Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

How’s Our Prayer Life?

Luke 5:16

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

RayMcDHow’s our prayer life? I ask this question often. It is the 3rd devotional thought that has the same title. I ask it because I believe our prayer life is very important – even essential to our walk the Lord.

We usually get out of something what we put into it. If we lack communication or time for our spouse – our marriage won’t be very good. If we don’t spend time with our children our relationship with them will be shallow. If we put little into our jobs we will get fired.

How’s our prayer life? Prayer is our communication time with God. We’re called in Scripture to deny self and follow Christ. We’re called to spend time in prayer as Jesus modeled for us. Continue reading

October 18, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dependency on God

Psalm 62:8

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

profileA question was asked Tuesday morning in the co-ed Bible Study at our church. The question was something along the lines of – why don’t we see God’s work and action in our churches like in Biblical days? It was a very good question – I thought. One I hope I answered in a way that made sense and in a way that would challenge us to think. I thought I would share some of my thoughts along this line today. I would love your thoughts in the comments section.

The first thought was that Jesus – while on earth – did nothing that He wasn’t told and empowered to do by the Father. All that Jesus did while on earth was at the command of the Father. John 5:30 – By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Jesus emptied Himself of His equality with the Father when He came to earth – that old fully human – fully divine thing. This is how Paul described it in one of his Epistles/letters. Philippians 2:5–8 – 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Continue reading

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Still Has Miraculous Powers!

John 20:26

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Do we believe in the impossible?  Do we serve a God who can do all things – even the impossible?  We read stories throughout the Bible of miracles that God performed.  We could spend weeks and maybe even months writing about the many miracles that God performed – as recorded in the Bible.  Today’s passage is just one of these miracles.  Jesus appeared with His disciples – even though the room was on lock down and there was no way in!  This is a post resurrection appearance – and that in itself is a miracle of God.

What miracle do we need in our lives today?  Do we believe in a God of miracles?  Or is our God weak – like us?

We might be able to name a few miracles we would like in our lives – like healing from cancer – healing of our marriage – getting our children on the right path.  But the question of the day is – do we believe that God can do all things?  Do we believe in a God of miracles – or is that just a Biblical story that we no longer believe?

People like to quote Philippians 4:13 – I can do everything through him who gives me strength – but do we really believe this passage – or is it just nice to hear/read?  Do we believe we can do all things through Him who strengthens us?

Of course 1 Corinthians 13 is most commonly called the love chapter – and so we focus on the love language in it – but do you really read what it says before it gets to verse 4 and following?  1 Corinthians 13:1-3 – 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.It is a report of some of the miracles God has given His church – from Chapter 12 where Paul writes about the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit working in believers.  Do we believe that God is operating in our lives today?  Do we believe that God is still God?  That God is still the God of miracles and miraculous powers?  Well – I do – and I believe God can change any person or any situation to His glory if we would just allow Him.

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

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March 5, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , | Leave a comment

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