Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Indescribable Gift – Open It!

2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

profileChristmas is coming!  I hope you aren’t getting tired of hearing that greeting!  I plan on using is some for the next couple of weeks!  Merry Christmas to one and all and Happy Holidays (which includes New Years).

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?  My wife does most (OK almost all) of our Christmas shopping.  She has most of the gifts for our family members wrapped already and under the tree.  She is amazing.  She is such a wise spender of our family funds and finds just the right gift for each child and family member.

What are you hoping for this Christmas?  Anything special?  I was thinking about a new desktop computer but after working all day on my current model – I’m OK staying with it a little longer.  There is better use for the money for sure. Continue reading

December 12, 2013 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Mind Controlled by the Spirit is Life and Peace

Romans 8:6

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

profileAs my month of fasting begins (it actually began yesterday) I am challenged to think spiritually rather than with my natural self.  Let’s begin with today’s passage in partial context.  Romans 8:5-8 – 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Continue reading

November 1, 2013 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A New Creation

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

profileMost things we buy in the store these days says things like – new and improved – or new edition – or new formula.  In the market place – standing pat will not cut it.  The old might have been good – evening great – but if the product is not constantly improving – or at least saying it is – they lose their edge.

Before we came to Christ – we might have been good – but when we came to Christ – we became new and improved.  Paul writes: 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! Continue reading

October 25, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Number One Enemy

2 Corinthians 11:14

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

profileIn High School there were several High School teams we got up for above all the rest.  They were our rivals so to speak.  Severna Park and Arundel were those teams.  There was no South River and no Broadneck High Schools in those days and Southern rarely gave us a scare in football (basketball yes but not football).

In High School whole schools get up for that week’s opponent – enemy.  School colors are all over the stadium – pep rallies and other events often precede contests with the number one foe.  You don’t need to tell a High School student which schools are the arch rivals!

Unfortunately – many Christians aren’t aware that our number one enemy is Satan.  This might be because some preachers – even some denominations – don’t believe in or articulate enough about the presence of this chief demon.  Because we don’t acknowledge something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  Today’s passage gives us some insight into the chief demon – Satan.  Here it is in partial context.  2 Corinthians 11:12-15 – 12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. Continue reading

September 18, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Seeking After His Face — While Desiring His Grace

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

RevRayAre you more proud of your accomplishments or your failures?  Are you more willing to share your strengths or your weaknesses?  Are you more apt to reveal a positive character trait or a character flaw?  If you’re like most of us – you would side with the positive things mentioned above – the things that would make us look better – putting our best foot forward so to speak.  When we are interviewing for a job – we are taught to accentuate the positive.  Today we are going to see the heart of Christ –the heart of a servant –the heart of Paul.

Paul writes – at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  Paul boasted in his weaknesses because that gave all the credit for what he accomplished to God.  He didn’t want any of the glory – rather he wanted it all pointed at Jesus. Continue reading

July 18, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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