Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 2 of Lent 2020

John 12:3

Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Ray 2020Today is day 2 of Lent – 2020. The story today for me is about sacrifice – the sacrifice that Mary (not the Virgin Mary) was willing to make for Jesus. Mary (might have been the woman caught in adultery – obviously someone who has known Jesus and His grace) entered a dinner given in Jesus’ honor. She offered Him a gift – a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume – and poured it over His head. It was a lavish gift. It was a gift that showed great sacrifice on her part. The dry an arid area where Jesus lived played havoc on one’s skin and hair and this anointed was a great blessing to Jesus. Some also say it was an anointing of Him before His death.

The question I thought of today as I read this story was – what am I willing to sacrifice for Jesus? In a sermon not too long ago I asked the question – what does it cost us to follow Jesus? My hope is that as we read today’s Lenten passage we will ask what we are willing to give up – not just for Lent – but for Jesus? Continue reading

February 27, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And My Spirit Rejoices

Luke 1:47

…and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

Sunday we preached a message about keeping Christ in Christmas. It will be posted here soon – so take a listen. Sunday we talked about the joy that Jesus brought to the people. Luke 2:10–11 – 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Jesus’ arrival was to bring great joy to the people – and not only to His people but to all who would hear and follow Him. Jesus was the Messiah – the Anointed One – the Deliverer – the One who would break the bonds of oppression for His people. Never before or since has the birth of a baby been so anticipated or sought after. Jesus’ birth was to bring great and lasting joy. Continue reading

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We Committed To God in Our Lives?

Luke 1:38

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Are you like me – amazed at people who are so committed to a cause?  So convinced at what God has called them to do with life? Some of us struggle to find our nitch in life – struggle to find ourselves.  In my generation some people turned to drugs – alcohol – trips out west – trying to find themselves.  Many never found themselves and some never came back to reality.  It amazes me when someone can know that they know what God has for them and becomes committed to that call.

The life of Mother Teresa is an amazing story to me – how at such a young age she was so sure what God wanted for her life.  By twelve years (12) of age she was fascinated by those who gave their life to mission work and considered that her calling.  At age eighteen (18) – when most of us were leaving High School and heading off to careers or college – Mother Teresa committed her life to work for Jesus and left home and never again saw her mother or sister (her father had died when she was eight (8) years old).

At age twenty-one (21) she took her first vows as a nun.  She served in a school for nearly twenty (20) years before feeling led to a different approach to her ministry.  In 1948 – at the age of thirty-eight (38) she began her ministry to those living in the slums of Calcutta.  She died in 1997 – still working at the age of eighty-seven (87) with many years of failing health and surgeries behind her.

I couldn’t do her life justice in such a small amount of space – but her ministry impacted so many over the nearly seventy (70) years of her work for Jesus.  Her life amazes me.

So today we read about Mary – the mother of Jesus.  By some accounts she was a very young teen – maybe fourteen (14) years of age.  Think about what we were doing or did do at fourteen (14).  At this tender age Mary was mature enough and close enough to God in her walk that she was able to accept such an impossible experience and say “I am the Lord’s servant, . . .”May it be to me as you have said” when told what would happen to her.  Let’s read the story.

Luke 1:26-38 – 26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called  the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

What is God calling us to do for Him?  Where in our lives are we committed to Jesus – even with a small amount of this type of commitment?  Where is calling you – me – us?  Will we respond like Mary – May it be to me as you have said.

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

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March 1, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , | Leave a comment


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