Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 40 of Lent 2018

Matthew 7:7

They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.

Today is day 40 of the 40 Days of Lent – our Lenten reading plan (since Sundays don’t count in Lent – we will have 47 days in our study). I hope you have stayed with us – leave some comments – if you would. Today’s passage is about some who worship in vain – instead of focusing on God – they focus on the art of worship. Folks had moved away from the commands of God and focused on other things.

Lent is typically a time to give something up – to stop a bad habit – to deny self – to dig deeper into our walk with Jesus. Today we want to read about Jesus’ instructions about worship. If Jesus were here today – would our form of worship meet His standards? Are we focused on Him and His commands or are we focused on things like the style of worship or even the location of worship? Continue reading

March 25, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Do We Want From Jesus?

Mark 10:51a

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

RamonBlogIf you’re reading this – the world hasn’t ended yet!  Just saying!

What do we want from Jesus?  Have you ever thought about that question?  Have you ever spent a goodly amount of time seeking His face while desiring His grace?  What is it we want from Jesus?

Today’s passage asks that very question – what do you want from Jesus!  Let’s read today’s passage in context.

Mark 10:46-52 – 46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” 52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

JesusHealsBlindThe blind man needed something – his sight.  He heard about Jesus – he heard that Jesus was a healer.  He cried out – “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  When was the last time we cried out to Jesus – have mercy on me?  Jesus heard his cry – He always hears our cries.  Often I believe He is just waiting for us to seek Him – to ask Him for help.

Jesus called for the blind man to come near and Jesus asked – “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus wants to touch our lives.  Jesus wants to reach out and transform our lives – even on a daily basis.  J.D. Jakes said – You have 2 options in this world: you either conform to this world, or you transform by the renewing of your thinking. Seeking after Jesus – seeking Him face-to-face is the only way to transform our lives.

When Jesus called on the blind man and asked him what he wanted.  The blind man said – “Rabbi, I want to see.”  Dear readers – cry out to Jesus!  Cry out to Him every day.  Cry out in the good and the bad times.  Cry out even when you are near and feel His presence.  The blind man believed Jesus could heal him and so he asked Jesus to heal him – he wanted to see.

I believe that God is always more ready to give and bless than we are to ask.  Here are a few Scriptures that speak to this truth.

Matthew 7:7 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

1 John 3:21-22 – 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.

Now Jesus is not a genie in a bottle that we can just ask and get anything we want.  We must seek His face and desire His grace my friends.  Jesus’ brother wrote these words: James 4:3 – When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

The blind man came to Jesus and sought healing.  What in our life needs healing today?  Relationships? Attitudes?  Mind – Soul – Body?  The man came forward in faith for healing and Jesus healed him – “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

I like that last thought.  Remember the 10 lepers who were healed?  Only one returned to give thanks.  When Jesus healed the blind man – he began to follow Jesus.  Always remember to give thanks to Jesus for anything and everything He does on our lives and follow Him faithfully.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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

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December 21, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Giver of Good Gifts

Matthew 7:11

11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

My brother’s 50th birthday is coming and I’m trying to decide what to get him.  He is my baby brother – although he towers over me – so he is my big younger brother – lol – or big little brother.

What to get a man who has everything he wants and if he wants it – he usually ends up getting it.  Do you have anyone in your life you find it hard to buy gifts?  When you decide what to get it is usually a good gift – right.  I mean, we don’t buy bad gifts for our loved ones.  We might buy gag gifts – like for a 50th birthday – but most gifts we give are good things.

If we – who are sinful – know how to give good gifts – how much more will our perfect heavenly Father’s gifts be good?  I believe that often we have have not because we ask not!  I believe that God wants to give us far more than He has – but often is waiting for us to ask.  If we are seeking His will in our lives – we’re told to ask and it will be given.

Matthew 7:7 – 7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

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

May 4, 2010 Posted by | Daily Devotion | , | 2 Comments

   

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