My Faith Is Not a Wish

by raymcdonald

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Have you ever wished for something? Maybe a new red bike for Christmas. Maybe a new Barbie doll. Maybe a G.I. Joe action figure. How about a Mattel Thingmaker or Creepy Crawlers set (pretty dangerous toys […]

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The Holy Spirit – God with Us

John 14:26

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Read the blog thoughts: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2021/04/20/the-holy-spirit-god-with-us/

Victory in Jesus!

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite hymns is Victory in Jesus. Here are some of the lyrics from that old favorite hymn.

I heard an old, old story, how a saviour came from glory, how he gave His life on Calvary, to save someone like me. I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning, then I repented of my sin and won the victory.

Oh, victory in Jesus, my saviour forever, He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood. He loved me ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about His healing, of His cleansing pow’r revealing, how He made the lame to walk again, and caused the blind to see. And then I cried “dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit” and somehow Jesus came and brought to me the victory.

Oh, victory in Jesus, my saviour forever, He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood. He loved me ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.

Today’s passage says this same truth. 1 Corinthians 15:57 – But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s look at it in partial context. It is a section of Scripture where God through Paul is describing our life to come. It is used a funerals to give us assurance of our eternity if we walk with Jesus.

Continue at: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2021/04/16/victory-in-jesus-2/

Restore Our Joy

Psalm 51:12

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

I preached once on being rescued – restoring the joy of our salvation. I mentioned how God rescued us from sin and death. I asked folks to remember times when they had been rescued – like how I was rescued by the stranger at the beach (from drowning as the waves took my young body for a tumble). I asked people to remember their salvation – the moment God rescued them from sin and death. Do you remember the day you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

Read more: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2021/04/13/restore-our-joy/

Loving God More

Luke 14:26 If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. NLT

This is a hard passage to understand. In the NIV it reads this way: Luke 14:26 – If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. Either reading is tough.

I have a wife and three daughters and I never imagined I could love anyone more than these four – that was until my six grandchildren came along. I have a seventh due soon and my love will multiple again. I have a game I play with one granddaughter. I tell her I love her. She tells me she loves me. I say I love her more. She says she loves me 100 times more. I say I love her 1000 times more. And we keep going until she says something like – I love infinity times more and I say – you win. We hug and laugh.

We’re a tight family – and we miss our parents greatly. Family is very important to us. Yet here is the Bible – even the words of Jesus Himself – telling us that our love for family needs to be so much less than our love for Him – that it is almost like we hate them in comparison.

Maybe this is what the church is missing these days. The church seems to put self and even family above Christ at times. If the family has something to do – ball games – picnics – late Saturday nights – etc. – at times we will put our public worship of God on the back burner. I mean – I’m not even dealing with where we put our daily devotions and our prayer life when it comes to sporting events – the news – our favorite TV shows – etc.

Read more: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2021/03/31/lent-2021-loving-god-more/

Loving God More Than Anything

by raymcdonald

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. I remember when I was a little fellow – living in the country – walking up and down […]

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Foolish and Stupid Arguments

2 Timothy 2:2  Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

Why we don’t memorize this passage is beyond me. In my years of life I have been involved in disagreements and discussions that didn’t amount to anything – yet they caused so much (ugh) anguish. I have counseled couples who couldn’t remember why they were arguing – after a long drawn out fight. I have seen churches broken by needless quarrels and disagreements. Denominations have been created by non-essential differences in theology. From the birth of the church – the warning has been given to avoid needless – foolish – and stupid arguments/discussions.

We are in a season of political unrest – the last 12 years or so – and we are still in it. Have you had arguments with your family or friends over politics? I mean – we can certainly have different ideas and thoughts without them becoming arguments and name calling – can’t we?

 

Read more: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2021/03/17/lent-2021-foolish-and-stupid-arguments/

My Soul Thirsts for God

by raymcdonald

Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Have you ever thirsted for something? I’ve fasted from things during Lent before and for other reasons. I have thirsted or hungered for them. When we go without something for a period of time and we desire that […]

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Do Not Conform

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world

Do not conform to the pattern of this world. This is the start of one of my favorite passages. It is a great passage for Lent – a time of repentance and denying self. The world – where Satan is the prince of the air – will do anything it can to draw us away from Jesus. Our task is to rebuke the world and keep our eyes on Jesus.

 

Read more of Ray’s blog at: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2021/02/22/lent-2021-do-not-conform/

Gentleness

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

As people of God – the chosen people – we are called to be holy and to cloth ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. As you start your day today – think on this passage and the call to live the godly traits of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Where in your day could you show more gentleness?  According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary – to be gentle is to be free from harshness, sternness, or violence. Examples might include – when we tell our young children to be gentle with their infant sibling.  Another example might be the way we approach a wild animal – as softly and gently as possible – as to not arouse them.  To be gentle is a godly character trait we should all practice more often.  I bet it might even keep us out of trouble at times – and it might keep some situations from escalating.

I read somewhere that many police officers try to approach traffic stops with gentleness – awareness for sure because they do not know who they are stopping – but nonetheless – they are waiting to see how we might react and react to our demeanor.  The article I read said the best thing for us to do when stopped is to remain calm and do not argue with the officer who is just trying to do their job.

How can we show gentleness to those around us today?  What are those around us going through where a gentle spirit might help them?  If we approach more situations with gentleness – we might be surprised at how they end up.  Look around today and seek places where you could show the gentleness of God.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

 

Comment at: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2021/01/28/gentleness/