 – is filled with teachings about fasting – abut possessions – about trusting God for our lives and what we need

Matthew 7:1-5 – 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:7-8 – 7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:13-14 – 13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:15 – Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 7:21-23 – 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Now those ARE some powerful words.  And Jesus says:

Matthew 7:24 – “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

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

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February 7, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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