Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Loving The Unlovable

Romans 13:8

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

RayMcDAs the inauguration unfolded and the support and protests took place – it was not easy to see much love. Republicans and democrats in the same home and in the same church were at odds. There were those who supported the new President and some who opposed him – and they were miles apart in their views. Even those who protested – standing for love and women’s rights – turned away a group of women who happened to be pro-life. Hatred and anger where more plentiful than love. Even in the church – some colleagues protested and some supported and some simply prayed. Continue reading

January 25, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For God So Loved Us

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

112015 Ray McDonaldGod loves us and we are called to love God.  God so loved us – according to today’s passage – that He gave His own life for our lives.  God the Father so loved the world that He gave us God the Son to suffer death upon the Cross of Calvary for our redemption.  Today’s passage is a favorite of many.  John 3:16 is often put on posters at golf tournaments!

As Holy Week unfolds before us – we are being reminded of the love of God.  God’s love is what our walk with Jesus should be all about dear readers.  Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  1 John 4:9–10 – 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Continue reading

March 24, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving Our Enemies

Romans 12:14

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

112015 Ray McDonaldWe were in Romans 13 this past Tuesday morning. In that weekly Bible study – someone asked – how can we love everyone? They thought our society used the word love way too often – and just maybe the Bible too. They had a hard time loving some of their neighbors who had done them wrong. This discussion came from our reading of a section of Scripture around Romans 13:8 – Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

We talked about the Greek word used here for love being Agape – or Godly love. It means that we are to love – even when the other person is not lovable – even before they might love us back. We shared that God loved us way before we loved Him – and loves everyone – even those who will not live Him in return. Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Continue reading

January 6, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obeying God’s Commands and Showing Love

Romans 13:10

Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgJohn Wesley – the founder of the United Methodist Church – is reported to have had three simple rules for life. These three simple rules were – 1) Do no harm – 2) Do Good – and 3) Stay in love with God. It would seem – on the surface – like three easy rules to follow – but – are they?

Throughout the Bible we are given guidance about being holy – about following Christ – about showing mercy and grace. These three simple rules seem to go hand-in-hand with these teachings and Wesley’s three simple rules. Are we following them today? Are they hard to follow?

Here is today’s passage in partial context. Romans 13:8-10 – 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” y and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Continue reading

June 30, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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