Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Improving Our Hearts

Acts 28:27

For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.

RayMcDI have our hearts on my mind of late. I’m seeking ways to help us improve our hearts. We’ve all heard one of my favorite sayings – Christianity boils down to attitude – the condition and position of one’s heart. We’re told to guard our hearts in the Scriptures. Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

I have our hearts on my mind of late. I’m seeking ways to help us improve our hearts. A church can have plenty of programs and people – but it God’s heart is not the center of the church – in the hearts of the members – it will not be healthy. Sermons on Vital Lessons of Faith and A Family Legacy were about our hearts (you can listen to these and other sermons at http://fumcl.org/sermons/.

I have our hearts on my mind of late. I’m seeking ways to help us improve our hearts. I’ve been examining my heart of late – and asking God to search me and take away anything not pleasing to Him. Psalm 139:23 – Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. I want to be His servant and I want to keep my eyes on Him. Continue reading

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Our Light So Shine For Jesus

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

RayMcDThe new sermon series that begins on Sunday is on A Family Legacy. Services are at 8:15 & 11 am at 424 Main Street in Laurel at First United Methodist Church. All are welcome and come as you are! Today’s passage is one that speaks to letting our light shine – as we develop our legacy.

Everywhere I turn – every devotional I do these days – brings me back to our upcoming sermon series on legacy. Today’s passage tells us about letting our light shine – letting our witness shine – so that those who see us will see Jesus and come to glorify our God. We are to let others see the Christ within us.

It is so important that our children – the next generation – and others – see that our faith is sincere. If they do not see Christ in us – if they only see a façade of faith – they will not be drawn toward God. Continue reading

August 17, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whoever Acknowledges Me

Matthew 10:32-33

32 Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

RayMcDSunday we begin a new sermon series at First United Methodist Church in Laurel – MD. The series is titled A Family Legacy. Services are at 8:15 & 11 am at 424 Main Street in Laurel – come and join us. Today’s passage is one that I will use in that first sermon titled Building a Legacy. That evening we begin a week of revival too – the first service is at First UMC followed by Monday at Community UMC (300 Brock Bridge Road) – Tuesday at Mt. Zion UMC (3592 Whiskey Bottom Road) – and Wednesday at St. Mark’s UMC (601 8th Street) – all in Laurel – MD. All revival services begin at 7 pm.

The importance of our legacy is that our children and other children are watching us. They are watching to see if what we believe is worth believing in and following. They are watching to see if what we say is also what we do. How sincere are we in our faith? Are we giving a good witness?

We spend loads of time – energy – and money – supporting our favorite teams. Do we spend as much time supporting Jesus? We place signs in our yards and stickers on our cars supporting our candidate of choice. When is the last time we made a public statement of support for Jesus? Continue reading

August 16, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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