Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Word of God – The Bible

2 Peter 1:16-21 (The Message)

16-21 We weren’t, you know, just wishing on a star when we laid the facts out before you regarding the powerful return of our Master, Jesus Christ. We were there for the preview! We saw it with our own eyes: Jesus resplendent with light from God the Father as the voice of Majestic Glory spoke: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of all my delight.” We were there on the holy mountain with him. We heard the voice out of heaven with our very own ears. We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard—God’s glory, God’s voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You’ll do well to keep focusing on it. It’s the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it’s not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word.

In this day and age – when most everything is challenged and nothing – it seems – is taken without question – I want to examine the question – Is the Bible God’s Word? If the Bible IS God’s Word – it needs to be authoritative in our lives – would you agree? If the Bible is authoritative in our lives than the Bible is the base of our understanding as we sculpt and form doctrine. I believe that our theology reflects our view of the Bible. If we believe the Bible to be the Word of God – we will weigh it heavily in our understanding of God. If we see it as a good book – a nice guide – but humanly created – we will not. On one hand the Bible is authoritative – on the other it is no more authoritative than our personal experience – community history – or our reasoning/thinking.

I love the way The Message puts the last part of today’s passage.  The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it’s not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word. Continue reading

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July 24, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 36 of Lent 2018

1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Today is day 36 of the 40 Days of our Lenten reading plan (looks like the plan will have 47 days because the Sundays didn’t count). I hope you have stayed with us. I veered off of the online plan and am finishing the plan myself. Today’s passage is about humbling ourselves. This is not easy for many if not most of us. It is what we as Christians are called to do.

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 what Peter had to say about humbling ourselves before God. As I mentioned previously – humbling ourselves is not easy for many. Peter also gives us instructions about other parts of our Christian walk in today’s larger passage. Continue reading

March 21, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 29 of Lent 2018

Matthew 26:33

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

Today is day 29 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. I hope you are enjoying the readings like I am. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. As we walk with Jesus we hope to be drawn closer to Him.

Today’s reading reminds me that we can have good intents but not good results – we can intend to do the right things and end up not doing the right thing. Peter intended to stay faithful – intended to be true – but we all know that he denied Jesus when Jesus was arrested. The other disciples intended the same – but they too failed. The Good News is that Jesus is in the grace business and searches our hearts much more than our good or failed actions. Something to think about today! Continue reading

March 14, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lent Is Coming Soon!

Matthew 26:35

Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

Lent is coming soon. It begins on Wednesday – February 14th – Ash Wednesday. That morning we will be making the sign of the cross on the foreheads of those who come into our parking lot from 6-7 am (with ashes). We will also offer a blessing. This is a great way – throughout your day to witness your faith to others. Last year there were over 30 people who came by. Join us on your way to work. If you come after 7 am – come into the office – I will be there!

Lent – according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined as – a period of 40 days before Easter during which many Christians do not eat certain foods or do certain pleasurable activities as a way of remembering the suffering of Jesus Christ.

Today’s passage is about Peter and the disciples saying they would not deny Christ – that they would actually die with Jesus if need be. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Matthew 26:30-39 – 30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. 36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Continue reading

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fishing For Men and Women

Matthew 4:19

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

I have a number of friends who love to fish. I never really got into it – I get motion sick very easily – but wouldn’t mind sitting on a shoreline somewhere on a lazy summer day with a line in the water. My friends post pictures of some of their favorite fishing holes on Facebook. They really enjoy fishing. It must be very exciting and relaxing to them.

A friend of mine from a former church is really into fishing. He often posts pictures of fish he has caught on Facebook. He gets some big ones. He and another friend go deep water fishing at times. My friend’s youngest son has taken an interest in fishing as well and they are often together at their favorite fishing hole – as seen on his Facebook page! He brought a dozen or more rods to church one Sunday for a prop for a sermon series titled Gone Fishing or something like that. I miss this friend dearly! We both play golf and need to do more of it together this coming season. Continue reading

December 11, 2017 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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