Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We Do Not Walk Alone!

2 Timothy 4:17

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amHave you ever been in a tough place because of your faith? A place where the enemy was out to get you? A place where those around you were beating on you – seemingly from all angles? A place where there seemed to be no way to safety? I would imagine we have all faced such times. We recently talked about witnessing our faith in our Bible studies and when we do so in an unsaved world – we will come under attack. Remember the words from yesterday’s devotion and from our Lord – John 15:18 – If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

When I think of being attacked for my faith I think of the stories in the Bible of Daniel and of Shadrach – Meshach and Abednego. Daniel was thrown into a Lion’s den – a den filled with very hungry lions! The three boys were thrown into a fiery furnace – so hot that the heat killed those taking them to the furnace. Each time it was because they were being faithful to God and wouldn’t disobey Him. Each time God delivered them – or as Paul writes – stood at my side and gave me strength. Continue reading

September 12, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Us Run With Perseverance

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.

IMG_0301Today we will examine Hebrews 12:1-2.  We will look at the phrase – let us run with perseverance.  Running with perseverance reminds me of the many examples in the Bible about athletics.  One such passage is from Paul in another of his many letters to the churches he served.

To the Christians in Corinth Paul wrote the following: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. Continue reading

July 2, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Represent Jesus!

2 Corinthians 5:20

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHave you ever represented someone or someplace? I’ve worked for several companies over the years – including the church – and have always tried to put them in a good light (I haven’t always succeeded). I remember telling my daughters to be on their best behavior when they were out – because they represented themselves – their family – and their parents.

When you work for some companies – you are vetted. They try to make sure – as sure as they can be – that you will represent them well. Have you ever been vetted? As a pastor – I have been a reference for a number of people over the years. Continue reading

August 19, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , | Leave a comment

Yearning to Be in the Light

John 3:21

But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God.

profileWalk the walk as well as we talk the talk.  This was a familiar saying when we were kids in the 60’s.  Hypocrisy wasn’t looked upon very fondly for sure.  We didn’t want our parents or anyone in authority to tell us what to do if they weren’t willing to do it as well – to walk the walk they were telling us to walk.

To give an example – several of my friends growing up had parents who told their children to not do drugs but were themselves using Valium or alcohol in extreme to relax.  These parents were seen as hypocrites by their children.  They were using their drug of choice but were telling their children they couldn’t do drugs.

Hypocrisy won’t come into the light because the light will reveal it – but if we are walking – as we should – we can walk in the light – in the presence of Jesus – and not fear what it will reveal.  Now remember – none of us are perfect – but if we are striving to walk with Jesus – we will not fear what the light might reveal in us – because we want to be holy – more like the Master! Continue reading

March 21, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Look Like Jesus Our Lord?

1 John 3:2

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

profileWhen our children grow up – they often look like us.  I look a lot like my dad.  I was named after him and look a great deal like him.  My daughters look a great deal like their mother (praise God for that).

Do you look like one of your parents?  If not in looks – in behavior – habits – mannerisms?  I remember a comical item I once found online that said pats and their owners even begin to look like each other.  Most of us probably have some characteristics of our parents.  They may be characteristics we’d like to not have at times.  But because of genetics and environment we tend to take on similarities with our parents. Continue reading

February 21, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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