Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Needs and Wants – Do We Know the Difference?

Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

We often write – teach – and preach – about our needs compared to our wants. Most of us live in the world of our wants (I know you have heard that from me before). Most of us have all we need and most if not all of what we want. Of course – there are those among us – either through choices they have made or choices and circumstances beyond their control – who live lives of need.

Take a test with me. Think for a moment – what would you do with $1,000? With $10,000? With $100,000? With $1,000,000? Does your answer include needs and/or wants? Are there bills that need to be paid for needs or are there things you’d like to buy that aren’t needs but rather wants? How much of that money would be spent on your needs verses your wants?

Most – I imagine – would talk about a new car – paying off the mortgage – buying a beach house – retiring early – or some other want. Few – I think – would talk about buying groceries for the family or paying medical bills or helping others have their needs met. What would you do with some extra money? If you inherited a sum of money – how would it change your life? Many who come into large sums of money have ended in ruin – because they failed to understand the different between needs and wants. Many pro athletes and movie/TV stars fall into this trap when they suddenly come into a large amount of money. I was moved by the young athletes that immediate help their family with their new found wealth rather than purchasing everything they lay their eyes on. Continue reading

January 4, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Difference Between Needs and Wants

Philippians 4:12

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

We live in a day and age – probably not unlike many other eras – when there are a number of folks that live hand-to-mouth. These persons live in many communities around us and in our own communities. Living hand-to-mouth means that a person uses every part of their income with no plan for the future. Everything they make they spend.

Some people have had many opportunities – yet still live hand-to-mouth. Some have not had many opportunities and find themselves in the same situation. There are a number of people in our society that may not be able to make ends meet. For these our society tends to help (although many we help – IMHO – have made decisions in life to put themselves in this situation of need).

Part of what leaves many folks living hand-to-mouth is a lack of understanding or discipline when it comes to wants verses needs. Most people (and I have no statistics for this at this time but it is an educated opinion from 40+ years of ministry) live beyond their means because they have mixed up their needs and their wants. This happens at all income levels – for the very poor to the very rich. How many times have we read about professional athletes – who make more money in a 4-10 year career than many of us make in several life-times – only to find themselves living hand-to-mouth in short order? I had an elderly person once tell me they couldn’t live on their social security check. I wanted to tell them that social security was never meant to be the sole income for a person in retirement. A person was supposed to save – to put money aside for retirement. They often have not because they have mixed up their needs and wants. Continue reading

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Content

Philippians 4:11

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMHave we ever been content? At times being content might take away from our drive – our desire to accomplish more. But the contentment that Paul is writing about in today’s passage has to do with things – learning to be content with the things we have or don’t have.

With one church I served – we went to Appalachia each summer. We sent teams to ASP (Appalachia Service Project). We learned just how much we had and how much we take for granted.

I remember working on a coal miner’s shack that a family had made their home. The outside boards had big gaps between them and the Tennessee winter winds and cold made it very hard. They had a pot belly wood stove in the middle of this shack and the ceiling above it was black from how hot they had to keep the fire to offset the winter cold. In this home we put in insulation and drywall and tried to help them stay warmer in the winter. It was a small help – yet they were very appreciative of our efforts. Continue reading

July 12, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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