Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 26 of Lent 2020

Matthew 26:33

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

Ray 2020Today is day 26 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope you are enjoying the readings like I am. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. As we walk with Jesus we hope to be drawn closer to Him. During this time of isolation as we try to flatten the curve of the coronavirus – building our faith – deepening our walk with Jesus – might be the best way to use our extra time at home.

Today’s reading reminds me that we can have good intents but not good results. We can intend to do the right thing and end up not doing the right thing. Peter intended to stay faithful – intended to be true – but we all know that he denied Jesus when Jesus was arrested. The other disciples intended the same – but they failed as well. The Good News is that Jesus is in the grace business and searches our hearts much more than our good or failed actions. Something to think about today!

We recently had a discussion online about faith. We admitted – we are not perfect – even as we walk by faith and strive to live our lives according to God’s design. We are so blessed that God is grace-filled. Forgiveness – if we confess and repent – is such a blessing! Continue reading

March 26, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 25 of Lent 2020

Luke 22:24

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

Ray 2020Today is day 25 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope everyone is keeping up with the reading plan. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. Walking this walk with each of you has been amazing. I’m sorry today’s devotional is a little late. My computer was updating and it took longer than I expected.

Today’s reading is on target – even for today. The disciples didn’t have their hearts in the right place – at all times. Do we? They wanted to know which of them was considered to be greatest. At times we get into disputes in the church – power struggles one might call them. We shouldn’t – we should all have our hearts set on serving the Lord. Yet at times we battle over who is in charge (Jesus is – right?).

(Side note: I heard that Prince Charles has the coronavirus. I’m praying for him and for the Queen. My wife and I have been watching “The Crown” and have gotten to appreciate the Queen. I pray for all who have the coronavirus and for the rest of us too.) Continue reading

March 25, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 24 of Lent 2020

John 13:34

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Ray 2020Today is day 24 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope we have all kept up with the reading plan. If not – please catch up by reading the days you might have missed. Lent is the 40 days leading up to the cross of Calvary. Stay current with the reading plan.

Today’s reading is again about the Last Supper. It has a lot in it. Make sure you read the whole reading below.  The verse I picked to reflect upon is near the end of the reading for the day – verse 34. Jesus said – A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. We are called to love others – one another – as Christ loved us. The example of His love was just foretold as He talked about His betrayal and death. Jesus’ love is even for those who would turn against Him – if they repent and return to Him. He even loved us – Scripture says – before we loved Him.

Something to think about today. How well do we love one another? How about the neighbor who plays their music late into the night – loudly (or early in the morning)? How about the undocumented or illegal person down the street? What about the person whose sexual preference doesn’t match yours? What about the person who votes for a candidate you can’t stand? What about the person who has hurt you or your family? What about the dictator of a country who seems bent on causing war? How about the person or government behind the coronavirus pandemic? What about the x-spouse who has caused you nothing but pain? Yes – we are to love even these. We are not called to ignore sin or pain. We are called to love one another – like Christ loves us! Continue reading

March 24, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 22 of Lent 2020

John 13:5

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Ray 2020Today is Day 22 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I pray that you have been keeping up with the reading – I know I have been and it has been a blessing. If you haven’t been keeping up – try to catch up! Tomorrow is a free day. Read back and catch up. I appreciate this walk to the cross and I think you would as well.

I love this passage. It reminds me that our Lord was humble and that as followers of Christ – we are to be humble as well. We should never feel that anything is beneath us. We should walk in the steps of our Lord and be willing to serve others – no matter what our position in the Body of Christ. I love this reminder and I hope you do as well.

How are we serving others during this pandemic? How are we reaching out to others and making sure they are OK? Don’t miss out on our connection time on ZOOM. See you email – First Church folks – for the link. We will also post it on Facebook for those who would like to join us. Continue reading

March 21, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 21 of Lent 2020

Mark 14:18

While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me — one who is eating with me.”

Ray 2020Today is Day 21 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope we are enjoying and keeping up with the 40 Day reading plan. I am appreciating them myself as we walk to the cross. I also hope and pray that you are well and surviving this pandemic we are facing.

Today’s reading is about the Passover lamb – Jesus Christ – our Lord and Savior. The verse I picked out for this day is the one that talks about the one – Judas – who would betray Him that night. Whenever I read this verse I think – in what ways have I betrayed Jesus? In what ways has the church betrayed Him? Can we take a moment and think of ways we have betrayed Jesus?

Our walk with Christ is often compromised by our sinful choices. We need – daily even – to focus on Jesus and not on self or the world around us. How are we doing with that? During this isolated time – we could really spend more time focused on Jesus. Continue reading

March 20, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: