Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Is It That Hinders Our Faith Walk?

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Let’s think a little today about what hinders our daily walk with Jesus? What is it that keeps us from living as a Disciple in all areas of our life? What keeps us from being a complete disciple in Worship – in Fellowship – in Discipleship – in Ministry – and in Evangelism? What hinders us from bringing people into the presence of God – building people up in Christ – and sending people out to serve Christ?

My children – when they were younger – got into the Wii when it first came out and played target games. I tried to play the back in the day and did OK but I didn’t know where all the targets were – all the secret things to shoot at – so my score wasn’t that high. The kids knew where the items were that scored so they weren’t better shooters – but they knew what to shoot at! Continue reading

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October 19, 2017 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Send, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attitude: It Can Hinder Us

Hebrews 12:1a

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

RayMcDAll week I have written about attitude. One of my favorite sayings – which I have used a couple of times this week – is this – Christianity boils down to attitude. I often add to that saying – the position and condition of one’s heart.

On Monday I wrote – Attitude: In General. In this post we wrote about Christ being after the heart. If God has our heart – our actions will follow. We wrote about how important a good and godly attitude can be – in general. We listed several Scriptures dealing with the heart – the attitude.

On Tuesday I wrote – Attitude: In Worship. In this post we wrote about the need to focus on God in worship – because worship is not for us or about us. Let me repeat that – worship is not for us. Too often we want worship to suit us rather than to be designed to draw others to Christ. For those of us in Christ – we should do all we can in worship to draw others to Christ. Continue reading

January 6, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Race Is Marked Out For Us

Hebrews 12:1

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

112015 Ray McDonaldA few years ago – one of my daughters was preparing for a race. She started a routine that would allow her to slowly work up to the distance of the race. It was a half marathon I think – maybe a full marathon – but I think it was a half. She worked hard to get into shape. She was doing very well until an injury slowed her prep work.  Despite the injury – she got back at it as soon as possible.  She had a plan.

I’ve been walking lately – nearly two miles at times.  I’ve also been playing some basketball. I want to work up to five miles. I have an app on my cell phone that through the GPS feature on the phone tracks my steps and gives me encouragement along the way by sharing the distance and time and at the end gives me updates on how I’ve done.   I also have a Fitbit which helps track steps.  The iPhone program even sends me an e-mail if I walk further per activity – per week – and per month than ever before. It shares other milestones as well.

I participated in a 5 mile event once and remember that they had the course marked out for us so we couldn’t make a wrong turn. It was through the Naval Academy and surrounding area. It was a pleasant walk – made better by the opportunity to witness my faith along the way with a friend of a friend who later accepted Christ and joined our local church. Having the course marked out for us was a great blessing. Continue reading

March 2, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throw Off Everything that Hinders Our Walk with Jesus

Hebrews 12:1-2

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We began yesterday diving into this passage – only two verses – yet filled with some powerful ideas and truths.  Today we want to look at let us throw off everything that hinders. I know I said we would cover and the sin that so easily entangles as well but it seemed like too big of a bite for one day – lol.

When I read let us throw off everything that hinders I think of Olympic swimmers.  Over the years – if you have followed this event – you can probably remember one piece suits on men – thinking that this would make them more streamlined.  Do you remember the swimming caps that some wore over the years – trying to cut down on the drag through the water?  Eventually some – if not most – began to shave their heads and their bodies to reduce the drag as much as possible.  They have even developed new techniques for swimming – to get the most out of every movement.  The idea is to have the least amount of drag and the maximum amount of thrust from the least amount of movement.

I think this is a perfect example for us to look at when we talk about our Christian journey.  As I asked Sunday in the message – how’s your prayer life – how’s your walk with Jesus?  Most of us – if not all of us – would have to answer – there is room for improvement.  So if we would say this – let’s identify the things that hinder us from have a better relationship with Jesus.  Let’s remove those things that hinder our walk with Jesus – or move them over – or stop doing them – or start doing more of what would help our relationship with Him.  What would they be for you?  I already have a list for me!  Remember – it says throw off everything that hinders – not just some of the things!

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

Tomorrow we will look at and the sin that so easily entangles.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , | 1 Comment

   

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