Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Northing Can Separate Us From God

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

RayMcDNothing – and I mean nothing – can separate us from God. I love the blessed assurance of this passage. Paul was convinced that NOTHING could come between him and the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. I love having that sweet blessed assurance.  At times it may be all we have to cling to in our lives.

Storms will come in our lives – this is a fact.  As the East Coast braces other storms that may follow the most recent one – some changes will happen. Like life has changed for those in West Virginia – in Ellicott City – in New Jersey – and in other places. If the change is merely working from home (because power at work is out) or maybe the children are home from school – there will be some changes in our lives because of the storms that come. Some will face major changes like our first responders – who may be asked to go out into the storm in life threatening situations. Whatever the change – we will all be impacted by the storms that come our way.

As part of my calling as a pastor I have been talking with people over the last few months with some major life situations facing them.  Some are battling cancer – some have marriages on the rocks – some have children who are making extreme decisions – some are still battling events from the past in their lives – some are battling addictions – while others are faced with economic struggles in these times. I’m sure I could continue with the list – and still not hit every storm that we all are facing – outside the weather. Some are even facing demonic attacks – I believe that Satan and his demons are busy at work – trying to steal our joy in Christ – I know this firsthand – and others do as well. Continue reading

September 7, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For I Am Convinced

Romans 8:38

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

profileThe devil is real!  No matter what others may say – the devil is real!  Throughout the scriptures we are told that the devil is real.  If someone doesn’t believe in the devil – they do not believe in the Bible – because the inspired – infallible – inerrant word of God tells us that there is a devil – Satan – the fallen angel.

Here are just a few scriptures that reveal this truth.  I could fill several pages with the teachings of the Bible about Satan/the devil – but I will simply mention a small sampling of them.  Here we go!

Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Continue reading

November 18, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trust in the Lord

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

profileSome things are hard to understand in life.  I just experienced my 40th High School reunion last weekend and some of us have aged – lol.  Hard to understand how it has been 40 years since we walked the halls of High School together.  Talking with some of my classmates – life has taken some turns for the good and for the not so good.  Some of our classmates didn’t make it to this 40th reunion – already having their journey on earth ended.  Some things are hard to understand – even when we spend a lot of time trying to understand.

In 35 plus years of ministry I have had to help a number of people understand that our understanding is not all that and that we should rely on a higher power for sure.  When a child is born with a special need – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a person has taken their life – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a marriage fails – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a child dies unexpectedly in a crib at night or from a disease – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When a young mother or father succumbs to a disease – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  When called in the middle of the night because a young person was just lost in a car accident – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  And I could go on and on.  When I have or someone else has yielded to the same temptation – again – I have understood that my understanding is not very deep.  Life has some difficult moments and being in ministry – I have experienced much of it with folks and with my own family. Continue reading

August 14, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nothing Can Separate Us

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I love the blessed assurance of this passage.  Paul was convinced that NOTHING could come between him and the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  I love having that sweet blessed assurance.  At times it may be all we have to cling to in our lives.

Storms will come in our lives – this is a fact.  As the East Coast braces for Sandy to hit over the next few days everyone’s lives will change.  If the change is merely working from home (as our staff is doing today and probably tomorrow) or maybe the children are home from school – there will be some changes.  Some will face major changes like our first responders – who may be asked to go out into the storm in life threatening situations.  Whatever the change – we will all be impacted by this storm (maybe we will lose power or have a hard time getting around).

As part of my calling as a pastor I have been talking with people over the last few months with some major life situations facing them.  Some are battling cancer – some have marriages on the rocks – some have children who are making extreme decisions – some are still battling events from the past in their lives – while others are faced with economic struggles in these times.  I’m sure I could continue with the list – and still not hit every storm that we all are facing.  Some are even facing demonic attacks – I believe that Satan and his demons are busy at work – trying to steal our joy in Christ – I know this firsthand – and others do as well.

Paul writes about some of the hardships people face and he writes to give us hope.  He tells us that no matter what we are facing we have hope – Romans 8:37 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  He gives us hope as we face the storms of life – Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,  who  have been called according to his purpose.

Paul assures us that God is with us and if God is with us – no one can stand against us and have any victory.  Romans 8:31 – What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?  What an assurance.

These passages remind me of a song we sang at 8:45 worship Sunday – Blessed Assurance.  Here are the words from the first verse and refrain: Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. Refrain: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior, all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior, all the day long.

My hope is that those of us under attack by the evil one – in whatever manner the attack is coming – will rest in the knowledge today that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God.  Romans 8:38-39 – 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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

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October 29, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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