Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Essential Doctrines of Our Faith

John 7:16–17

16 Jesus answered, My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

img_0063-2What are the essentials of your faith – the essential doctrines? With so many denominations around and non-denominational churches too we can attend – is doctrine an important part of your choice or not? If you are United Methodist – what is the reason? If you are Roman Catholic – why? If you attend a non-denominational church – is the church’s doctrine the reason? Why do we attend the church we attend? Is doctrine a part of that decision or is program the leading concern?

If having a Biblically based church is high on your priority list – what doctrines would be essential for you to have fellowship with a church family? We’ve talked about essentials in a life-partner before. The three I shared with my daughters – while they were growing up – was to find a man who loved Jesus – a man who loves them – and a man who has a good work ethic. What are you essential life-partner rules? What would be your three essential doctrines as you grow in your faith? Continue reading

February 11, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Study the Holy Spirit

Genesis 1:2

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

112015 Ray McDonaldThe Holy Spirit – the third person of the Trinity – was from the beginning!  In the second verse of the Bible – today’s passage – the Holy Spirit is introduced to us – the Spirit of God.

Question – why would some in the church want to know all they can about God the Father and God the Son – while shying away from knowing more about God the Holy Spirit?  I plan a sermon series on the Holy Spirit soon and want to teach about the Holy Spirit in this space as well.

A member wrote me the following when asked to comment on the devotional thought You’ve already heard me say that the person and the work of the Holy Spirit is one of the least taught, yet most needed topics in the Christian church today!!! . . . The real question is “How does a Christian in practical terms SUBMIT to the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives day by day”?
Continue reading

March 17, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Today’s Church

1 Timothy 4:12

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

profileI remember watching my dad and the young men and women he trained along the way in his ministry.  Many of them began as church hires – working with the youth – working with visitation – working with the general ministry of the church.  Some came to our church as conference appointments.  At Seat Pleasant (now Gethsemane) and Trinity in Annapolis he had several young people enter the ministry through their joint ministries.  I remember well these young people who were entering ministry and how my dad mentored them and gave them many opportunities to serve and learn.  Several were at his funeral last fall or sent letters and cards expressing how much dad meant to them.

I remember the young men and women who came through the churches I have served and still serve.  Being young is something I don’t have to worry about any longer.  There is still time though to pass along some wisdom and insights in ministry to those who are beginning the journey.  I have worked with numerous staff members over the years – several are now elders in our conference – and it has been a blessing.  I have also used social media of late as a way to connect with other young pastors and have enjoyed working with others.  I hope they have enjoyed our interactions as well. Continue reading

July 30, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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