Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 18 of Lent 2018

Matthew 25:13

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

Today is day 18 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan on www.youversion.com. I hope you are enjoying the 40 Day reading plan and the few comments I leave each day. Keep up with the stories about Jesus’ life as He walked to the cross.

Today’s reading ends with a verse like yesterday’s first passage. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” The hour is coming – but it will be a time only the Father knows. Our task is to share Jesus with as many people as we are able until that time comes. At First Church we believe we are called to reach the whole family for Christ. How can we help each other to help the kingdom! What can we do to better serve Jesus and draw others to Him? Continue reading

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March 3, 2018 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Prayer For Our Local Congregation

Ephesians 3:16-19

I 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.

I’ve been spending time praying for our local congregation of late. I pray for the Body of Christ – universal – but I’m praying specifically for our local congregation. I’ve been seeking God’s face specifically for our congregation. I know we have a mission statement and many awesome ministries – but I’m asking God to make His desires clear to our church leadership and membership. My heart is for nothing but the best for our local congregation. I pray that is the heart of our whole membership.

Paul writes his heart’s desire for the church in Ephesus in his Epistle – Ephesians 3:16-19 – I 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. Continue reading

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

Rejoicing Comes In The Morning

Psalm 30:5

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

I wonder how many times – if ever – we have had so much on our plate – we had trouble getting to sleep at night – or staying asleep? I know I have experienced some sleepless nights because of what has been on my plate. I’ve also been awakened in the middle of the night because of what I was facing the next day.

I remember as a child not being able to sleep because something special was coming the next day. I remember as an adult having so much to accomplish the next day I could hardly sleep. I’ve also experienced troubled times that have kept me from getting a good night’s sleep. Is anyone with me in these experiences or am I alone? And how about that time you had to face something you wished you didn’t have to face?

Just last night I heard the news that one of our wonderful members at First Church passed. Bob has been heavy on my heart of late and I have lifted him and others from our church in prayer – at times waking to pray in the middle of the night. Weeping comes upon us at times – but joy often comes in the morning (weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.) I work better – even with troubling times – when I’ve had some rest. Continue reading

September 18, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Witnessing Our Faith

1 Timothy 4:12

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

Today I wanted to write about setting an witnessing our faith. Witnessing our faith is not about the words we say but the life we live. Actions often speak louder than words – you’ve heard that before – right?

Timothy was a young pastor – a product of Paul’s ministry. Paul was writing to him and those Timothy was leading to give him encouragement and teaching. Part of what Paul wrote we are using as our base passage in this morning’s devotional.

As Paul was telling Timothy to not let anyone look down on you because you are young – he also encouraged him to be a good witness. Think about these words for a moment this morning – set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. How do these words speak to us this morning? Continue reading

September 7, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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