Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Deepening Our Walk with Jesus

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

Life ChangeI greet you in the name of Jesus – my Lord – my Savior and my dear friend. I write to encourage you this morning in your walk with Jesus. During our sermon Sunday I encouraged us to work on our spiritual fitness. We want to encourage those who would hear to take the time to build their spiritual lives and to develop a deeper walk with Jesus. We want to urge people to take advantage of the many opportunities to eat spiritual food and to grow stronger.

I write to encourage you to NOT rely on your pastor(s) to have knowledge of the Word and a relationship with Jesus! I write to encourage you to regularly search the Word and to pray on every occasion. Your faith cannot be based on your parent’s faith – your grandparent’s faith – your pastor’s faith – or anyone else’s faith. Each of us must develop our own walk with Jesus. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians that we are to always have joy and to test everything.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 – 16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

Remember one of the sayings I use so much? Happiness is circumstantially driven – but Joy is spiritually derived. Continue reading

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growing Spiritually

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

fullsizeoutput_ffeI greet you in the name of Jesus – my Lord – my Savior – and my dear friend. I write to encourage you this day in your walk with Jesus. We’ve often encouraged the congregation (and myself with the mirror before me) – about building our spiritual lives (realizing our need for Jesus). We want to encourage those who would hear to take the time to build their spiritual lives and to develop a deeper walk with Jesus. We want to urge people to take advantage of the many opportunities to eat spiritual food and to grow stronger.

I write to encourage us to NOT rely on our pastor(s) to have knowledge of the Word and a relationship with Jesus! I write to encourage us to regularly search the Word and to pray on every occasion. Our faith cannot be based on our parent’s – our grandparent’s – our pastor’s – or anyone else’s faith. Each of us must develop our own walk with Jesus. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians that we are to always have joy and to test everything.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 – 16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil. Continue reading

November 9, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rejoicing in the Lord!

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

82015 RayA song I use to love to sing – had a section of the song that went like this – Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again I say rejoice, rejoice in the Lord, always, and again I say rejoice.  Rejoice, rejoice, and again I say rejoice.  Rejoice, rejoice, and again I say rejoice. It can be sung in a round and we have several times at churches I have served.  It comes from today’s passage of Scripture.

Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

A saying I made up goes like this:  Happiness is circumstantially driven, while Joy is spiritually derived.  It is one of my favorite sayings. Continue reading

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spiritual Maturity

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgI greet you in the name of Jesus, my Lord, my Savior and my dear friend. I write to encourage you this evening in your walk with Jesus. During our recent sermon series on evangelism we’ve talked about building our spiritual lives (realizing our need for Jesus). We want to encourage those who would hear to take the time to build their spiritual lives and to develop a deeper walk with Jesus. We want to urge people to take advantage of the many opportunities to eat spiritual food and to grow stronger.

I write to encourage you to NOT rely on your pastor(s) to have knowledge of the Word and a relationship with Jesus! I write to encourage you to regularly search the Word and to pray on every occasion. Your faith cannot be based on your parent’s, your grandparent’s, your pastor’s, or anyone else’s faith. Each of us must develop our own walk with Jesus. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians that we are to always have joy and to test everything.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 – 16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil. Continue reading

September 26, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Peace That Passes All Understanding

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

These words had to bring warm and fuzzies to Israel as they heard or read them from God through Isaiah.  Whether in exile or in other terrible circumstances – God has promised to be with us – to lift us up with His right hand.

Lately I have heard some folks sharing some terrible life’s circumstances.  Terminal illness – cancer – financial troubles – losing a job – having the rug pulled out from under a business deal – marriages in trouble – families under attack – and more.  Our faith statement – our trust in God and His statement to us is God will not leave us nor forsake us.  Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – (quoting Psalm 118)

Remember one of my favorite sayings – Happiness is circumstantially driven while Joy is spiritually derived.  Our Joy comes from our relationship with God – with promises like Isaiah 41:10 and Hebrews 13:5.

When I was being crushed by that tractor trailer – I felt a peace that I cannot explain – that peace that passes or transcends all earthly understanding we read about in the Bible.  Philippians 4:4-7 – 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Rest today in the hope that we have in Christ our Lord!  We will be victorious – in eternity – but often even here and now – at the very least with a victory over fear knowing that God is with us!

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

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August 7, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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