Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

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

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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

Gifting Of The Church

Ephesians 4:11-16

11 It was he (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

RayMcDI will begin to breakdown Ephesians 4:11-16 today as we look at the gifting of the church. God has given certain gifts to the church in order that they may be built up for works of service. Be reminded church that the reason we grow up in Christ is to be of service to Him. I guess one place to start would be to define these offices or appointments within the church.

An Apostle according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary is a person sent by another; a messenger; envoy. According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia an Apostle is one sent forth; and envoy, missionary. According to Nelson’s Bible Dictionary an Apostle is a special messenger of Jesus Christ; a person to whom Jesus delegated authority for certain tasks. Eleven of the twelve Disciples became known in the church as Apostles as did others like Paul and Jesus’ brother James. Often a task for an Apostle is to be a church planter, a spreader of the truth to the ends of the earth.

Prophet according to McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia is a person who acts as the organ of Divine communication with men (and women), especially with regard to the future. According to New Unger’s Bible Dictionary a Prophet is one who is Divinely inspired to communicate God’s will to His people and to disclose the future to them. According to Nelson’s Bible Dictionary a Prophet is a person who spoke for God and who communicated God’s message courageously. Continue reading

March 1, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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