Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

As Far As The East Is From The West

Psalm 103:12

…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

My wife and I have worked our whole adult lives staying out of debt. We have been married for 37.5 years and we have tried to never be in more debt than we could pay off (paying off credit cards when they came due each month). Of course – buying cars and a home mortgage have been exceptions to the general rule until most recently. We have always paid off all of our credit cards each month when they have been due (which was hard when we were younger – trying to establish a home and staying within our budget or means). It has produced fruit as both my wife and I have great credit ratings – never really felt like we deprived ourselves – and have a good start on the next season of our life (retirement). We had a plan and we stuck with it! We paid back all of our debt. If we couldn’t for a short season – we worked hard to do so – at times holding down two and three jobs at a time. Hard work and good financial planning have produced good fruit. I understand some have had a plan and have not been as blessed. We have been blessed – even as we have worked hard. Continue reading

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January 9, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Have an Advocate Before the Father

1 John 2:1-2

1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Were you the type of person that tried hard to stay out of trouble – but always seemed to get in trouble anyway?  I mean – we tried to get along with our siblings – only to find ourselves in a tussle with them because they didn’t want to watch the Monkees or Big Valley or Dark Shadows (I know – I just dated myself).

Try as we might – trouble just seemed to find us.  I mean – everyone else was throwing spit balls – and we were the one caught.  We were just staying with traffic – and we were the one pulled over for speeding.  We weren’t really looking on our neighbor’s test – we just glanced over that way – and the teacher assumed we were cheating.  We were throwing rocks – but we weren’t the one that broke the window and yet we were the one that was caught.

When we are brought before the judge – the teacher – the principle or some other authority – wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to speak for us – someone like Perry Mason (again I dated myself)?  I mean rich people have lawyers for even the smallest bit of trouble most times – unless it is a really big deal – we stand alone – or can only afford a young inexperienced lawyer.

Not sure about you – but I have stood alone before – and it is not a sweet place to be in for sure.  Even having an eyewitness that can say it wasn’t us helps in certain situations.  I know the national news has been reporting some eyewitnesses coming forward for Trayvon Martin and for George Zimmerman in the tragic circumstances that led to Trayvon’s death.  Some say one thing – others say something else.  Some try to present one as the aggressor – while others reverse the roles.  We may never know what happened – whether there was racial profiling – an over aggressive community guard or teenager.  We wore hoodies last Sunday to support Trayvon’s family at the death of their 17 year old – no matter how it happened.  We also rallied for truth – even if the truth reveals that Trayvon and George were both wrong and that this was simply a tragic occurrence and nothing more – as if that weren’t enough.  There may not be an innocent person in this tragic situation – and emotions run wild in our communities.

Oh to have someone who could stand and tell the truth – but even that wouldn’t bring Trayvon back.  Better yet – if someone could stand and cover over the whole situation – return Trayvon to life and George to his life before the shooting.  If someone would step forward and return everyone to a time prior to the shooting so we could make different choices.  I know that is a pipe dream – but it is what happens when our sins are covered by Jesus at the Cross of Calvary.

1 John 2:1-2 – 1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

We will all sin and fall short of God’s glory.  The Good News is that Jesus will stand with us – now and in eternity – and through faith in Him – our sins are covered – just as if they never occurred – as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  Psalm 103:12  Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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

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March 30, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , | Leave a comment

   

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