Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Perseverance Leads to Lacking Nothing!

James 1:4

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

fullsizeoutput_ffeI’m sitting here – in my church office – trying to find my focus! I’m praying and reading the Bible – I’m listening to some Contemporary Christian music – feeding my spirit (after a lunch of salad – grilled chicken and water to feed the body).

As I was reading in the Bible I opened to a favorite book – the Book of James – Christ’s brother’s book. I came across that famous passage at the beginning of that book.

James 1:2-4 – 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Continue reading

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October 19, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Race Is Marked Out For Us

Hebrews 12:1

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

112015 Ray McDonaldA few years ago – one of my daughters was preparing for a race. She started a routine that would allow her to slowly work up to the distance of the race. It was a half marathon I think – maybe a full marathon – but I think it was a half. She worked hard to get into shape. She was doing very well until an injury slowed her prep work.  Despite the injury – she got back at it as soon as possible.  She had a plan.

I’ve been walking lately – nearly two miles at times.  I’ve also been playing some basketball. I want to work up to five miles. I have an app on my cell phone that through the GPS feature on the phone tracks my steps and gives me encouragement along the way by sharing the distance and time and at the end gives me updates on how I’ve done.   I also have a Fitbit which helps track steps.  The iPhone program even sends me an e-mail if I walk further per activity – per week – and per month than ever before. It shares other milestones as well.

I participated in a 5 mile event once and remember that they had the course marked out for us so we couldn’t make a wrong turn. It was through the Naval Academy and surrounding area. It was a pleasant walk – made better by the opportunity to witness my faith along the way with a friend of a friend who later accepted Christ and joined our local church. Having the course marked out for us was a great blessing. Continue reading

March 2, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Run/Ride/Live With Perseverance

Hebrews 12:1-2

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

profileMy wife is getting ready for a 100-mile bike ride.  She has done this ride before.  Between now and the ride she will be in training.  She rides 25-35 miles regularly – but working up to 100 miles takes some effort.  She said she would like to get in a few 35-50 mile rides before the 100-mile ride.  I’m proud of her because when she sets her eyes on a goal – she goes after it with vigor and determination.  Her brother and a good friend will also be riding with her (maybe next year I will try it if I can get my knee fixed and get a road bike instead of a trail bike).

In order to ride such a distance – she not only needs to train – and be diligent about her training (she is headed out as I type this devotional thought) – she needs special clothing – a good bike – shoes that are comfortable – and more.  She is not going after this goal to fail.  She wants to do the whole 100 miles and live to tell about it! Continue reading

August 28, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Run the Race of Perseverance in Faith

Hebrews 12:1-2

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

This is starting to be a nice way to examine a passage.  Today – as we examine Hebrews 12:1-2 we will look at let us run with perseverance.

Running with perseverance reminds me of the many examples in the Bible about athletics.  One such passage is from Paul in another of his many letters to the churches he served.  To the Christians in Corinth Paul wrote the following:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Are you (we) running the race of faith in such a way as to glorify God and achieve all that is before you (us)?  Do you (we) continue to fight the good fight – run the race of life and faith – and seek God’s face in all or most all that you (we) do – say – and/or think?

Our Christian faith is not a comfortable slipper to slip on and off as we desire.  Our Christian faith is to be paramount – primary – that which we give our all to walk.

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

Tomorrow we will look at the race marked out for us.

July 29, 2010 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Leadership | , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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