Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Christianity Boils Down to Attitude

1 Chronicles 28:9

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”

Much of the Bible and thus Christianity comes down to attitude – motivation – the desire of one’s heart.  In today’s passage we read – for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.  David was trying to pass on some words of wisdom to his son Solomon and others and urged him to acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.

Throughout the Bible we are urged to have the attitude of Jesus – an attitude of a servant.  Our motivation is to be clearly for God’s purposes.  Our heart is to be set on God and God’s kingdom – all of us who call ourselves after Christ.  Here are a few of many passages that pass along these truths.

Philippians 2:5 – Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  It is from this passage and others like it that my old saying comes – Christianity boils down to attitude.  I often add – the condition and position of one’s heart!

Matthew 20:26-28 – 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  If we are to follow the example set by Christ – all who call themselves after Christ should have a servant’s heart – a servant’s attitude – and be motivated by what motivates Jesus.

John 13:14-17 – 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.  Again – if we are to follow Christ – we must have the heart – the motivation – the attitude of Christ – willing to do anything God asks of us to serve Him and to be faithful.

What has God called us to do for Him?  Are there things we have pushed aside – because we thought they were not worthy or because we thought they were beneath us?  Are the things God has called us to not been in the limelight – and we wanted to be upfront?  Were they not what we imagined for us?  Did we want to sing with the praise team and feel God calling us to do something else?  Do we believe that only certain things are worthy to be called ministry?  Do we think if it isn’t Sunday morning – it isn’t really ministry?

A few members & friends of our church enjoy playing basketball on Wednesday nights. More than playing basketball – these members and friends want to serve Jesus with their time on Wednesday nights.  On most Wednesdays – 20-25 young men and some not so young men gather in our gym to play basketball – but that is not all they do.  From the outside – someone might think – oh – that’s just a bunch of guys playing basket-ball.  Others might feel put out because they feel crowded out of the gym before their conversations are finished on Wednesday nights after AWANA – Youth Small Groups and other discipleship gatherings. But believe me – from 8:30 to 10:30 – ministry is going on.

My personal attitude toward Wednesday night basketball will never be the same after a recent encounter with Jesus.  I thought it was just an open gym for church guys and some guys from the community to play basketball – until one recent Wednesday night when I found out it is a portal to encounter Jesus – a bring them in event.  As we broke halfway through the evening for devotions as we always do – we asked for prayer concerns – as we always do.  This group of guys has been playing together for a couple of months now and they are getting more comfortable with each other and starting to open up.  One young man opened up and asked for prayers for his father – who can’t seem to stay out of jail.

That one sentence opened my heart  – once again – to the potential this open gym night has and the possibilities of ministry for Jesus.  A couple of weeks later this young man volunteered to close our devotions in prayer and said in his prayer something like – I’m thankful for my friend who invited me to play basketball – I have never been to a church before and I really like it here.  I was floored and tears came to my eyes.  I looked around and knew our time had more meaning than we thought.  Over the last few weeks several of these young men – as they arrive – have started to greet me with hugs – handshakes and kind words.  For me –this is a very emotional and powerful time of worship and service.  Believe me – or don’t – and come see for yourself.

God has used Jonathan Johnson, Stephen Dinolfo, Jimmy King, Justin Linehan, Anthony & Michael Epps, Alan Smith, Ron Yelverton and others to MINISTER to some young men that may never see Jesus in any other place in their lives.  Where can we be used by God – with the right attitude – motivation and heart – to serve Him for His glory?

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

Tweet this Blog Post

March 2, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Our Vision and Mission at Mt. Oak – Bringing Folks In

Our Vision and Mission at Mt. Oak

The Problem: Families are under attack.

The Solution: Reaching the whole family for Christ

The Process: Bring in, Build up, Send out

The Win: A changed life or family for Christ

Over the next few weeks (January 9 – 16 – 23) we will preach messages that are centered on the vision and mission of our church.  Last Sunday we preached about bringing people into environments where they can encounter Christ.  This coming week we will center our thoughts on the second part of the process – namely building people up in their knowledge and understanding of Christ.  To see a listing of future sermons and Scriptures – and to listen to past sermons – click this link http://wwww.mtoak.org/media/mo-sermons.

Today we want to look at the first part of the process – namely bringing people into environments where they can encounter Christ.  The sermon Sunday was centered on this subject.  We talked about being the salt of the earththe light of the world.

Matthew 5:13-16 – 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Bringing people into environments where they can encounter Christ is more than merely inviting someone to church.  It is about our witness (the light) that we show others each day and our intentional efforts (the salt) to flavor their lives with Christ.  In worship – we took the time during the sermon to introduce ourselves to others and then we introduced those we met (a few did this).  It opened our eyes to the need to be constantly reaching out to others.  Even some long-term attendees met each other last Sunday – as well as some new folks.  It was a great moment and something we will find a way to continue.

How can you be the salt and light of Christ?  How can your church help you to be the salt and light of Christ?   We thought of some ways in the message and encouraged you to write some ways in your sermon notes.  How about sharing some ideas with us on this blog?

A number of comments have been posted to our E-News under the Encouragement Corner this week. Check them out when the January 13th E-News is posted – http://wwww.mtoak.org/media/e-news.

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

Tweet this Blog Post

January 12, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Theology, Vision | , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: