Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Leaders Are Called To Serve

Mark 10:45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Today’s thought is a quick reminder for all of us who feel a calling to lead. If we are called to lead – we are called to serve. Leaders in the church – be it pastors – Bible study leaders – Sunday School teachers – church officers – office staff – church staff – and more – are called to be servant ministers rather than dictators.

If we are followers of Christ – it should be more about whom we serve than the position we hold. Some people work hard for title or position – rather than to serve. Some people can’t wait to be called teacher – pastor – reverend – church leader – when it shouldn’t matter what we are called – we should all be serving Jesus and others. Continue reading

August 9, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God Has a Plan!

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

IMG_0301OK – I admit it – I’m writing this devotion during the halftime of the Super Bowl – and into the 3rd quarter. My team isn’t in the game – as a mater of fact – not team I care about is in the Super Bowl. If not the Ravens or the Redskins – I would be excited to watch Peyton Manning and the Broncos – Andrew Luck and the Colts – or Aaron Rogers and the Packers. Maybe I would watch a few other teams – but the Seahawks and the Patriots – not a game I care to watch – although I have watched the first half and will probably keep an eye on the game – it is the Super Bowl after all.

If I had to say who I was pulling for – and of course the game will be over before this devotional comes out – I would say I’m pulling for the Seahawks – if pushed to make a decision. Deflategate and other such happenings turned me against the Patriots – along with the team arrogance.

Both teams – I assume – have come in with a game plan. They have players ready to make key plays – and a game plan to try and defeat the other team. The Seahawks are trying to run the ball and throw enough big plays to keep the defense honest so they can run the ball. The Patriots are trying to put the ball in their quarterback’s hand and allowing this future Hall of Famer to do what he does best. By the way – the 3rd quarter just started – the TV in my office is on but I am listening to my James Taylor channel on Pandora with the sound off on the TV (I turn up the sound when the commercials come on). Continue reading

February 2, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

God’s Will – God’s Plan

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgI remember – as a child – building sand castles at the beach. They wouldn’t be the fancy ones you often see – with detail. They would be piles of wet sand – with a trench or moat around it to allow the water to avoid the castle and fill in my own personal pool behind the castle or wall of wet sand. Sometimes my brother or cousin or someone would join in and we would make it really big and actually – when we were smaller – lie in the pool and be completely covered with water. I know TMI (too much information).

I remember – as a youth – taking shop in Junior High School – and making a pencil box (I wasn’t very creative). I think I still have that pencil box somewhere! I bent the metal – smoothed the edges – soldered the ends and it looked pretty good – but it was only a pencil box – nothing fancy. I have never been very good with my hands – not like my brother who got all of the tool man gifts.

Around our house – whenever I do a tool related fix – it is a big deal and my wife hoots and hollers – LOL – really! I create things with my mind and computer – but with tools – like hammers and nails or anything else – it is a struggle. I hung shelves 18 years ago in my basement and they are still up – but – the parcel board I used has warped and needs to be replaced. You get the picture. Continue reading

November 6, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Know the Perfect Plan for Your Life?

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We have a number of young people at Mt. Oak Fellowship.  They range from teens through the early to mid-30’s even (stretching it some).  Many of them are in a season of life many of us have faced – with differing degrees of success.  They are deciding careers – marriage – children – where to live (often determined by where they decide to work) – and more. They are trying to decide what target they are aiming at in life and how to best hit the center mark!

When you went through that season – or if you are now – or soon will be – one of the questions we might have or should ask ourselves is what has God made me to do?  It really does matter.  We are short-changing ourselves if we do not seek out the answer to this question.

I’m a firm believer that God has a perfect plan for each of us.  Recently we talked about the Body of Christ being made up of many parts.  In God’s perfect plan – not only in the church but in the world as well – everyone has a place to fit in!  Everyone has something to do – to accomplish – to fit in with those around us.  Even though God knew we would not all follow the perfect plan – I believe God has one!  God is not a fly by the seat of his pants sort of fellow!  God does everything perfectly and completely!

So have you ever asked – what has God made me to do?  Maybe the question appears like this – what is God’s will for my life?  I have heard that one many times in my ministry.

Here is a passage that tells us how to find out God’s perfect will for our lives.  Romans 12:1-2 – 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual  act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

If we are interested in finding out what good work we were created to do – what God’s will is for our life – it seems that the answer will come to us as we refuse to conform to the pattern of the world and spend more time with Jesus!  Sounds simple!  It is.  The more time we spend with God the more clearly God can speak to us.  The more we remove the influences of the world from front and center – and place God there – the more God has our attention and we can hear God more clearly!

So – young or old – we should spend more time with Jesus – so we will know more perfectly the perfect plan God has for us!

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

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November 30, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , | 1 Comment

God Created Us for a Purpose

Ephesians 2:10

10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Have you ever asked the age old question – why was I created – why am I here?  Many people in my generation left home to “find” themselves – seeking to find out who they were and why they were created.  Young people go through this while they are in college or shortly after they graduate and try to find their nitch in the world.  I went through a time of questioning – didn’t you?  It is a tough time to face – especially if you don’t find answers.

God gives us answers.  I love the thought that we were created by God for a specific purpose – for good works God prepared for us to accomplish.  God crafted us for good works that He prepared for us in advance.

It is so important to know God’s will for our lives – if indeed He created us for such a purpose or will.  I love to couple this passage with one of my favorites.

Romans 12:2 – 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Conforming to God’s desire is the way to find out God’s will for our lives – our created purpose.  The less of the world the more of God in our lives – the more we will be able to know God’s perfect will for us.

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

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , | 3 Comments

   

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