Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Come Holy Spirit – Come!

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.

I listened to a sermon by Reinhard Bonnke from a Jesus Culture event.  Today’s Scripture came to mind – 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.

I believe too many Christians – too many churches and too many denominations – shy away from the Holy Spirit these days. I believe that if we shy away from the Holy Spirit – we are shying away from God with us today. Jesus said – before He ascended to heaven – that the Father would send One in His name – the Counselor – the Holy Spirit – to teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Too many are shying away from the Holy Spirit and going through the motions – powerless to be the church – without the Holy Spirit fire. Maybe this is why the United Methodist Church – many other denominations – and non-denominational churches – are falling these days. Too many preachers – too many boards of elders and lay leaders are trying to be the church without the Holy Spirit’s power. We cannot be the church without God with us today – the Holy Spirit. It is as clear as that! Continue reading

March 16, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lord of the Harvest

Luke 10:2

He told them, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

In church life – there is a common statement that is very sad. It goes like this – 20% of the people do 80% of the work in the church. At times this might be because the 20% has a hard time sharing or delegating the work load. At times it might be a control issue on the part of the 20%. But most often it is because the 80% aren’t joining in the labors for Christ in the church. Are we part of the 20% or the 80%?

Think about this for a moment. Are we only attending worship in our church and doing nothing else? Are we only taking what the church offers – youth ministry – children’s ministry – family ministry – worship – fellowship events – etc. and not giving anything back? In essence are we takers without being a givers as well?

There is another saying we might be familiar with – it goes like this – you get out of something what you put into it. I wonder what a church would look like if everyone associated with that church were to serve God in some capacity in the life of that church? What if everyone in the church considered themselves workers in the harvest fields Christ has for us? I mean – we can all help somewhere! Right? Continue reading

March 14, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving the Impossible to God

1 Samuel 17:37

“The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

Here’s a silly question. Have we had any giant issues to tackle in our life? I know folks who battle addictions to drugs – alcohol – food – and more. I know folks who are in troubled relationships. I know folks with medical issues that are either life threatening or serious enough that they require surgery or medical treatment. I know folks that have been in abusive relationships. I know folks that have mental and emotional concerns. I know folks who couldn’t balance life without medication. I know folks who have thought about or attempted suicide (and some who succeeded).

Do we have any giants in our life? Are there issues that seem too large to tackle or even face? Are there situations that seem overwhelming? The sad thing is that we could all say yes to most of these questions. Life – for most of us – is not easy and without pitfalls. We battle many giants throughout our lives. We need hope in our lives that can help us through! Continue reading

March 13, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Humility Is Not Easy!

Philippians 2:8

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

RayMcDHumility is not easy! Humility is something many lack. I recently wrote that selfishness was the norm among many of us. Many of us think of ourselves first and others – of at all – last. We see this among many leaders today as well – from both sides of the political aisle and in other areas of leadership too.

Humility is not easy! Today’s passage reminds us that Jesus – the Lord eternal – humbled Himself for our sake. He thought not of Himself – but rather – He thought of us. Philippians 2:8 – And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

Humility is not easy! Valuing others above ourselves is what we are called to do as Christians – as followers of Christ. We are to model Christ’s humility. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Continue reading

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving The Unlovable

Romans 13:8

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

RayMcDAs the inauguration unfolded and the support and protests took place – it was not easy to see much love. Republicans and democrats in the same home and in the same church were at odds. There were those who supported the new President and some who opposed him – and they were miles apart in their views. Even those who protested – standing for love and women’s rights – turned away a group of women who happened to be pro-life. Hatred and anger where more plentiful than love. Even in the church – some colleagues protested and some supported and some simply prayed. Continue reading

January 25, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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