Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 2 of Lent

John 12:3

Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Today is day 2 of Lent – 2012.  The story today for me is about sacrifice – the sacrifice that Mary (not the Virgin Mary) was willing to make for Jesus. Mary (might have been the woman caught in adultery – obviously someone who have known Jesus and His grace) entered a dinner given in Jesus’ honor.  She offered Him a gift – a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; and poured it over His head.  It was a lavish gift.  It was a gift that showed great sacrifice on her part.

The question I thought of today as I read this story was – what am I willing to sacrifice for Jesus?  In a sermon not too long ago I asked the question – what does it cost you to follow Jesus?  My hope is that as you read today’s Lenten passage you will ask yourself what you are willing to give up – not just for Lent – but for Jesus?

Here is today’s entire reading on www.youversion.com.  I am reading the 40 Days of Lent reading plan – day 2 today.  Join me and share your thoughts.

John 12:1-11 – 1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” 9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him. NIV

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February 23, 2012 Posted by | Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Lenten Thought | , , , | Leave a comment

Are You Looking for a Place to Serve God?

Matthew 19:14

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

The Barna Research Group – located in California – is a research team I have used before in sermons and blog posts for facts.  They do a number of studies each year.  They have done studies on what is the best age to reach someone for Jesus.

Barna did a nationwide survey and their research determined that the highest probability of people accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior happens before the age of 14.  After the age of 14 the likelihood of persons accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior drops off dramatically.  This is a very interesting fact for those of us who invest time and other resources in children and youth ministries.  These ministries should be the cornerstone of our evangelistic efforts it seems.

The survey used the information from 4200 young people and adults and found that from ages 5 through 13 – 32% of them had accepted Jesus.  From this same group of 4200 people – only 4% had accepted Jesus from ages 14 through 18 – or 36% before age 19.  The other adults in this group – from 19 through the oldest in the group – only showed a 6% probability to accept Jesus.

If this study is accurate – 36% of all people will accept Jesus before they are 19 years of age – and 58% of all people will not accept Jesus at all.  This tells us a few things – namely that we must put our efforts and resources into reaching children with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and nearly 60% of the population hasn’t accepted Jesus and may not (a point for another post).

The study showed that our little ones are impacted the most for Jesus by family members, peers and their youth/children’s group.  Things like AWANNA, Kingdom Kids, Summer Camps, Youth Group, Small Groups and other ministries we have at Mt. Oak are fertile ground for our efforts.  If you are looking for a place to be in ministry that might just have the biggest impact on the Kingdom of God – children and youth ministry is it!  Contact Pastor Phillips or Pastor Brooker if you would like to help!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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February 23, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey | , | Leave a comment


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