Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Deepening Our Walk with Jesus

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

Life ChangeI greet you in the name of Jesus – my Lord – my Savior and my dear friend. I write to encourage you this morning in your walk with Jesus. During our sermon Sunday I encouraged us to work on our spiritual fitness. We want to encourage those who would hear to take the time to build their spiritual lives and to develop a deeper walk with Jesus. We want to urge people to take advantage of the many opportunities to eat spiritual food and to grow stronger.

I write to encourage you to NOT rely on your pastor(s) to have knowledge of the Word and a relationship with Jesus! I write to encourage you to regularly search the Word and to pray on every occasion. Your faith cannot be based on your parent’s faith – your grandparent’s faith – your pastor’s faith – or anyone else’s faith. Each of us must develop our own walk with Jesus. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians that we are to always have joy and to test everything.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 – 16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

Remember one of the sayings I use so much? Happiness is circumstantially driven – but Joy is spiritually derived. Continue reading

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Word Is Our Tool!

Psalm 119:11

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

RayMcDThe more we know the Word of God – the more useful a tool it will be for us in our spiritual journey.  We use to say – the more we use our Sword (our Bible) the more useful that tool becomes to us – so we encouraged people to bring their Bibles to church and to follow along.  Today we can read our Bible on our smart phones and even follow along on YouVersion.com and leave notes on the sermons.

Reading and storing up the Word of God in our heart/mind is so important.  Jesus resisted the Devil when he tempted Him by quoting the Word of God.  Jesus was such a student of the Word of God that He knew when Satan was using it wrongly! Matthew 4:1–11 – 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Continue reading

February 24, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We Ashamed of Jesus?

Luke 9:26

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

profileI need to confess – and I don’t feel good doing it – but there was a time in my life when I had a friend I didn’t want to be seen with at school.  I was ashamed of him in a way.  You see – he wasn’t part of the groups I hung with at school.  He wasn’t a jock.  He wasn’t cool.  He wasn’t in any of the organizations I was in at school.  But he did attend my church and we were friends.  I am ashamed today to remember how I treated him or rather how I avoided him at school.  It only happened for a few months – and God convicted me – but none-the-less – I did it.

At times that is the way we treat God.  We are friends at church – but at work or even around our friends we tend to avoid Him – at least some of us do.  We like being friends or thinking we are friends with Jesus – because there are such benefits we think – like heaven.  But are we trying friends with Jesus?  And if we are not – who are we fooling anyway? Continue reading

October 15, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hide the Word in Your Heart

Psalm 119:11

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

profileThe more we know the Word of God – the more useful a tool it will be for us in our spiritual journey.  That is one reason I asked people to bring their Bibles with them on Sunday mornings instead of using the pew Bibles.  The more you use your Sword (your Bible) the more useful that tool becomes to you – so we encourage people to bring their Bibles to church and to follow along (and keep the pastor on track).  Today you can read your Bible on your smart phone/data device and even follow along on YouVersion.com and leave yourself notes on the sermons (on our live events).

Reading and storing up the Word of God in your heart/mind is so important.  Jesus resisted the Devil when he tempted Him by quoting the Word of God.  Think about it.  Mathew 4:1-11 – 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:“ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Continue reading

September 12, 2013 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

If Anyone Loves Jesus!

John 14:23-24

23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”

RevRayIf you’ve raised children – you know that you would love for them to obey your rules – your teachings.  You try to set a good example for them and set standards and establish rules – and you hope that they grow to be moral and decent when they grow up.  Your hope is that they will become good citizens and as Christians – that they will yield their life to Jesus someday.  Our heart is for the best for our children and most of us would do just about anything for them.

Recently our family grew by two – one granddaughter that is just over five months old and another granddaughter that is just over six weeks old.  I know their parents – their mothers are our daughters – hope for them what we hoped for our children as they grew up.  I know as a family we will do whatever we can to see that they have the very best love and examples to grow to love Jesus and to be good people. Continue reading

April 25, 2013 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, From the Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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