Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A Vision For The Church Family

Ephesians 3:19

that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Paul writes his heart’s desire for the church in Ephesus by saying; Ephesians 3:16-19I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

As I have been praying about First Church – this has come to my heart numerous times. I believe God wants us to grown up and deepen our faith at First Church. God wants us to seek His face and desire His grace. I’m not saying we don’t have mature Christians at First Church – I’m saying the whole body needs to grow up and mature even more in Jesus (this includes the pastor and church leaders). Paul continues in Ephesians 4 to tell us some of the measures of a mature Christian. Read it and see what it has to say. Are these things abundant in our church? Are they gifts and blessings that we could use more of at First Church? In your local church dear reader? Continue reading

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October 16, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Disciples

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations

The Great Commission is the marching orders of the church. Everything we do as a church should be measured against these words. We should do nothing that doesn’t help us evangelize – sharing the gospel message with others.

It saddens me when I look at the journal for our conference (and I imagine it is the same throughout the U.S.) and see the number of churches without even one profession of faith. That would be adding a new disciple to the kingdom. Some say they are concentrating on maturing their current disciples – yet – if disciples are maturing – they should be attracting new disciples as well.

Let me ask a few questions today. Who do we know that is being drawn to Jesus because of our walk with Him? Is there someone we are witnessing to that has been drawn to Christ in this past year? Is there someone we have helped to grow closer to Jesus in this past year? Who have we invited to worship with us in the past year? Who have we talked to about our faith walk in the past year? Do we even talk to others about Jesus and what He means to us? Continue reading

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love The Lord Our God

Deuteronomy 30:16

For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

When I was dating – I tried hard to do things that would please the person I was dating. I tried to think what I could do that would make them happy. For some it was flowers – for no particular reason. For some it was a hand-made card. For another it was late night calls and conversation late into the night (even all night at times). Some liked to go to the movies and others to dinner. I tried to open doors and seat them first when we went somewhere.

When I was dating – I didn’t always please my dates. There were times when I was selfish. There were times I was possessive. There were times when I was jealous. These didn’t please my dates for sure. Continue reading

October 12, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hold Unswervingly To The Hope

Hebrews 10:23

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

What is it we hope for in life? I posted something on Twitter and Facebook this past week about a parent’s hopes and dreams. I found it in one of my daily devotional readings on www.youverison.com. We want our children to have good jobs & healthy marriages & families, but what matters most is that they have a vital relationship with Jesus. Of course we want them to be happy and productive – but walking with Jesus is most important.

What is it we hope for in life? Some of us want to own a piece of the good earth. Some own larger pieces than others – some maybe larger pieces than they need (LOL). Some of us hope for material things or blessings. We care about what we drive or how many vehicles we own. Some of us hope for the latest greatest technology. Continue reading

October 11, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love One Another

John 13:35

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Do we have a hard time loving others or showing love to others? I know some men who have a hard time showing love – or even say I love you to family members.

Typically it is easier to say I love you to those who love you back or do nice things. If someone is nice to us or shows us respect – it would seem easier to love them – right?

Loving others is not as easy command from Jesus. In today’s passage Jesus says that others will know we are His followers – His disciples – if we love one another. Think for a moment – are there folks we have a hard time loving?

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. John 13:34–35 – 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Continue reading

October 10, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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